PackageShipping packages throughout most of the year is a straightforward process. You put the item in a box, wrap the box in shipping paper and then take it to the post office to have it weighed and stamped. From there, it is up to the post office to make sure that the package arrives on time and intact.

But the holiday season, which starts in late November, offers a series of challenges to people who want to ship packages and have them arrive on time. Johny Carson famously said, “Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas” (source: If you do not plan your shipping properly during the holidays, then you may find your packages arriving well into the new year.

Check Out All Of Your Shipping Options

The post office is a great way to ship packages, but there are other options you will want to explore as well. There are shipping companies that offer tracking numbers, package insurance coverage and delivery confirmation as part of the delivery price. This is the kind of information you will need to make sure that your packages arrive on time.

Check Shipping Times And Add A Week

The single biggest mistake people make when it comes to shipping packages for the holidays is assuming that the regular shipping schedules apply. If it normally takes three days for a package to arrive at grandma’s house any other time of the year, then assume it will take 10 days during the holidays. Most Americans underestimate the size of most shipping warehouses and think that their package is merely on in a stack of hundreds or even thousands. In reality, the kinds of warehouses that are processing your packages are enormous and it’s amazing that they can even deliver your package at all! To keep on the safe side, use the delivery chart offered by the various carriers to decide how long it will take your package to arrive on time and then plan accordingly.

You can do all of your own shipping arrangements from your own home when you use the right carriers. There are several carriers that will allow you to print and apply your own shipping labels that you would print directly from their website. All you need is a shipping scale, which is not expensive, and you can prepare your own packages for shipping right from your home.

Once you print and apply your own shipping labels, you can choose to drop your packages off or have them picked up by the carrier. This process of printing your own shipping labels will save you hours of time in line, it will save you money on your shipping costs and it will insure that your packages get shipped quickly.

Use Expedited Shipping Options

Even when you print and apply your own shipping labels at home, you can still take advantage of expedited shipping options from all of the carriers. These options may cost a little more, but there are few things that make a customer more angry than getting a package late. When it comes to managing your reputation, the extra cost of expedited shipping is worth it. When you expedite your shipping, your package receives special treatment and you will rest assured that it will arrive on time. Companies like FedEx have almost fully automated warehouses, which means expedited shipping can be even more expedited.Expedited shipping options are almost mandatory if you want your overseas packages to arrive on time during the holidays.

Keep Track Of Your Packages

After you have placed your packages in the care of the shipper, your job is not done. You need to use the online tracking options to make sure that your orders are moving swiftly towards their destinations. If you see a package that appears to be hung up en route, then call the carrier and ask for an explanation. More often than not, your phone call will help to get your package to its destination on time.

The holidays are a time when we rush to make sure that our gifts get delivered on time. But if you plan your package delivery properly during the holidays, then you will have no problem getting your gifts to your loved ones on time.