Monday, November 29, 2010

Sensor test reveals which shipping company has gentlest touch - Ecommerce - BizReport

BizReport : Ecommerce : November 24, 2010

Sensor test reveals which shipping company has gentlest touch

Ever wondered if the shipping company you use has kid gloves or butter fingers? A recent test, using sensor technology to measure the ups and downs of a package's passage, gives a little insight into some U.S. carriers.

by Helen Leggatt

By equipping a package with a sensor that measures the temperature, flips and drops along its journey, Popular Mechanics set out to determine which U.S. shipping company handled their cargo with care.

Their targets - FexEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service - were all unaware of the test which took place across a select number of routes and using variables such as packages marked "Fragile" and overnight versus day shipping.

The findings are interesting, although not strictly statistically viable as only a handful of trips were analyzed.

The U.S. Postal Service was found to have the gentlest touch with an average of just 0.5 hefty drops per trip compared to an average of 3 and 2 per trip for FedEx and UPS respectively.

However, the U.S. Postal Service was also the most active handler with an average of 12.5 position changes per trip compared with 7 for FedEx and 4 for UPS.

All three carriers did a good job at maintaining a stable temperature, but FedEx got the top rating, with an average change of only 26.01 degrees, compared with 26.8 degrees for UPS and almost 32 degrees for the USPS.

It seems that labeling a package "Fragile" or with instructions on which way up it should be kept does little to help smooth its journey. In fact, Popular Mechanics found such packages were handled more roughly than those with no marked instructions.

If you've ever wondered what happens to your packages once they leave your hands, check out Popular Mechanics' infographic.

Tags: delivery, e-commerce

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Good information to know when you ship fragile items.

Jason Archambault

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010 Blog » 2010 USPS Holiday Shipping Deadlines


The USPS recently announced their package shipping deadlines to ensure delivery by December 25th.  If you are planning to use the USPS to send any mail or packages this Holiday season, be sure to mail by these deadlines.

Holiday Mailing Deadlines within the U.S.
& Cards
Anywhere in
the U.S.
Dec 20 Dec 21 Dec 22 Dec 15
Holiday Mailing Deadlines for International Mail
Addresses to
countries in…
& Cards
Global Express
Canada Dec 10 Dec 13 Dec 17 Dec 21
Asia &
Pacific Rim,
Australia &
New Zealand
Dec 10 Dec 10 Dec 16 Dec 17
Mexico Dec 10 Dec 10 Dec 16 Dec 21
Europe &
Dec 10 Dec 13 Dec 16 Dec 20
Middle East Dec 10 Dec 13 Dec 16 Dec 17
Africa Dec 3 Dec 3 Dec 11 Dec 17
Central & South
Dec 3 Dec 3 Dec 11 Dec 20
Holiday Mailing Deadlines for Military APO/FPO Addresses
Addresses to the
following APO/FPO zips:
Letters & Cards Priority Mail® Express Mail®
AE ZIPs 090-092,
AE ZIPs 094-098,
AA ZIP 340,
AP ZIPs 962-966
Dec 10 Dec 10 Dec 18

Tips for ecommerce merchants

Be sure to post holiday shipping deadlines on your website to let your customers know their package will get there on time.  A message reading “Order by Dec. __ in order to receive your order by Dec. 25th” should be highly visible from most pages on your site, especially the homepage.  Another common practice is for merchants to give free or discounted expedited shipping as the deadlines pass for economy delivery classes.

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Remember these dates!
Jason Archambault

Posted via email from Shipping Headlines & Tips by

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

FedEx, UPS, & USPS Thanksgiving Holiday Closures

Just a reminder to our customers of the Thanksgiving Holiday closures by FedEx, United Parcel Service, and the United States Postal Service.:


  • Thanksgiving Day – November 25, 2010


  • Thanksgiving Day – November 25, 2010
  • Day after Thanksgiving – November 26, 2010


  • Thanksgiving Day – November 25, 2010

FastPack will also be closed on (the website will still process orders, but they will not ship until the following Mionday):

  • Thanksgiving Day – November 25, 2010
  • Day after Thanksgiving – November 26, 2010

Be sure to get your packages mailed out before the Holiday closure happens.


Happy Thanksgiving,

Jason Archambault

Fastpack Packaging inc.


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Thursday, November 18, 2010 Blog » 10 Tips for Holiday Shipping for Small Business

holiday_shippingTo help you prepare for the busy holiday season, here are our ten best holiday shipping tips for ecommerce merchants.  Feel free to leave your own tips in the comments section at the end of the article!

