Lowell Shipping Center

Neighborhood Parcel International Shipping Center

Offering Tips to make your next international shipment smooth and affordable:
1. Choose the Right Box
Use a box that is strong enough to protect the contents and large enough to leave space for adequate cushioning. You can also buy various sizes of boxes, as well as padded mailers, mailing tubes, and other packing materials at the store. If you choose a previously-used box, make sure you remove or cross out any old shipping labels, and make sure the box is in good shape, with no weak spots or cracks. Old or new, make sure the box is made of heavy, corrugated cardboard. Thinner boxes, such as most shoe boxes or gift boxes are not strong enough for shipping.

2. Protect and Pack
Don’t skimp on cushioning material. You can use shredded or crumpled newspaper, bubble wrap, or Styrofoam™ peanuts, or even plain air-popped popcorn. Pack items tightly to avoid shifting, and make sure the cushioning material covers all sides of the object. 
If you’re shipping several items together, wrap each one separately and provide enough cushioning to prevent movement. Fragile items need extra protection: For extra identification, place a return address label inside the package. After packing, gently shake the box. If nothing moves, it’s ready to be sealed.

3. Seal Carefully
A strong seal is essential, so always use tape that is designed for shipping, such as pressure-sensitive tape, nylon-reinforced Kraft paper tape, or glass-reinforced pressure-sensitive tape. These items can be purchased at the store. We recommend you do not use wrapping paper, string, masking tape, or cellophane tape. 
Make sure you seal the center seams at both the top and the bottom of the box securely. Cover all other seams with tape, and be sure not to leave any open areas which could snag on machinery.

4. Address Correctly
To avoid confusion, put the delivery and return addresses only on one side of the package. Make sure you include the ZIP code and complete street address, including apartment or unit number, if applicable. Also include all these items in your own return address. 
For overseas shipping, include the correct postal codes, city or town, province or state name, and country name.

Do not put the shipping label over a seam or closure, or on top of sealing tape. To avoid ink smudges, you can place a strip of clear packing tape over the address areas. Hollow items – stuff with packing material to avoid damage due to shock. Cover handles or other protruding parts with extra padding and/or cardboard. Extremely fragile glass or ceramics – try double-boxing: pack the item as described, and then place that box in a slightly larger box, with more cushioning material in between the boxes. Framed photographs or artwork – take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately. Computer equipment, circuit boards and memory – pad well and pack in an Electro Static Discharge (ESD) bag to prevent damaging static buildup. Electronic items – remove batteries and wrap them separately.

Do not mail highly perishable foods such as soft cheeses or meats. Cured dry sausages and hard aged cheeses are fine. Firm baked goods are best, such as cookies, candies, flavored nuts, fudge, breads, unfrosted cakes, and muffins.

Be sure bottled and canned items are tightly sealed in thick containers that won’t break easily.

Foods should be sealed in airtight wrap before putting them into the gift container and the final shipping box. Wrap moist foods separately from crisp ones to preserve their textures.

Pack cakes snugly into tins. Put homemade confections in individual bonbon cups or papers, layered and separated with waxed, parchment, or butcher’s paper. Leave no headroom in the container. If necessary, fill unused space with crumpled wax paper. Pound cakes and loaf breads can be baked and shipped in disposable foil pans after being sealed in plastic wrap.

When shipping more fragile bottles of oils or vinegars, make sure they are tightly sealed. Place inside a plastic zip-top bag, leaving it full of air for added cushioning. Further protect the bottles by wrapping in bubble wrap.

If shipping more than one item, place heavier items at the bottom. Be sure there is ample space between each item, with packing surrounding each on all sides. Shake the box down to be sure there is no head space left unpacked so the contents will not shift. Use a waterproof marker on your shipping address and return labels. Print address and return labels in clear, large print and secure to the container with clear tape. Don’t trust self-sticking or glue labels to stay in place. Ship all food gifts via the fastest method possible.


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