Tips for getting holiday gifts shipped on time, arriving intact

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All clear: Extraneous markings could disrupt your postal service provider's scanning process. Be sure to remove any markings on the outside of the package that would conflict with address information. | FILE PHOTO

You’ve searched high and low to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Now you have to make sure they


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receive it on time and intact for the holidays.

We asked local experts to share their top five tips for shipping gifts successfully during the busiest shipping season of the year. Here’s what they recommended.

1. Know your shipping deadlines. The three major carriers (U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS) agreed — knowing your deadline for the carrier you intend to use is critical to ensure your package arrives on time this holiday season.

Monday, Dec 10: is the busiest shipping day

Tuesday, Dec. 11: International shipping

Monday, Dec. 17: Ground shipping (FedEx and UPS)

Thursday, Dec. 20: First Class (USPS)

Friday, Dec. 21: Priority (USPS)

Saturday, Dec. 22: Express shipping

2. The three major carriers also agreed it is essential to include the correct address. If you choose the DIY route and elect to prepare your own package, be sure to include complete contact information including, the recipient’s name and complete address as well as a return address. Include an address label inside of the package in the event of damage to the exterior.

3. Beverly Howard, customer relations coordinator and spokesperson for the Central Illinois region which includes Naperville’s USPS location advises to remove any markings on the outside of the package that would conflict with address information as packages are put through scanners to be sorted and processed.

4. Michael Breitberg, owner of UPS location on West 75th Street in Naperville, advises customers to notify them of any flammable contents including perfumes and lotions. Proper packaging for these items is necessary.

5. Lynette Strobel, store manager of the FedEx location in Aurora, advises customers to use the correct packaging and padding. “If you’re going to prepare your own package for shipping, use the correct box — preferably a new one — and padding to ensure the stability of the package.” Strobel recommends giving your package a shake after you finish packing it to ensure there is no movement. If there is movement, use more padding to make sure fragile items are stabilized and therefore delivered intact.