Tip #1 – Ship your products as fast as you can

When a customer orders any product, anticipation for delivery can be high and patience for delays can be low.  To keep your customers happy, be sure to send your products out as fast as you can but be mindful of daily cutoff times for carriers.  If a USPS collection box is picked up at 5 PM, it makes no difference if the package is dropped off at 11 AM or 4:59PM; either way, the USPS won’t start moving that package until 5:00 PM.  If you ship with multiple carriers, make sure you know the daily cutoff times for each carrier to help you prioritize which packages to prepare first.

Tip #2 – Pre-pack your orders if possible

To help prepare for the holiday rush, try and get as much done as possible during the calm before the storm.  One of the best things you can do to prepare is pre-packing orders and marking their weight on the outside of the box.  By making sure everything is ready to go out the door as soon as you throw in a packing slip and slap on a shipping label, you will be ready for orders that come in at the last minute.

Tip #3 – Stock up on supplies before it’s too late

The last thing you want to be dealing with during a busy holiday season is having a sale and the inventory, but nothing to package your order in.  One way to avoid this problem is by ordering enough free USPS supplies today to get you through the holiday season.

Tip #4 – Use the right size box

When planning for your holiday shipping, make sure you have your products in mind.  Obviously, it’s impossible to ship an item in a box that is too small, but small products in a big boxes can be a problem as well.  With FedEx and UPS, you may be overcharged based on the package’s dimensions instead of its weight; for USPS, using the wrong Flat Rate box can more than double the amount you spend in shipping.

Tip #5 – Find the cheapest shipping rate

Another cost-pitfall to avoid is using the wrong delivery method to send your package.  Because there are so many factors that can affect your price (weight, size, dimensions, home delivery, distance, delivery speed, and more), it’s important to do your homework to see what the cheapest option is for each of your products.  Make sure you compare rates using tools like or your carrier’s websites to  get this figured out now so you are ready to focus on generating revenue during the peak of the season.

Tip #6 – Check the delivery address

Sending packages quickly and on the cheap is moot if the package doesn’t end up in the hands of the proper recipient.  To help make sure the address is valid, be sure to use some type of an address cleansing tool like or the USPS zip code lookup tool.  If the address doesn’t cleanse, your best bet is to ask the customer to confirm their address.  Once you have a valid address, make sure you present the address clearly on one side of the package, ideally using a printed shipping label.

Tip #7 – Protect your product

If any of your products are fragile or are in any way at risk of being damaged during transit, be sure to take extra care to properly package these products.  For vases, mugs, or glass cups, make sure you stuff the inside of the item with newspaper or box fill and use bubble wrap or packing paper to protect the product.  For items containing batteries, be sure to remove the batteries if possible to prevent them from dying in transit and to prevent any ticking or beeping that may cause a stir at the Post Office.

Tip #8 – Protect yourself on big packages

If the thought of a lost package or a damaged item has you stressed, there are tools you can use to help you sleep at night.  Signature confirmation, which is available from the USPS, FedEx, and UPS can be used to prove not only that your package was dropped off at a particular destination, but that it was actually received by someone.  The USPS even offers Restricted Delivery which requires the addressed recipient to sign for the package.  Another option is insurance which will allow you to recoup your losses in the event of a mishap.

But be advised as each tool has its drawbacks.   Many honest customers don’t like signature confirmation because if they aren’t home to take possession of the package, they have to go to the Post Office; this will likely be the last thing they want to do on December 24th.  As for insurance, while this can protect you from improper delivery or a problematic customer, it comes at a premium.  Many merchants prefer to self-insure if they can afford the loss rather than letting an insurance company eat into their profits.

Tip #9 – Skip the trip to the Post Office

The USPS will come and pick up your packages from you.  Take advantage of this service to avoid long lines.  For last-minute orders that need to get out same-day, you may  be able to extend your cutoff times by taking a Post Office trip to drop off your package, but for the rest of your shipments that aren’t under a tight deadline, pickup is the way to go.

Tip #10 – Free Shipping

With the majority of merchants offering some type of shipping promotion this holiday season, can you afford to make your customers pay for something they feel they can get for free somewhere else?  Aside from keeping up with your competition, free shipping promos may actually help you improve revenue.  On top of that, if you offer free shipping on December 17th, you can be a featured merchant on

Bonus Tip – Encourage Repeat Business

Inserting flyers, coupons, and freebies into your packages are a great way to drive future sales.  During the holidays, this is particularly important because many orders are gifts so the recipient may not be the person who placed the order.  If they love your product, why not let them know where they can buy it for someone else

If you have any other shipping tips that we may have missed, please leave a comment and let us know!

