5 Tips to make sure your Christmas parcels make it on time

Posted 25th November, 2021

With Christmas fast approaching, many people will be preparing to send parcels to family, friends and loved ones both in the UK and further afield. We share some top tips to make sure your Christmas parcels arrive at their destinations safely and on time.

1. Send your parcels early

The key to making sure your Christmas parcels reach their destinations on time is to ensure you plan ahead and send them as early as possible. This is even more important if you are sending parcels beyond the UK, as there may be delays due to customs procedures which are outside the courier’s control. Ensuring you ship parcels early may also help you to enjoy better pricing.

It’s also worth remembering that with couriers and distribution centres inundated by the huge increase in parcels shipped in the run up to Christmas, there is also an increased risk of parcels getting lost or delayed in the system, a risk which can be avoided by posting early.

2. Pack items properly

Taking the time to pack your parcels properly will help to make sure that Christmas gifts arrive at their location on time and in perfect condition. Think about how you wrap goods inside their packaging – for example, polystyrene pellets, bubble wrap, shredded paper and cardboard are all common materials but each has different advantages and disadvantages. Questions to think about include whether allowing your item to move within its box would cause damage, or if it needs protection in case of being dropped. If you’re not sure about the best packaging to use, don’t be afraid to speak to your courier and ask for advice.

Also, make sure that the outer packaging is sturdy and suitable. Remember, if you are shipping abroad, there will be more handling involved so you may wish to factor this in. Be sure to use quality packaging tape to seal boxes so you can be sure that it won’t come unstuck, and consider wrapping boxes in film for additional protection – especially if you are shipping items that may be susceptible to damp.

3. Make sure your labels are clear

It may seem obvious, but this is one of the most common reason for parcels failing to reach their destination. Making sure you have clear labels that are legible and using water resistant ink will help to ensure smooth delivery. 

Remember, in winter, your parcel may be exposed to constantly changing temperatures which can result in condensation and easily cause labels to become unreadable. Simple practices such as using block capitals can also help make labels easier to read.

4. Get your declarations right

Remember, if this is the first time you have sent goods to Europe since Brexit, you will now need to complete a customs declaration. This is the responsibility of the sender, not the carrier, and an incorrect or missing declaration can cause delays or even result in the item being returned to the sender.

Your customs declaration form must include an accurate description of the goods and their value, along with other details. The Post office has a handy guide to filling in your declaration form here.

5. Choose a trusted courier

No matter how well you prepare your parcel, ultimately whether or not it reaches its destination safely depends largely on the courier. That’s why we always recommend using a carrier you can trust – like Station Couriers.

We are an award-winning, family-run business who have been prodiving reliable shipping to private individuals and businesses alike since 2002. We work with a dedicated team of highly experienced staff and as a relatively small, independent company, you can rest assured that we will know exactly who your parcel or pallet is with at all times. 

To find out more or book a delivery, get in touch with the team today. Call now on 01686 621190.



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During these challenging times, and In a society where we are all too fast to complain when things are not as they should be, I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

I have recently received two deliveries from your company on behalf of Gravel Master U.K. and on both occasions by the same friendly and courteous driver (*Mark Lello*). Unfortunately I don't have his name, but it was his general manor, and the small gesture of putting the pallets in my garage, rather than leaving them kerbside that impressed me.

Please convey my sincere thanks to him.

Mark Crump