Presents, parties and packages – oh my! The holidays can be a stressful time for sure. One less thing to worry about this season is whether or not all those gifts you sent to your loved ones arrived safe and sound. For some peace of mind, follow these simple tips below and get ready to pack and ship with the best of ‘em!
Tip 1: Prep Your Item
Start by looking at your gift — is it sturdy or fragile? Does it have square edges, i.e., is it shaped like the box it’s in? Use cushioning wrap to “square off” any odd angles to protect them during shipment. If your item is shallow or hollow inside, like a vase or bowl, fill that space to protect it — packing peanuts, cushioning wrap or firmly crumpled paper will work.
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Tip 2: Choose the Best Box
Use a new, sturdy box that’s a few inches larger than your gift on all sides to allow for plenty of cushioning. If reusing a box, make sure it’s not torn or otherwise damaged from its previous journey. And be sure to remove all old shipping labels.
Tip 3: Cushioning Is Key
When using cushioning wrap, face the bubbles inward and use at least 1 inch layers (preferably 2 inches) of wrap around the item — top, bottom and all four sides.
Tip 4: Fragile Gift? Double Up
When you’ve got a breakable item to ship, use two boxes. Cushion your item with at least three inches of packing peanuts or other cushioning material, and seal it in a box. Place that box within a second, slightly larger box, with another layer of cushioning. All that added padding is added protection for your fragile gift.
Tip 5: Label it Right
One of the best ways to ensure your package gets to its destination on time is with proper labeling. Place labels or pouches on the largest surface of the box, avoiding corners, edges, and seams. And don’t forget to completely fill out the shipping label.
Tip 6: Seal it Tight
Keeping winter rain, sleet and snow out of your box is easy. Just seal all the flaps and seams using proper packing tape that is at least 2″ wide. No duct tape or masking tape, please! Bonus Pro Tip: Just remember to make the shape of an “H” when taping seams.
Tip 7: Keep Your Wrappings Inside the Box
Please don’t wrap the outside of your shipping box in anything. Gift wrapping your shipments is beautiful, but these items can get caught in sorting machines, so it’s best to keep the wrappings inside the box.
Tip 8: Pack In the Address
Sometimes winter weather can streak or remove shipping labels and paperwork can get lost from pouches. Just in case, always put an extra shipping label, business card, or letterhead with the shipper and recipient’s address information inside your box before sealing things up. You can also write it on the inside flap of the box.
Tip 9: Plan Ahead
Avoid deadlines. FedEx is known for its speed and reliability, but we encourage our customers not to wait until the last moment to ship their holiday gifts to friends and family.
Tip 10: When In Doubt, Call in the Experts
Some items are simply too precious to trust to less experienced hands. Or maybe your gift is just a really odd shape and size. Whatever the case, if you don’t know how to pack it, the specially trained team members at FedEx Office can help by offering professional packing services and specialized boxes. For added peace of mind, packing services are backed by the FedEx Office® Packing Pledge.
A few other tips to remember…
Shop and drop at FedEx Office
We know our customers have to make many stops during the busy holidays, but FedEx Office can be the last one. After you’re finished shopping, just drop it off us with, and we’ll take care of the rest. We have experts for all your packing and shipping needs.
Send it to your nearest FedEx Office location. You can have your deliveries sent to the nearest FedEx Office location, and we’ll hold it for you for up to five business days. FedEx Office provides this service at no added cost. If it’s a FedEx Express® package, you can also send it to one of our FedEx Express stations. Find the location nearest you at: fedex.com/locate.
Customize your deliveries to fit your schedule.
Use FedEx Delivery Manager® to control your shipment and delivery. You can change the time and location of delivery, request a signature upon delivery and even ask FedEx to hold your package if you know you’ll be out of the house when we try to deliver. Sign up for free at fedex.com/delivery.
Leave delivery instructions.
Do you like your packages left behind the big planter or tucked behind the grill beside the back door? Use FedEx Delivery Manager to leave one-time-only or standing instructions for where you want FedEx to leave your deliveries. You can enter gate codes, clear directions—anything the driver should know—to safely deliver the package to your home. You can also let your driver know your instructions by calling 1.800.GoFedEx (1.800.463.3339).
Consider an alternate destination.
When you order something online, consider sending the package to your workplace or to a family member, friend or neighbor who is home during the day to accept delivery. When you know someone will be available to receive your delivery, you eliminate the possibility of your specially ordered gift being left unattended.
Request a signature.
Many packages today are sent without requiring a signature for delivery. If you’re shipping something of high value – or you just want to be sure items aren’t left unattended – you can require a signature for packages to be released. Either the shipper or the recipient can make this request.
Request a vacation hold.
Taking a holiday trip to visit family or friends? You can request a vacation hold on all shipments for up to 14 days.
Want more tips? Check out our How to Pack brochures, watch our pro-packing videos, and browse all of our packing and shipping options at fedex.com/packaging.