Experts at The UPS Store share advice and packaging tips.
Whether you're sending a colorful Mother's Day bouquet or tasty chocolate chip cookies to a son at college, timing matters. Of course, you want your treats to arrive quickly and safely. But you don't want to have to stand in line or risk a disappointing delay because you chose the wrong day to ship something. Here are some pointers from The UPS Store® experts:
Learn how to beat the lines, ship perishables and more with tips from The UPS Store experts.
Best days (and times of day) for shipping. At most The UPS Store locations, Mondays and Tuesdays are the busiest shipping days, so your in-and-out time might be faster midweek. Typically, the busiest times are the lunch hour and late in the afternoon. "Some locations are open on Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate busy weekday schedules, but each center is locally owned and operated, so hours and days will vary," says Tracy Spahr of The UPS Store.
Best shipping method for perishables. Avoid shipping perishables right before a weekend or holiday because your package may sit in a sorting facility over the weekend. UPS Next Day Air® service is recommended for mailing perishables, which should be packed to last at least 12 hours beyond the delivery commitment time in case of a delay. When you visit The UPS Store, check UPS Ground delivery first, which typically guarantees next-day delivery within 450 miles of the shipping point and is the least costly option. But remember, UPS Next Day Air service is delivered in the morning; UPS Ground typically arrives by end of day.
Packaging tips. Perishables that travel well include bread, dried fruit, trail mixes and hard candies. The best way to send chocolate without melting is to refrigerate it as long as you can prior to packaging it and to use gel ice in the box. A separate container inside the box, such as a coffee can or potato chip canister, lets you stack things so they won't crumble. "You can send flowers, even in a vase, but don't ship with water, and use proper cushioning so everything stays stable without wiggle room," Spahr says. "Durable flowers are best, with tight buds." For more on shipping perishables, read this.
Custom solutions for online sellers. The UPS Store often serves as an "as needed" shipping department for entrepreneurs and startup businesses with occasional shipping needs. "We can put together custom packaging or figure out the most cost-effective way to ship products to customers," says Spahr. One option: Box and ship all product orders on the same day (midweek) to avoid multiple back-and-forth trips.
Learn more about The UPS Store.