With families spread out all over the country, shipping holiday gifts to loved ones is a part of the season’s traditions.
And while Santa has done an admirable job of delivering holiday cheer for many seasons, he often gets an assist from helpers like Bill Yelle, a UPS driver for more than 16 years.
“I might not have a long white beard and wear a bright red suit,” says Yelle, “but it’s always fun to see the smile on a customer’s face when I arrive with packages during the holidays. And I don’t want to brag, but I think the children like the big brown truck as much as Santa’s sleigh.”
To help your special gifts arrive intact and on time, there are a few simple things you can do.
Use the Right Packing Materials
Use what the professionals use – sturdy, corrugated boxes, foam packaging peanuts and bubble pack – to protect your gifts. Leave enough space between items in the box, and wrap individual items with double cushioning if necessary. Allow at least two inches on all sides of the items being packed, including the bottom and the top. Place the item in the center of the box and fill the remaining space with additional packaging material.
Check With the Experts
If you have fragile or unusually shaped items to ship, or you just don’t have the time to get your packing and shipping done, it can pay to turn to the pros.
“I love this time of year,” says The UPS Store owner Mary Hart. “We put so much effort into helping our customers ship their holiday gifts that we share their sense of excitement. We firmly believe the same care should go into shipping gifts as into selecting them.”
Holiday Shipping DOs and DON’Ts
DO include an address label on the inside of the package with both the destination and return addresses.
DO use a shipping option which provides a package-tracking number.
DO take batteries out of toys, electronics, etc., before shipping.
DO ship wrapped presents ahead to your destination, especially if traveling by air.
DON’T wrap boxes in brown paper or tie with string.
DON’T use materials like newspaper or real popcorn to cushion items.
DON’T use old boxes or gift boxes for shipping items.
DON’T use duct tape, masking tape or cellophane tape to seal your boxes for shipping.
DON’T ship perfume or cologne since they are considered hazardous materials.
Hart has had to perform a package intervention or two during her 25 years in the business. “People should never be embarrassed to ask for help,” she says. “We’re specially trained and certified packing professionals. We can handle any shipping job.”
One other essential thing to do – be an early bird. Waiting too long to ship packages can jeopardize their timely arrival and cost you a lot more money. Having to ship items via air takes a lot more out of your wallet, so plan ahead.
For more packing tips and to find a The UPS Store near you, visit www.theupsstore.com.
Print Up Holiday Cheer
For extra help printing your holiday newsletters, visit www.theupsstore.com/print. Upload your file, proof it, select paper and/or binding options and you’re ready to print up holiday cheer for everyone on your list.
Did You Know?
- This year, there are 28 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas … but only 19 shipping days.
- Monday is the busiest shipping day of the week.
- The busiest shipping week of the season is expected to be December 14 to 18.
- You can ship as late as December 23 for delivery on December 24.
- Participating The UPS Store locations offer the Pack & Ship Promise, which reimburses customers in the event a center-packed item shipped via UPS is lost or damaged.*
- You can recycle your leftover packaging peanuts at participating The UPS Store locations.
*Details are available at The UPS Store.
Key Dates for Holiday Shipping
Most ground shipping requires 5 days or less to reach its destination, but if you’re shipping coast to coast it may take longer.
December 21st – Ship 3 Day Select for delivery on the 24th.
December 22nd – Ship UPS 2nd Day Air for delivery on the 24th.
December 23rd – Ship UPS Next Day Air for delivery on the 24th.
If you are shipping internationally or to military personnel overseas, contact the UPS Store location nearest you to determine the best date to ensure on-time delivery.
With family spread out all over the world, it is important to be very organized to ensure that gifts are shipped in time for Christmas, but there always seems to be those last minute things every year – doesn’t there?