Much like when you send Christmas cards, you should get an early start when sending Christmas gifts or other holiday packages. Holiday shipping demands are high, which means everything will be slower. Not only are families nationwide sending Christmas gifts to loved ones, but companies are also shipping products to consumers.
With holiday shipping, everybody is in a hurry hoping their packages will arrive at the appropriate destinations in time for Christmas. Don’t put off holiday shipping. Get your packages ready to ship as soon as possible.
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It pays to check with the company that you plan to use for your holiday shipping needs to ensure that your packages meet the guidelines. Some allow only certain types of containers or packing materials. You may also find that the item you hoped to ship is prohibited as there are several safety precautions. Instead of waiting in line only to find that your items cannot be shipped via that carrier, call ahead or do some research online.
It is also wise to check various shippers’ calendars to see which days they deliver and if holiday shipping times vary by day of the week. You may also find that shipping by a certain date will ensure prompt delivery. The US Postal Service and some others deliver on Saturdays, while other shipping companies may not or may charge a premium for doing so. Some may also only deliver between certain times on weekends. See if the one you choose delivers on Christmas Eve, just in case you end up needing last minute holiday shipping.
The cost for shipping and handling can also be an issue. Compare companies such as FedEx, UPS, the Postal Service, and other shippers to see which one offers the most competitive rates. Remember too that rush delivery will mean paying a premium rate.
If you select a rush delivery option, make sure that the extra cost is worth the time you’ll save. Also, make sure that the delivery date or time is guaranteed, as that is not the case for every shipper and every location. For example, the USPS does not guarantee all Priority packages in the three-day time frame; it depends on the location. Rural areas especially, may require increased delivery time. Therefore, it may not be worth spending the extra amount, although Priority packages are easier to track.
The ability to track packages is also an important consideration when it comes to holiday shipping. Many shippers will give you a tracking number so you can follow the progress of your packages. You may be able to call to check the status or look it up online. Make sure the entity you choose for your holiday shipping provides a convenient way to track your packages.