Parcel Direct Blog

Have you tried our Customer Drop Off service?

What Drop Off Services do ParcelDirect Offer?

Most of us are familiar with couriers these days, they deliver nearly all of our online orders. Couriers are also becoming increasingly popular for sending items, and with services like ours, couriers have become more widely available to the regular consumer. Courier collection is convenient but what if you cannot stay at home all day to wait for the courier? ParcelDirect has the perfect option for you!

With a drop off, once you have dropped off your parcel, your courier arrives to collect it on the chosen collection date. The parcel then goes through the shipping process until it is delivered. There is a size restriction for the stores as they do not have the space to hold big parcels. Stores can take parcels that have these measurements or below: 40cm x 40cm x 50cm.

We work with some of the most reliable and affordable couriers in the domestic and international courier business, and we work very hard to get as many drop off stores on our website as we can. We are constantly adding new stores, so if you know of a shop that you would like to see on ParcelDirect, let us know and we will take a look!

Our drop off stores aren’t just for sending parcels, you can also get your own online orders delivered to your local drop off store. All you need to do is download our app on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and register for an account. Once you have selected your local store it will generate a ParcelDirect Local number which will start with “PDL”. Now you can get items delivered to this store by using your PDL number and the stores address when placing an order on online shops. This fantastic feature costs as little as €2 per parcel you get delivered.

How does it work?

  1. Securely package your item, We have a handy packing advise FAQ on our website that will help you with this.
  2. Weigh and measure your parcel.
  3. Go to www.ParcelDirect.ie.
  4. Enter your shipping country, your delivery country and the parcel’s weight and measurements into ParcelDirect.ie. Click “Quote and Book”.
  5. Your courier options will appear on the next screen, select “I’ll Drop it Off” under whichever quote you would like to choose.
  6. You will see a map on the next screen, type in your street address and search. This will bring the map to your area and it will show you the drop off stores in your area. Click on whichever drop off store you would like and click “Choose this Drop Off” under the map.
  7. Fill out the rest of the information where you will supply your delivery address and your return address. Declare the contents, pick your collection date and add Enhanced Protection if you would like insurance. We offer €20 cover free with every parcel.
  8. Next you will need to print some ParcelDirect customer drop off labels and attach them to your parcel. Make sure the drop off code is clear for the store.
  9. You need to have your parcel in with the store by 9am on the day of your scheduled collection. We recommend that you drop it off the night before it is scheduled to be collected.
  10. The courier will come along and pick this up, you can use your tracking number to trace it every step of the way.

What advantages do Drop Off stores have?

  • It means you do not have to wait in home all day to meet the courier when you may have work or another commitment that you need to take care of.
  • Couriers will find it a lot easier to find a shop than your address if you live in a remote area of Ireland.
  • You can leave your parcel in the shop and know that it is safe and the courier will be able to get it.
  • Most of our drop off stores are open late and 7 days a week so you can drop off or collect your parcel at any stage of the week.
  • There is no hassle, all you need to do is give your parcel with the label on it to the person at the shop till and they will do the rest for you.
  • Most of our drop off stores are convenience stores and petrol stations which makes them easy to find and easily accessible.
  • It makes the courier driver’s day just a little bit easier! Instead of going house to house they can pick up multiple parcels at one address.

Shipping Advice: Lithium Batteries

What are Lithium Batteries?

Lithium Ion batteries are increasingly popular in today’s world. You probably own 3 or 4 electronics that use lithium ion batteries. This type of battery can be found in small devices like your mobile phone or they can be found in your electric car.

What makes these batteries different from any other? Lithium batteries can be recharged, unlike alkaline AAs or similar. Lithium’s generally output more power, this allows them to be able to power bigger and more complex devices.

Shipping lithium batteries can be dangerous, because if these highly flammable items are exposed to certain conditions, they have the potential to overheat and explode. Lithium fires cannot be put out, if a non-extinguishable fire happens on a cargo plane, a major disaster can take place.

Can You Ship Lithium Batteries?

You can ship lithium batteries but due to their dangerous nature, strict guidelines must be followed:

  1. The battery must remain in the device when being shipped.
  2. You can send a maximum of 1 lithium batteries per parcel.
  3. It is vital that the shipper also takes caution when shipping items of this nature. Any device with batteries that you are shipping must be turned off and the power button must be protected to ensure it does not accidentally activate. This can be done with use of electrical tape or cardboard.
  4. Always place your device inside a plastic bag. This prevents any static interference and serves as another layer of protection against an outbreak of fire.
  5. If the battery is faulty or damaged it cannot be sent. Damaged batteries are more unstable and it could result in the battery overheating and exploding. Sending a faulty battery is illegal and can result in a serious fine.

If you plan on shipping lithium batteries overseas then your shipment may be affected by the customs of the country you are sending to, so always contact customer support if you have doubts or questions.

Packaging Lithium Batteries for Shipment

Exactly like anything you send through a courier, it is important to make sure that you package your item properly to ensure that your shipment safely arrives to its destination. To keep your parcel safe during transport, you will need to package the electrical item that houses your battery sufficiently.

With all electrical items that contain a lithium battery, you must make sure that the device is turned off during transit. This is to prevent the battery from overheating and exploding.

Make sure your device will not power on at any stage of shipping. After a parcel is collected it is transferred to a depot where it is sorted and then it is put onto a van for delivery or to be taken to the local depot at the delivery destination. Your parcel will be traveling with thousands of other parcels of different shapes and sizes. During this process your parcel must be packaged in a way that it can withstand a drop or being knocked by other packages etc. Having a parcel that is packaged to this standard also ensures that your lithium battery will be safe during the shipping process.

What Devices Use Rechargeable Lithium Batteries?

