How to Ship Domestic and International Parcels Faster


July 05, 2013


Fast shipping is one of the keys to making a logistics organization successful. Speed often translates directly into savings, as long as the work is undertaken with due efficiency. Of course, if there were “secrets” to fast shipping, then everyone would know them by now. However, there are certain due diligence steps that you can take to expedite your parcel shipping. This is true even when you are dealing with international parcel shipping, which is far more complex.

Faster Parcel Shipping for the Domestic U.S. Market

On the whole, parcel post shipping is safe, fast, and effective across the United States. However, this does not mean that delays and lossage are not possible. There are several different steps that you can take to make a faster, easier shipping process more likely – whether you are mailing a package cross country to a friend or leading millions of logistical transactions a year.

Use the Right Packaging: If parcels become damaged in shipping, they may become impossible to handle. These parcels have a tendency to find their way back to the sender, but not before a delay. You would be well advised to tape every seam of a box for shipping, especially if the box has been re-used. If you are heading an enterprise, consider using a logistics consultant to analyze the dimensions, weight, and durability of your packaging to maximize cost-effectiveness.

Use the 9-Digit Zip Code: You can look up the full, 9-digit area code on the United States Postal Service website. Unbeknownst to many, even professionals in the logistics industry, using the full zip code is one very effective way to expedite your packages. In many cases, it can cut a full day from your package’s transit time, since it is much more specific than the 5-digit code that many people are in the habit of using. This is especially true when using Media Mail.

Where Possible, Ship on the Right Day: Although it is impossible to know with total certainty, professional analyses of postal mail lossage suggest that most mail is lost or wrongly delivered on Thursday and Friday. Delivery volume tends to be lower on Saturday and this will make errors less likely, but also comes at a premium price. When possible, consider shipping your parcel early on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday may also be adequate selections.

International Parcel Shipping Tips

Parcel post shipping, as it is called in many countries, presents its own challenges and requires extra vigilance on the part of anyone who would like to avoid complications. As with domestic shipping, there are specific tactics you can use to make your experience more efficient.

Check Out Customs First: Many countries do not have the same mores America has about what constitutes fair cause to inspect private property. Misunderstandings on the sender’s part about what is permissible lead to the majority of issues related to customs, but this is cold comfort when one’s packages cannot be delivered or must be destroyed. If you are shipping to a friend or family member, read up on the country’s customs regime online. Shipping for business? If international transactions will be frequent, use a logistics consultant.

Use Shipment Tracking and Insurance: Parcels equipped with shipment tracking are less likely to become lost even on long journeys across the Atlantic. Likewise, shipment tracking can help you figure out where your parcel was most recently and even help you make an insurance claim if you need to. While you may never need to use these features to recover the value of a lost package, there are many regions of the world where mail suffers from a somewhat higher rate of lossage than in the United States, so consider the country’s level of logistical development. Businesses should institute enterprise logistics software providing full in-transit visibility.

Use Discretion and Common Sense: Much of the advice for shipping domestically also applies to shipping internationally. You should be particularly mindful of packaging for any item to be delivered to another continent. As the journey lengthens, the likelihood of improper handling grows. Package your item with appropriate packaging material to absorb shocks, tape boxes adequately at all seams, and use clear tape to add a layer of protection over your shipping label unless you have been advised not to do so by a source knowledgeable on your destination.

More About Logistics from Source Consulting and Around the Web

Facebook Icon Youtube Icon Linkedin Icon Lock Icon Arrow Symbol Arrow Symbol