Security ought to be the number one concern when shipping goods. This is especially so when you’re sending valuables overseas. Small, high-value items can be at risk from damage or theft unless you know what you’re doing. Whether you’re sending parcels to US cities, packages to European towns or anywhere else, you must ensure they’re secure. How do you do this effectively? Read on to discover everything you need to know about parcel safety today.
Check and Double-Check the Recipient’s Address
The first rule to bear in mind for any parcel is that the recipient’s address must be accurate. Double-check the address even if you think you know it. When sending a parcel to a US destination, for example, make sure the Zip code is right.
Incorrect addresses may delay your parcel. In the worst cases, it can mean the package ends up being stored temporarily at a depot. If so, it will sometimes be more vulnerable to loss or theft. It is also important to include a return address on the outside of the parcel. This way, the package won’t need to be opened if the recipient’s address is wrong.
Use Suitable Packaging
Most problems with parcels being sent long distances don’t arise from criminality but from accidents. Wrap valuables in bubble wrap or other cushioning materials. The size of the parcel shouldn’t mean you pay significantly more.
Valuable items are often delicate. Wrapping them up not only protects them but makes it harder for someone to gain access inside. Ensure the outer wrapping is strong and doesn’t allow people to see inside. Apply parcel tape over all the seals so that they don’t come apart during the parcel’s journey.
Don’t Mark Your Parcel as Valuable
You might be tempted to mark a parcel as containing non-standard goods but this is often a mistake. Valuables should be made to look anonymous when they’re in transit. Use standard brown paper or cardboard boxes. If you want to make your parcel stand out, then mark it as fragile rather than valuable.
When sending parcels to US states from Europe, it can be useful to include valuables in a larger consignment. This way, your valuable items are much less likely to attract unwanted attention while they’re being conveyed. Avoid using fancy decorations or wrapping paper, too. These make valuable consignments look like gifts.
Ensure Customs Paperwork Is Clearly Accessible
International shipments often require a customs declaration. This is sometimes the case even when the goods being shipped are for personal, not commercial, use. When you are sending goods that have a higher value, it is important to inform customs officials of the contents. Don’t try to sneak a high-value item through with low-value ones.
Declare your shipment honestly. Place the supporting paperwork in a clear envelope that customs officers can access easily. Ensure it is sealed so that only officials will be able to access the contents. Not that many such declarations have to be made online nowadays. If so, make sure the customs reference number you use matches your online submission.
Pay For a Reputable Carrier
There are numerous courier firms, shipping companies and freight forwarding services to choose from. Understandably, you may be tempted to go with the cheapest option. This is especially so if you don’t send valuable items in parcels that often. However, you’ll often find that it is better to go with a shipper who has experience.
Established companies with a reputation to maintain often provide superior service. What’s more, they should have expertise in handling valuable goods. This is important if you want assurance that your goods won’t stand out from others while they’re in transit.
Obtain Goods-in-Transit Cover
Sending parcels overseas can be done without insurance. However, this can lead to disputes if the recipient doesn’t receive the goods they were expecting. If valuables are damaged, then it can be a hassle to sort out who has liability.
You can take out your own goods-in-transit insurance. However, this may not be worth it if you only send a few high-value shipments a year. Instead, ask your shipper to provide insurance on a per-parcel basis. This way, you’ll only pay to insure your valuable items as and when you need to.