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Don't forget to have enough Shipping Supplies on hand!

Jason Archambault!

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

50% & higher off Shipping Supplies in our Outlet Store

Be sure to visit our new Outlet Store, over 90% of the products are 50% or more off !!!!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

UPS vs FedEx vs USPS: Holiday Shipping Made Easy - Viewpoints

Holiday ShippingYou know that you are going to have to make at least one shipment this holiday season, and those shipping costs can add up fast! The alphabet soup of carriers can get confusing: U.P.S vs. U.S.P.S. Which is faster or most affordable? The important letters to remember are: O.P.T.I.O.N.S, and we’ve created this simple post to help you know what those are. By comparing the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and the United Parcel Service (UPS), we’ve found that you can save $28 just by choosing the right carrier. Check out all of the the recommendations below for easy holiday shipping.

Same Day Delivery

 Choose: UPS or FedEx

Why: Both offer same day delivery options. USPS does not offer this service. Same day delivery could cost hundreds of dollars. Pricing is customized for each same day delivery request so there is no real “ballpark” figure when considering same day delivery. If you desperately need something delivered by today, contact either UPS or FedEx to speak to a customer service representative.

Overnight Delivery

 Choose: USPS

Why: It’s cheaper. For typical holiday shipments like small packages and letters, USPS does the job with the least damage to your wallet. You can calculate overnight shipping costs online for all three shipping providers. Below you can see a sample price comparison for an overnight holiday gift shipment. We saved around $28, $27.83 to be exact, in this sample shipment by choosing USPS over UPS. (These calculations are based on shipping a 5 pound package from Pittsburgh, PA to San Diego, CA.) 

Price Comparison


Two-Day or More Delivery

 Choose: USPS or FedEx

Why: Again, either of these options is probably cheaper than UPS. If you do not need to deliver your package urgently it’s smart to calculate the price of your shipment online. USPS is still likely to be cheaper than other options but it’s worth it to check online before choosing which service to use.

USPS Rate Calculator:
FedEx Rate Calculator:
UPS Rate Calculator:

International & Military Shipments

It’s important to remember that international and military shipments take longer than domestic shipments. Mail can be delayed during the holiday season so if you are planning to make a shipment to a loved one overseas you need to act early. Use the holiday shipping calendar posted by USPS to find shipment cut-off dates for international and military shipping. Even if you do not use USPS for your shipment, the deadline chart is a great resource to ensure that your package gets there in time. 


Choose: USPS

Why: You can do all of your holiday shipping without ever having to leave your house! They offer an online shipment process in which you plan your shipment, order shipping supplies, and print postage at home. Once your package is ready to be shipped you arrange for an at-home pickup. FedEx also offers an at-home pickup service but the USPS online process is more user-friendly.



Do you have holiday shipping tips? Leave a comment below, or write your own review of FedEx, USPS, or another shipping service.

Great tips for shipping holiday packages!

Jason Archambault
Fastpack Packaging Inc.

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Which is Better for Taping Parcels? Paper or Plastic Shipping Tape « Shipping Coach

By Guest blogger Jay F. Perdue

We are grateful that a real expert answers the question today about which is better for sealing packages, paper or plastic tape. Jay has 25 years of experience delivering packages for UPS and has seen more packages than just about anyone. Here is his guest post.

Will that be paper or plastic Sir?

When it comes to shipping packages you have two choices for sealing your box: Paper tape or plastic tape. Most small shippers don’t even know that there is more than one option and use plastic tape. The larger shippers sometimes use the reinforced 3″ water activated paper tape using a tape dispenser. You can set the dispenser to give you a specific length of tape. Then, pull the lever and it gives you a perfect piece of tape every time. Sounds great, and it is fast and accurate.


After delivering packages for UPS for 25 years I have seen what happens to the packages that are sealed with paper tape and it is not pretty. I end up resealing at least 50% of these packages with plastic tape to keep them closed because the paper tape is either broken or not sticking anymore.

