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Shipping to the Caribbean: How to Pack Your Items

Today, more and more companies throughout the United States are making the choice to ship their goods and products to the Caribbean. Emerging economies, the ease-of-access made possible by the Internet and other technology, and the increasing number of baby boomers retiring on the Islands has caused an increase in both business and personal shipments going to various locations in the Caribbean. If you are one of the individuals or businesses that needs to send items to a Caribbean island, however, it is important to understand the proper process for sending your package.

Tips for Packing to Ship Your Item to the Caribbean
When you are getting ready to ship your items to the Caribbean, it is very important that you take all necessary steps so that the shipment goes smoothly. This means finding the right shipping company with experience in sending items to the Caribbean and with locations on the islands so they can handle all aspects of the transportation from beginning to end. This also means making sure you have completed all of the required paperwork and documentation including customs paperwork, copies of invoices, import licenses if necessary, and other necessary forms. Your shipping company should help you to take care of all of this.

One other factor that will be important, however, is the packing of your items. When your package travels to the Caribbean, it will generally go either by boat or by air. Either way, it has a good distance to travel and it is essential to make sure that it is packaged properly so that the cargo and contents do not get damaged along the way.

While your shipping company will help you to ensure your packaging conforms with requirements and guidelines, and while the packaging process may vary depending on exactly what you are shipping, there are a few general guidelines that you should be sure to follow in order to make sure your shipment gets to the Caribbean safely:

• Find out the rules for your type of shipment. In many cases, if you are simply sending standard items, the rules will be limited and you’ll only have to worry about properly displaying your invoices and customs documents on the package. However, if you are sending live animals or hazardous materials, there are a host of requirements for packaging that must be complied with. For example, you must provide clear handling instructions, follow IATA Live Animal regulations and include licenses, permits and vaccination records when shipping animals.
• Make sure the address label information is clearly displayed and clearly written. You should follow local conventions for writing the address on the package and include your return address as well.
• Use appropriate packing material and secure your items. The more a fragile or breakable item moves around in the package, the more likely it is that breakage will occur. Pack your boxes properly to ensure the items inside are held in place.

These are just a few of the essentials to keep in mind when you…

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