If you have a letter or parcel to send, it can be confusing to know exactly what’s required of you to make sure your items don’t get lost in the post.

Looking for a better understanding of the shipping process for letters and parcels? We’re on hand to provide you with a brief rundown of what’s required when sending mail across both the UK and internationally.

Using Stamps

In truth, when it comes to sending letters and parcels, it’s the stamps which often prove the toughest obstacle to tackle. Stamps effectively serve as the currency of the letter world – determining how quickly your mail will make it to its final destination.

The more you’re willing to pay for a stamp, the quicker your item will turn up. Naturally, the size and weight of a letter or parcel will also determine the type of postage you’ll need to attach.

Stamp Classes

When it comes to using stamps, they fall into two distinct classes:

• First class stamps – these cost slightly more and will be delivered the next working day (even on Saturdays)
• Second class stamps – the cheaper option and, perhaps unsurprisingly, one which takes longer for mail to be delivered. You can expect second class mail to take 2-3 working days

The size and weight of a parcel or letter will also impact the cost of a stamp.

There are lots of tricks you can pick up to reduce your postal costs – with something as simple as folding an A5 letter down to a smaller size making an instant difference to how much you’ll need to be paying.

Prohibited Items When Posting

When you’re posting items, there are certain national and international

regulations you need to comply with. In place to ensure no-one attempts to mail something potentially dangerous, there are restrictions on what you can send within the UK and internationally.

With everyday items such as aerosols, nail varnish and perfumes considered dangerous good, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of prohibited items. Check out the table below and read the Royal Mail’s guidelines. You can also contact our team for further advice.

Item UK International
Poisons, toxic liquids, solids and gases No No
Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes (toxic, flammable or toxic and flammable) Yes No
Prescription medicines and drugs sent for scientific or medical purposes (non-toxic and non-flammable including asthma inhalers) Yes Yes
Radioactive materials and samples No No
Solvent-based paints, wood varnishes and enamels No No
Waste, dirt, filth or refuse No No
Weapons No No

Recorded Delivery

A less common, but still equally useful, means of sending your mail comes in the form of recorded delivery. With this service, the sender receives a certificate which confirms their letter or parcel has been posted. The recipient then signs off on the opposite end to confirm the package was delivered safely.

Benefits of this service include

Proof of delivery thanks to a signature
Compensation cover reaching up to £50
The ability and option to check a parcel’s status online
Seller protection for online goods

Sending Parcels in the UK

If you’re worried sending a parcel is a little too complicated, don’t fret. The Post and Packing team are happy to pack and ship out any items you bring to us, assuming they adhere to the basic standards of size and weight:

The weight must never exceed 30kg

The length should be no longer than one metre

Whether you choose to send your parcels yourself, or instead opt for the easier and more efficient option of using Post and Packing, you should always ensure they’re safely secured with bubble wrap. This is particularly important with fragile items. Our team of well-trained staff know exactly how to tackle all packaging challenges, including fragile goods.

Sending Parcels Internationally

Similarly, Post and Packing are again on hand to provide you with a means of shipping your parcels out on an international basis. There are some stringent laws when sending items overseas, so leaving it to the professionals is always going to be your best option. That said, some top tips for sending international parcels include:

Writing everything clearly, with the destination country in capital letters

Not posting cash – use a postal order or cheque instead

Making sure you check and pay the right sending mail fee

Completing a custom declaration form when posting to countries outside the EU

Finding out about any restrictions when it comes to the nation you’re shipping to

If you’re interested in sending a letter or parcel in the future, get in contact with the Post and Packing team as soon as you can. We specialise in ensuring deliveries are made to an elite standard, whether they’re headed for the UK or abroad. Give us a call today to discover more.