Here are 4 very easy things you should know and do that will help you prevent common shipping issues from happening to you.

Shipping is easy.  Really easy! But shipping without experiencing any issues is tough - especially if you don’t ship often!  Here are 4 very easy things you should know and do that will help you prevent common shipping issues from happening to you. 

1. Shipping Labels

One of the biggest reasons that packages are lost (or significantly delayed) is because the shipping label has come off the box.  This is especially common for duffel bags or plastic containers. There are 2 easy things you can do that will reduce the odds of this happening to you:
-  Ensure your shipping label is securely affixed to the outside of each box
-  In addition, include a sheet inside of each box saying, “In case found, please contact ..” with your full contact information and phone numbers
Here’s why it works:


2. Reduce your risk of damage

Your package is important to you – that’s why you’ve spent the time to package it up with bubble wrap and packaging peanuts and whatever else.   You don’t want to see it get damaged and the carrier definitely doesn’t want it to get damaged either.  But accidents happen and all it takes is for one little slip up (your driver slips on ice or you get the Ace Ventura driver – KIDDING!) and now you’ve got an unexpected problem to deal with.
What you may not know is that although you may think that your box is well packaged, it must meet the ISTA 3A packaging test standard.  If it doesn’t meet this standard, not only will the carrier not pay you for the damaged product (assuming you have insurance), they may not even refund you the transportation charges!
What can you do?
-  Make sure that your goods meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard;  or
-  Get your content professionally packed
UPS provides a really detailed guideline on how to properly package your goods:
Here is a great article on shipping Fragile Items


3. Insurance and unpaid claims

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable.  Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3E packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you. 
Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:
-  Personal belongs
-  Antiques
-  Artwork
-  Alcohol
-  Television
-  Jewellery in excess of $500
-  Perishable goods
-  and many more things.
For more information about carrier insurance:


4. Customs

Anytime your shipment leaves the country, it must go through customs.  They will then review your customs declaration (ie. commercial invoice) and decide whether to let it through or not.
What should you do?
-  Be sure to include the reason for export – warranty repair, temporary import, gift, sold, sample of no commercial value, …
-  Be as detailed and honest as possible about the goods and values of the products.
For more information on the commercial invoice, please visit:

Following these 4 easy steps can prevent most of the shipping headaches from happening to you.
Happy shipping!

About the author: Sandy Ahluwalia

About the author

For the last 10 years, Sandy Ahluwalia has been heavily involved in the shipping industry. He has helped businesses with all their shipping needs from light weight courier packages to 100,000 lbs freight requiring multi-mode transportation. In his spare time, he likes to eat, read, play squash, visit friends, travel, and simply enjoy life.

About Secureship

About Secureship

Secureship® offers an online service that helps businesses and organizations ship more efficiently and affordably.

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