Delayed packages are never fun. At Chit Chats we want to help our clients prepare packages so that they can clear customs, avoid any unnecessary delays and get to your customers on time. Plus, we understand how important tracking updates are for you and your customers so we want to highlight how you can help avoid missed scans for your shipments.
Improper reporting of shipment sizes, value and vague shipment descriptions are the most common reasons why shipments are delayed.
Accurate Weight and Dimensions
Measuring your shipments accurately is important as this determines postage costs. Improper reporting of weight and dimensions can result in postage adjustments or delayed shipments. Be sure to use a properly calibrated scale and precise tape measure to keep weight and dimensions accurate. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:
- Round up: When in doubt round up your measurements. Under-reported shipments will be not be processed until sufficient postage is purchased.
- Double check units: The Chit Chats platform allows for both centimetres and inches as units of measurement. Make sure the one you measure with is the same as the one you report.
- Scale: Calibration is really important so make sure to test your scale regularly. All Chit Chats branches have scales that are free to use if you need them.
- Measuring tape: Some are rigid which can make measuring round or irregular packages difficult. Chit Chats branches also provide flexible measuring tape for client use.
Reporting Retail Values
Declaring the accurate retail value of your package is extremely important, especially for shipments that cross the U.S. border. At times U.S. Customs will do checks to ensure that we are compliant. Here are the three values to watch out for:
- $100 USD: This is the maximum value of a gift that can cross the border.
- $300 USD: Any shipments that are $300 or more must come with an accurate invoice.
- $800 USD: This is the maximum retail value we can accept for shipments crossing the U.S. border and going to one residential or business address each day.
- This also applies to the combined total retail value of multiple shipments sent to the same address.
Recently we got news from USPS that some client labels were not being scanned due to poor quality. If your label is faded, crinkled or partially obscured it can prevent tracking updates and may cause delays with your shipments. Here are some ways to ensure your labels can be scanned:
- Check your ink: If your printer tends to spit out pages with ink still wet, make sure the label sits until dry. Smudges may prevent proper scanning. This applies to faded and improperly printed labels as well. Chit Chats branches provide thermal printers for use, as well as for purchase.
- Place the label on the flattest side: Wrapping a label around the edge or over a ridge or bump can cause difficulties with scanning which can lead to a missed tracking update.
- Don’t cover the label: Putting tape on the barcode of the label will make the label unreadable leading to missed scans. Additionally, applying tape to thermal labels can cause the label to fade.
We know holidays can be a stressful time so we are always here to help with useful tips to prevent avoidable delays. Being accurate with package weight, dimensions and value helps ensure that shipments get to your customers smoothly. Our branch staff are always available for questions or feel free to contact our support team.