Best Practice for Packaging your parcel.

 

One of the questions we are frequently asked is "How do I make sure my goods are not damaged in transit?".

 

Here are a few tips to assist in making sure your goods arrive safely at their destination - remember, it is your responsibility to ensure the goods are properly packaged before you hand them to the courier service:

  1. If at all possible send your items in a sturdy cardboard box.
  2. Wrap each item inside separately as this will prevent them knocking against each other.
  3. Consider using polystyrene, bubble wrap, old newspaper etc. as additional cushioning around the items.
  4. Use strong packaging tape around the edges of the boxes and packets to prevent damage.
  5. If there are any liquid items, make sure they are in leak-proof containers, then seal them again in strong plastic bags sealed with packaging tape.
  6. Remember - a few additional minutes wrapping, protecting and securing your parcel is always less time than that needed to resolve an insurance claim!

Is your parcel insured?

You're sending a package to another business or individual. How do you know if your goods are insured?

Most courier companies offer insurance, based on the type of goods and the value. However this is where it starts to get a little more complicated if you reside in South Africa.

There are two legal Acts that need to be complied with by the courier company that is "selling" you the insurance:

Firstly, The FAIS (Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services) Act and secondly the CPA (Consumer Protection Act).

FAIS states that ONLY individuals or companies registered and licensed by the Financial Services Board as a qualified and competent provider may give you insurance advice.

A number of courier companies have "partnered" with existing brokerages or insurance companies to be able to continue providing insurance to clients, to enable them to use the FAIS license rather than obtain their own.

The FAIS Act also states that you are entitled to a copy of the rates payable and the terms and conditions of the policy for the premium you will have to pay. Even more importantly, you are entitled to see a copy of the FAIS licence and have the right to be properly informed and advised of the cover given to you!

In reality, how does the call centre agent booking your parcel rate as qualified to discuss insurance matters? Even more so, how does the online interactive website with its "Insurance?" option rate as qualified when all you do is check the box and insert an amount to value the goods at?

The CPA states that the limit of liability given by the service provider (the courier company in this instance) needs to be clearly disclosed to the customer, in a language that is simple enough for the customer to understand so as to ensure the customer is aware of the implications of having/not having insured their goods in transit.

The risk to you as the customer: Make certain you are aware if the courier company you are using offers insurance, and if you elect to insure your goods that the cover you receive is from a licensed provider and is adequate for your needs!