How to Address a Shipping Tube

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Posters, hunting bows, fishing rods--there are many different reasons why you may choose to use a postal tube to ship an item. The closer your packing is to the shape of the item, the better able you can secure it to prevent damage during shipping. Also, you won't be paying to mail a lot of packaging that doesn't have anything in it. While packing your item in the tube presents few problems, trying to figure out how to properly address a shipping tube can raise some questions. Follow these steps and you will be assured that your package will not be rejected by the postal service because of improper address.

Things You'll Need

  • Permanent marker
  • Shipping label (if needed)
  • Scrap paper
  • Packing tape
  • Pack and seal your shipping tube. Make sure you have used the end caps that came with the cardboard tubes. These hard plastic caps are what will help keep your tube's shape as it travels. Once the tube is packed and sealed, turn it so that the largest and cleanest (no tape ends or markings) portion of the tube is turned toward you.

  • Use a permanent marker to outline a rectangle on the clean side of the tube. Place the rectangle so it falls as close as it can to the center of the shipping tube, and make it large enough so that you see all of the edges of the rectangle. You do not want to outline a rectangle so large that you have to turn the tube to see the top or bottom line of it. If you plan on using a shipping label, pick one that is small enough that when affixed to the tube, all of the edges can be seen without turning the tube. In either case, make the rectangle or pick the shipping label so that it is not so large you have to turn the tube to see the edges, but that it is large enough for you to write in.

  • Write your name and return address information in the upper left corner of the rectangle or shipping label. You will want this address to be written as small as possible, but still be easily read. Your return address is only used in the event that the address you are sending it to no longer exists and the package must be returned. After writing your name, address and ZIP code information on the first few lines, write the initials for your country on the last line if shipping to another country (for example: USA).

  • Write the shipping address in the center part of the label or rectangle using large, clear print. The shipping address may have up to five lines so before you begin, make sure you can print clearly in the space provided and fit all of the information. Practice on some scrap paper first before writing on the tube or label. Write the recipient's name, address and ZIP on the first few lines, then write the initals for the country on the fourth line if mailing your shipping tube to another country (for example: UK). Your mailing tube is addressed and ready for postage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before you address your postal tube, make sure the end caps of the tube are firmly taped on using packaging tape. Taping the ends before you label the tube prevents you from inadvertently covering the address with the tape ends.
  • Make sure that what you are shipping in a postal tube is an item that is permitted to be sent through the postal service. If your package contains items on the prohibited list not only will your package not be delivered, but you may be subjected to fines and prosecution.

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