Shipping a box or carton within Australia
Tips and helpful advice to make sure your carton and boxes arrive at their destination.
For most of us, sending a box or carton from our place of business to another business tends to be almost automatic. The goods are packed in a box as best we know how, a shipping label is attached and it is picked up by someone and somehow it gets delivered. Sometimes, the time it takes to be delivered may take longer than expected. Sometimes the item you sent may never be delivered – and we’ve all experience something like that in our lifetime. This is possibly the most frustrating part of sending packages across the world.
To help make sure your freight arrives, it pays to have a checklist or a simple guide to refer to. This is especially important is you have a business which relies on multiple employees packaging goods into boxes. Given the nature of just how difficult it can be at times to hold on to good staff, there may be a need for constant training of new staff, so it pays to makes sure everyone is up-to-speed with the right process.
5 things to look out for.
- Choose the most appropriate box or carton to protect the goods inside
Selecting the correct container size for the items being sent can make a difference to the final price you’ll end up paying. Depending on which service you choose to deliver your packages, the physical size of the box,carton, package etc will determine the final price you pay for freight. When the dimensions of a carton or a box is converted to ‘cubic weight’, there is an industry formula used to achieve the new weight based on the amount of space the package takes up. This is what we refer to as the volume.
- Carefully measure the box accurately (length x height x width dimensions) to calculate the volume. Be sure to take in to account any deformities of the box and remember – it is best to overestimate the size of the box is you’re not sure. Don’t try to cut corners because when the package is scanned and passes through the delivery network, there are stages where the package is scanned by a laser and the volume is calculated. This is a standard procedure adopted by many carriers and the bigger the carrier, the more accurate the scans will be. When you think about it, your measurements of the box are only one side of the equation. The company providing the service to transport your package has to verify those measurements, just to be on the safe side.
- Convert the dimensions to cubic metres (volume). This is achieved by multiplying the length x width x height of the package. As an example, a box measuring 40cm x 40cm x 20cm converts to 0.4m x 0.4m x 0.2m. Multiplying the three measurements together equals 0.032M3 (metres cubed).
- Accurately weight the box with the goods inside.
One of the things to be aware of is if the package weighs over 15-20KG, there could be additional charges added to the original price because of a ‘manual handling fee’ being applied. This is an additional surcharge on top of the price of transporting the package. This surcharge is added by the carrier and not One World Courier.
- Seal and secure the box with good quality tape.
- Affix the shipping and address labels firmly to the stop of the box (or the side of the box).
- If the goods are fragile, make sure you clearly label the box ‘Fragile’.
If you don’t measure the box accurately, you could end up paying for more shipping than you need to.
If you don’t weigh the box correctly, you could end up being charged for overweight freight, which can be expensive.
If you don’t convert the box size to volumetric, you could end up paying more for shipping than you need to. This is especially so when the contents of the package are relatively light compared to the amount of space (volume) the packae takes up.
If you don’t put the correct shipping labels on the package, it could get delayed or even lost in transit.
It is important to put the correct labels on the package to be sent when sending them through the mail system.
There are three main types of labels:
- Address labels
- Return address labels
- Package tracking labels
Address labels are the most important type of label. They need to be placed on every item that you send. The address label must include the recipient’s name, street address, city, state, and zip code. If you are sending an international shipment, you will also need to include the country code. Additionally, when sending items to another country, there are extra considerations such as making sure a commercial invoice is clearly visible on the package. Invoices are an absolute requirement because the customs service in the destination country may need to verify the contents of the package and calculate any duties and taxes payable. Oh yes, this is where it can get a little bit stressful if a commercial invoice has not been attached. If this is the case, the customs service agent who is responsible to approving the release of your package may hold it in their possession until an invoice is provided, or they may even simply return the package back to you. This is of course a massive inconvenience to everyone involved.
Return address labels are not required, although they can be helpful if your shipment is returned to you for the reason cited above. The return address label should be easy to read and include your name, street address, city, state, and zip code. Try not to hand write your address details because this can make things worse if the address can’t be scanned correctly.
Package tracking labels are be helpful if you want to track the progress of your shipment. The package tracking label will include a tracking number to track the shipment online.
Be sure to attach the labels to the items securely so that they do not get lost in transit. When sending multiple items in one shipment, depending on the system you use, each shipping label will be printed with the correct details to allow the successful transit of the package. Typically a shipping label will have a unique barcode and/or a QR code which is read by the transit system as it passes through the stops it makes, jumping from vehicle to vehicle and distribution hub to warehouse etc. The shipping label will also include the recipients name and address and contact details (phone number).
Following these guidelines will help to make sure your package arrives safely and on time. By properly labeling your packages and using the correct address labels (as generated by One World Courier), you can avoid costly delays and improve the delivery rate of every parcel, box, carton sent.
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