  • Paper tape will not stick to plastic tape if you are recycling a box with old plastic tape still on it
  • Paper tape does not do well in the extreme heat of summer
  • Paper tape is not flexible like plastic tape and will break when during the handling process

My recommendation is to use plastic tape with a hand tape gun. Even the cheap tape at about $1.50 a roll is a lot better than paper tape and the tape guns are cheap also running about $15 or so. It is about as fast as a paper tape dispenser and just as cheap.

Every sale you make is important to you and equally important to your customer. If you take special care to use the right size box and pack your item properly make sure you use plastic tape to keep it sealed tight.

Note from Mark: Jay has moved to Minneapolis/St Paul. If anyone needs a real shipping expert in the logistics field, Jay is available. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2010 at 12:18 pm and is filed under Packaging Tips, Shipping Tips, Shipping for Beginners. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Good advise, although our tape and tape dispensers are even less than he suggests, so you can save even more money.

Jason Archambault
Fastpack Packaging Inc.

Posted via email from Shipping Headlines & Tips by

End of Year 2010 Delivery Holidays

2010 U.S.P.S Service Holidays:

  • Veterans Day – November 11, 2010
  • Thanksgiving Day – November 25, 2010
  • Christmas Day – December 25, 2010
  • New Year’s Day – January 1, 2011

2010 UPS Holidays:

  • Thanksgiving Day – November 25, 2010
  • Day after Thanksgiving – November 26, 2010
  • Christmas Day – December 25, 2010
  • New Year’s Eve – December 31, 2010
  • New Year’s Day – January 1, 2011

2010 FedEx Holidays:

  • Thanksgiving Day – November 25, 2010
  • Christmas Day – December 25, 2010
  • New Year’s Day – January 1, 2011

2010 FastPack Packaging Holidays:

  • Thanksgiving Day – November 25, 2010
  • Christmas Day – December 25, 2010
  • New Year’s Day – January 1, 2011


Jason Archambault

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Roger Goodell to Team Up with Bubble Wrap for New Uniforms (Satire) | Bleacher Report

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces that the St. Louis Rams selected quarterback Sam Bradford from the Oklahoma Sooners first overall during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) Goodell uses his bubbling personality to appease a crowd.
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

SATIRE — After a week in which vicious hits caused a media firestorm and the implementation of a new rule by the NFL, Roger Goodell is looking to take safety to the next level.  Goodell met with Bubble Wrap CEO Alfred Fielding Wednesday evening, to discuss putting Bubble Wrap into NFL uniforms.

"Obviously, the required padding isn't doing its job.  Players are still being injured," Goodell said.  "Bubble Wrap has protected packages for half a century, so why can't it protect our players?"

Players simply cannot wear more padding without becoming too bulky.  They would look ridiculous, in addition to having hindered movement and speed.

"We did consider pillow uniforms, but that would just be ridiculous!" said Goodell.

Bubble Wrap is the only material that makes sense.  Players could wear up to five layers of Bubble Wrap and still compete at full speed.  However, there are concerns about players overheating due to the bubbly material.

"Yes, we're working on that," Goodell boasted. "We have our design crew working with Bubble Wrap around the clock.  I hear they are close to a breakthrough."

There are even more concerns dealing with Bubble Wrap's unfamiliarity with clothing or uniform design.  Bubble Wrap was never meant to be worn by people.

"Yeah, I have no idea what I'm doing.  However, money is money and the NFL is certainly giving me a lot of it," Bubble Wrap CEO Alfred Fielding said in his only released statement.

What do you think of Bubble Wrap uniforms?

Even with the concerns, there is still reason to believe Bubble Wrap uniforms could be a success for everyone.  First off, the players will be much more protected.  Secondly, the severity of hits could be measured by how many bubbles are popped.  For example, one popped bubble could be a 5 yard penalty, two popped bubbles could be a 10 yard penalty and so on until fines and suspensions come into play.

The Bubble Wrap uniforms could even increase ticket and jersey sales.  Die-hard fans would want to keep up with the latest NFL fashions and would want to see the new uniforms up close.  Bubble Wrap catchphrases would develop as fan favorites ("Wow, he really popped him on that one!" for example).

If you are still wary on the subject, just take this into consideration:

Who doesn't love Bubble Wrap?


Hey Roger, give us a call, we can hook you up! Purple Bubble Wrap for the Ravens, Red Bubble Wrap for Tampa Bay, Blue and Red Bubble Wrap for the Texans, White and Blue Bubble Wrap for the Colts. No really, we stock Bubble Wrap in colors! See for yourself!

Poppingly Yours,
Jason Archambault
Fastpack Packaging Inc.

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