With all the advances in technology, no one sends letters anymore. And why would they? With just a push of a button, you can send your message to anyone, anywhere. Emails and text messages arrive in a matter of seconds.

Sending a package, however, still requires some type of courier service. Before you choose just any service, you should know a few things about shipping. For instance, if you are shipping your package overseas, the regulations are different from sending one locally.

Items That Cannot Be Shipped

Certain items are too dangerous to ship. Other items are a hazard or are against the law to send. Check with your courier of choice to find out what they will not allow. This list is a small sample of items that are dangerous or hazardous:

  • Explosives, firearms, weapons
  • Paint, adhesives, aerosol spray cans
  • Live animals
  • Animal parts, furs, skins, and ivory
  • Human remains
  • Passports, birth certificates, driving licences
  • Items containing gas or flammable liquids
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Drugs or other items against the law in the area they are being shipped to

Some items are too fragile to ship. If you choose to send any of the following items through a courier service, be sure to insure them first.

  • Jewellery valued over 250 pounds
  • Photo frames or other items with glass
  • Expensive artwork
  • Laptops and computers
  • Perishable food items
  • Plants, seeds, and flowers

Preparing Your Package for Shipping

Before you send that parcel to France, make sure to pack it properly. Place the items in a sturdy, corrugated cardboard box. Wrap fragile or delicate items individually in newspaper or bubble wrap. Fill in space around the items with Styrofoam peanuts or other packing material. Use wide packaging tape to seal the boxes.

Wrap corrugated cardboard around large, bulky items such as pallets of freight. Cover any sharp edges with some type of padding or cardboard. Make sure that labels with the recipient’s address and sender’s address are securely fixed to each box to be shipped.

Methods of Transit

Different methods of transit are used depending on the size of the parcel and the destination. Most items shipped to a UK postcode will be transported by truck or plane. When sending packages overseas, they may travel by sea before being transported over land.

Most reliable courier services use worldwide carriers such as DHL, Palletways, TPN, UPN, Pallex, and UPS. Check with your service to see which one they work with. Be sure to get a tracking number so that if the package is lost, it will be easier to find. Tracking numbers can also be used to track the time and date of delivery.