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updated: 12/4/2012 12:22 PM

Fruit Cake, Cookies & Car Parts

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  • The SHIPPING POINT owners.  Siblings in the family-owned Gurnee business...Lauren & Jim LoMonaco

    The SHIPPING POINT owners. Siblings in the family-owned Gurnee business...Lauren & Jim LoMonaco

Jhan Robert Dolphin

It's the Holidays, and you've finally found the perfect gifts for those on your list. Now…How do you make sure that the packages that need to be shipped, arrive safely, undamaged, and on time? Sadly, thousands of packages either never make it to their destinations, or arrive badly damaged. But, there are a few easy steps that you can take to ensure that the iPods, teddy bears and summer sausages you're sending will arrive safe and sound. One local professional shipper, Jim LoMonaco of the local Gurnee store on Grand Ave. "The Shipping Point" has wrapped, padded, boxed, packaged, and shipped just about everything you could ever imagine. Here, he offers this helpful list of do's and don'ts when it comes to Holiday shipping.

1. Fill the box! There are so many boxes being shipped this time of year, that there is a good chance that a heavy package could be placed or dropped onto yours. Jim asks many of his customers to bring the boxes to him open, where he can then fill the empty space with the right type of packing material before properly sealing the box.

2. Don't use string or wrap your package in brown paper. With all the automated systems that today's package delivery companies are using, string and paper can easily get caught or tangled in the equipment.

3. Do make sure to use a new box. A corrugated box just isn't meant to be used over and over. It's worth the small cost of a new, sturdy box to make sure your package is safe. Also, the shipper will likely have the right size box and packing materials needed to pack it properly and help keep the cost of shipping to a minimum.

4. Don't use masking tape or duct tape. These tapes are not meant to secure boxes, and will likely come loose during their trip. Clear packing tape is your best choice.

5. Do put an extra bag around liquids. If anything is leaking from your box, delivery companies are required to dump the entire package in the trash. It's worth the time to seal a bag around any liquids in the box.

6. Don't get fancy with the address label. This is NOT the time of year to use calligraphy on your label. You'll want to make this easy for package handlers to direct your shipment. It's best to use a black marker, and clearly print the address. Also, put an extra address label inside the box, just in case the outside label becomes torn or unreadable.

7. Don't take the gifts on the plane! If you're traveling this season, Jim recommends sending your packages ahead of time, directly to the destination address. Airline luggage handling and security inspections can be a recipe for lost or damaged gifts.

8. Don't ship banned or dangerous items. For everyone's safety, check with your local shipping store if you have any questions on what items cannot be shipped.

Locations like The shipping Point are expecting hundreds of people to come through their doors every day this busy season, especially as we get closer to the Holiday deadline. LoMonaco recommends that his customers try to get all of their packages shipped no later than December 17th in order to ensure on-time delivery, and also save money. For additional questions about shipping your gifts, the Shipping Point has established a FREE Holiday Shipping HOTLINE (847) 336-6322 that will be active December 1st -25th. You can call with any Holiday packaging, mailing, boxing, and shipping questions.