If you need to send a parcel, this is the only resource you will need. We are going to take you through every step of the process so that you know exactly what you have to do to send a parcel to the USA, Australia or any other of the other 220 countries that we ship to. To begin with, have your item to hand and make sure that you are allowed to send it through your chosen courier service. Check their prohibited items list and make sure that your item is not listed.
What Packaging Materials do I Need?
Before booking a delivery or packaging any item, you must first make sure that you have all of the items to hand that you need. If you are sending documents, posters or paintings you will need slightly different materials, please see our relevant blog posts that will take you through those separate processes.
Have your item ready to be packaged; if it comes with an original box, then be sure to place it inside and fasten it shut.
Make sure you have access to scissors, packaging tape and a pen (we recommend a black Sharpie).
Have enough bubble wrap close by so that you can wrap your item well. The more bubble wrap that you use, the safer your item should be in transit.
You will need access to packaging materials to fill your box. We recommend using polystyrene packaging peanuts as they offer the best protection and use of space when packing.
It is best to have a plastic shipping label pouch handy before you begin packaging your item. While you can get away with taping the shipping labels to your item with packaging tape it is much safer to use a pouch. If you are sending internationally, it is very important that you have a shipping pouches ready to attach to your parcel as you will receive customs documents along with your shipping labels that must be shipped along with your parcel.
Have a sturdy cardboard box ready. Make sure that it can comfortably fit the packaged item and packaging materials. It is always worth making sure that you have a new box if possible. This will help prevent any damage to your item during shipping.
How to Pack Your Item:
The first step is to ensure that the item that you are sending is packaged as well as it can be. For this demonstration, we are going to package a small painted wooden box. As it has no original packaging (such as the box that an iPhone would be originally shipped to you in), we will wrap it in bubble wrap. If you don’t have original packaging this is generally the best first step to take. Bubble wrap is inexpensive and easy to get hold of.
Even if you do have the item’s original box, wrap it in a layer or two of bubble wrap, this will help to prevent and damage during transit.
Start by placing the item in the middle of a sheet of bubble wrap. Neatly wrap it up and fasten it tight using packaging tape, remember that the more packaging materials you use, the greater protection your shipment will have.
You want your bubble wrapped item to look similar to the above image; even though the box is black, you can barely make out its colours due to the thickness of the bubble wrap.
Fill the bottom of your box with packaging peanuts, be generous as your aim is to have the item completely cushioned by the packaging materials.
Place your bubble wrapped item inside the box, be sure to leave room on each side that you can fill up with more packaging peanuts.
Fill the box up with more packaging peanuts until it is almost overflowing. Push them down the sides of the item, this will protect your item from knocks and drops.
Hold the lid of the box closed and give the box a vigorous shake. If you can hear any movement then add more packaging peanuts until you can hear no noise when you shake the box.
Next, use packaging tape to seal the cardboard box. Wrap tape around the main seam, pulling the tape around the box 3 times. Cut the tape and firmly push down on the tape all around the box. Follow the same procedure and stick the tape around the other side of the box so intersects with the tape that you have already placed on the main seam of the box. Once you have done this, wrap tape around each seam along the sides of the box. This will help prevent any tears in the box, and help keep structural integrity.
Now measure your parcel according to the image above. Also weigh your parcel, these measurements are important to make sure that you don’t pay too much and to ensure that there are no delays in your delivery.
How to Book a Delivery
Add the collection and delivery postcodes on the ParcelHero Booking Page. Continue to add the measurements of your package that you took earlier.
You will be shown all the available delivery options that we can offer you. Choose the option that is best suited to your needs, we offer speedy next day delivery as well as cheaper delivery options.
Describe what is in your package and when you want it delivered by. Also tell us how much your shipment is worth.
Enter the address that you want your parcel collected from and the address that you are having it delivered to.
Check all the details that you have entered and if you are ready to pay, hit the continue button. You will then be shown the payment screen. Enter your payment details and confirm the payment.
You will then be able to print off your shipping labels form the next screen. You will also be sent an email with the shipping labels attached. Print these labels out, bear in mind that if you are shipping internationally there may be additional forms included with your shipping labels that you will need to fill out. Carefully go through the forms and sign and date wherever you are asked.
Fold up your shipping labels and place them in your plastic shipping label pouch. Make sure that every bar code and the addresses are clearly visible.
Fasten your shipping label pouch onto the parcel that you have packaged. Ensure that you stick it down firmly so that there are no sticky edges that can catch on any passing services.
Finally, use your Sharpie to write the parcel tracking number (that can be found on your shipping label) onto your box. If your shipping label comes off during transit, the courier will still be able to find out where to deliver your parcel to.
Now simply wait for your chosen courier to collect your parcel, or if you chose to drop off your parcel, drop it off at your chosen location. You can use the tracking number that you have to watch the live progress of your shipment to its final destination.