  • Power tools
  • Cameras
  • Smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Electronic Cigarettes

This list shows only a small sample of the types of devices that may contain a lithium battery. If you are shipping something and you are not sure whether it contains a lithium power source, then check with the manufacturer; it’s your legal responsibility to specifically declare every item that you are exporting.

Shipping Laptops with Lithium Batteries

Laptops are one of the most common items that are shipped with Lithium batteries. It is important to make sure that your laptop is packaged up to the standards required, it should not be able to move in the box. This is how laptops and their batteries are damaged.

Sending Christmas Presents by Courier

We would love to visit all out our loved ones over the Christmas period, sometimes that is not possible. Over the many years, Irish people have moved to all four corners of the globe. This is why so many people choose to send their friends and family those precious Christmas gifts by courier. The run up to Christmas is the busiest time of the year for sending parcels, so to help make sure your Christmas presents are posted and delivered on time, here’s our guide to sending Christmas Presents by Courier.

1. Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

This time of year is extremely busy for sending parcels, and this can lead to delays with delivery, so your parcel may take a little longer than normal to be delivered. If you want to make sure your Christmas presents arrive in time, get them sent as early as you can. Hopefully the receiver will not be tempted to have a sneaky look! If you’re a last-minute shopper, please be sure to check the sending dates we have, and choose the express services.

2. Avoid The Post Office Queues

You can avoid queuing up at the Post Office by booking a courier with ParcelDirect.ie who will collect from your address. You can now sit back, relax and have a cuppa. You can also choose our handy Drop-Off option with ParcelDirect.ie Local and drop your parcel off at a time and place that suits you. Really handy if you can’t wait in for the courier, or have some extra shopping to do. As an added bonus, you will save loads of money with www.ParcelDirect.ie

3. Pick Presents That Are Suitable For Sending

If you’re still choosing which gifts to send, try and pick gifts that will travel well and are easy to pack and are not restricted in the country you are sending to. A number of items aren’t allowed to be sent with our couriers (check here: restricted and prohibited items) so make sure you don’t buy these items to send. If an item is restricted or prohibited, we suggest ordering it directly from the retailer and having it delivered directly to the receiver.

4. Packing Your Christmas Presents

Packing is very important to ensure your Christmas gifts arrive safely. Have a read of our Blog Post to parcel packing. It can be tempting to add some festive decorations to the outside of your parcel but we’d advise against this. Tinsel, bows, ribbons etc, can get tangled up when the parcel is being processed by our couriers. If you want to decorate your parcel, we suggest using two boxes – put your nicely decorated box in a larger plain box. Remember to use padding to protect your nicely decorated gift box.

5. Sending Christmas Presents Abroad

If you’re sending Christmas presents abroad, there are some things you should remember. If the parcel is staying within the EU, then you won’t have to complete any extra paperwork, like commercial invoices. If your Christmas presents are being sent outside of the EU, then you will need to complete a Commercial Invoice. Completing this form is easy with ParcelDirect.ie, and will be completed as you make your booking online. You’ll also need to check the different customs and import procedures and charges for each country. In most countries, there are no duties for gifts, but this is not always the case, so it’s best to find these out in advance, rather than leave the receiver of the gift with an unwanted bill.

If you still think you need some more advice, please feel free to call us, and we will be glad to help out.

A Simple Guide: Does Your Packaging Stand Up?

The regular shipping of goods is a key activity of many businesses today. Whilst some companies have been shipping items for quite a while, some newer start-ups may only now be looking to complete their first orders. In any instance, good packaging is vital to keep products safe and secure during the shipping process.

Good Packaging!

Using a courier to ship items is often the most efficient way to have your items delivered both domestically and internationally. Often during the transit process, your parcel will be subjected to high levels of pressure that the contents might not be able to withstand without first providing adequate protection.

Here at ParcelDirect.ie, we do recommend a drop-test as a means of measuring the survivability of your box and its contents. To conduct a simple test at home simply follow the steps beneath.

1. Making sure that you have a clear space where you can drop your parcel straight down without it damaging anything or becoming an obstacle of any sort.
2. At this stage, simply hold your parcel out at the designated height listed on the table below and drop your parcel without moving.
3. If your parcel remains intact and all contents within remain undamaged, your parcel is ready for shipping.

To carry out a drop-test, follow these drop height standards:
• Up to 10kg – 76cm
• Up to 18kg – 61cm
• Up to 27kg – 46cm
• Up to 45kg – 30cm
• Up to 68kg – 20cm

How Strong Should My Box Be?
• Under 11kg – Double-walled Corrugated Box
• Under 31kg – Triple-walled Corrugated Box
• Over 41kg will likely need a strong wooden box.

Product Packaging!

When it comes to shipping by courier most items can be comfortably placed inside of your regular cardboard box. This is very different when sending other items such as bikes, musical instruments and artwork. These should ideally be shipped in specialist packaging.

Good Packaging!

It doesn’t matter what you might ship, having the confidence that your item will arrive at its destination address intact is very important. A well cushioned item is the most important way to ensure that no damage whatsoever occurs during the shipping process. Prior to commencing the packaging process, you should have polystyrene peanuts or packaging paper at the ready.

• Firstly, pour packaging material into the base of your box. It is important to have a layer of packaging material covering the entire base.
• Ensuring your item fits comfortably inside the box, place it on top of the layer of packaging material.
• Now, add more packaging material making sure that the sides of the item in question are cushioned from the sides of the box.
• Once the box is filled with material, close the box and give it a good shake. If you detect any movement, add more packaging material.
• The final step before sending is to seal your parcel. We recommend wrapping a strong tape around your box at least 3 times to ensure sufficiently.

In the instance you are unsure of which box to pick, we recommend that you speak to our Customer Service Team in ParcelDirect.ie for advice.