The holiday shipping crunch is nearly upon us and getting those gifts sent off to your loved ones can prove to be quite the challenge

ATLANTA - The holiday shipping crunch is nearly upon us and getting those gifts sent off to your loved ones can prove to be quite the challenge.

Georgia Newsday spoke to some experts on how to make the experience as pain free as possible.

After all the shopping is done, reality hits. Some of your gifts will have to be shipped. And it can be kind of frustrating figuring out how to pack an item and exactly how much time you have to ship it. So we went straight to the experts. Paul Brown of Fedex Office says it comes down to knowing exactly how fragile your item is.

"Based on whether its sturdy or fragile you use enough insulation and enough box to make sure that it arrives safely," said Paul Brown.

He says whether it's a glass vase or a Tonka truck, you can never go wrong with bubble wrap - and lots of it.

"You want to make sure that the bubbles are on the inside and they adhere to the item," said Brown.

And to secure the bubble wrap, he suggests painter's tape because it easy to remove. Nothing says torture like a gift you can't open because of a fortress of tape.

And Brown says it's not a problem if you want to wrap the gifts before you ship, but they should then be placed in a larger box designed for shipping.

And when labeling your box, experts say make sure you included a complete address.

"A complete address i sone that not only includes the intended receipiant's name but address, zip code, city, state, apartment number, directionals such as northeast, and northwest. Those kind of things of course include a return address," said Michael Miles.

But all your insulated packing is for nothing if it doesn't get under the tree in time. So Michael Miles of the U.S. Postal Service says, the sooner you ship, the cheaper.

"The longer you wait the more it's going to cost you. You can still mail first class mail up to December 20. And that's going to be your regular first class rates. But as you get into priority and express mail, it's going to cost you a little bit more," said Michael Miles.

The busiest week for mail will be the week of December 13. Fedex reports the 13th will be their busiest day in the history of the company, shipping more than 16 million items. The last day to ship Fedex ground is December 17, and the 23rd for Fedex Express.

If you're going to the post office you have to get there by December 20 for ground, they'll recommend you use express mail after that.

Officials say, if you can, use a new box. If you can't, make sure the old addresses on the box are blacked out.

 
 
 
 

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