Back to School in Palm Beach County

Monday is back to school time for the more than 175,000 students and 12,000 teachers in Palm Beach County. So here a few reminders for safety and hints to make the day less stressful.

  • It’s still dark out in the morning. Students that live less than a mile and a half from their school may be walking or riding a bicycle. Students who live more than two miles may be walking to or waiting at a bus stop. Please be extra cautious when driving from your neighborhood.
  • There’s going to be additional early traffic, so adjust your morning commute accordingly. Buses will be stopping. Parents will be transporting students on their way to work. The traffic patterns and volume will be different and it may take some time to adjust to. So give yourself some extra time so that you aren’t stressed.
  • Stop. When a school bus is stopped loading or unloading students, you’re required to stop in both directions until the students are safely across the street. For the student’s safety, please observe this law. It will only cost you a few more seconds to be safe.
  • Speed limit. If you’re in a school zone or a neighborhood, it’s more important now to observe the posted speed limits. If you’re commute takes you through a school zone, please give yourself extra time.
  • Focus. It’s always a bad idea to engage in any behavior which distracts you while driving. So no texting, eating, or putting on makeup. We take driving for granted too often, but it only takes a second of distraction for something bad to happen.

We know you are aware of all these things. It’s just a friendly reminder from us at Espresso Mail. We want the new school year to be fun and full of promise and learning. Don’t forget to go to our Facebook page tomorrow and post a back to school picture.

Hot time, summer in the city

It’s almost summer and it’s south Florida, so it’s already hot and humid. Everyone already knows the do’s for summer: Stay hydrated (keep your animals hydrated too), wear sunscreen (don’t skimp – the bronze tan won’t be worth it when your skin looks like leather, have your home and auto air conditioners checked and serviced so that they don’t fail when the temps reach triple digits, and make sure your ceiling fans are turning counter clockwise because heat rises.

But here are a few other suggestions or hacks that may also help you beat the summer blues.

  1. Freeze a sponge. Soak a fresh sponge in water, toss it in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer. When you’re overheated, apply it to your forehead and wrists and it will cool you in minutes and you won’t get soaked.
  2. Make an icetray of aloe vera gel  with water cubes. Inevitably, at least once this summer, you’re going to get sunburned and this is a great solution to relieving that pain.
  3. Switch off gadgets and unplug non-essential electronic devices. They generate a lot of heat and this will help you keep your house cooler. Plus you can also save on your electric bill.
  4. Cook your meals on a grill or in a crockpot. Of course, summer was meant for barbecuing, but this will also help keep your house cooler than running your oven or stovetop.
  5. Toss your sheets and pillowcases into the freezer for 30 minutes before going to bed.

And of course, stay cool with iced coffee and cold treats. We’re pretty sure our cold brewed iced coffee will cool you fast. What’s your best way of staying cool?

It’s a small world and getting smaller

In 1966, after being presented at the New York World’s Fair the year prior, “It’s a Small World” reopened at Disneyland. It’s been a fixture there ever since and if you’ve toured the ride, you probably have the song echoing in your head and are cursing me for the #earworm. As iconic as the ride is, I’m fairly certain that Walt Disney had no idea how small the world is or would become.

More than ever, we’re a global economy. The world has gotten much smaller. And with that we have access to more goods and services from nations across the world than ever. And likewise, we’ve become much more connected on an international scale.

But as small as the world may have become, each country’s rules regarding what can and cannot be shipped into or from their country changes frequently. So what you could have shipped to Brazil or Mexico yesterday, last week, or last month may now be considered illegal. These changes are rarely announced, especially not to general public. And keeping up with which way the shipping winds blow in each separate country can be a daunting task.

If you ship internationally, the last thing you want is for your shipment to be held up in customs or worse, seized by that country or held for outrageous duties and taxes. And some shipping options may appear cheaper but are far less reliable. Is saving a few dollars worth having your shipment disappear, lost because the receiving country doesn’t update the tracking information (which basically makes the tracking information useless)?

So what do you do? You find an expert or specialist who can assist you throughout the shipment process. Just as a lay person you wouldn’t attempt to rewire your house, you shouldn’t ship internationally without having the proper tools and resources to make sure your shipment arrives as you intended. At Espresso Mail, we can help you wade through the maze of international shipping. We do distribution for several companies internationally and whether we ship for you or not, we are willing to help you with this complex issue. It’s a smaller world and we’re glad to help you connect with it.



UPS Package Shipping Security Process Change

Because of the bomb that exploded at a FedEx Ground facility in Austin, Texas, UPS has mandated a change for its Authorized shippers in handling of certain packages.

From the service bulletin we received:

“When a customer brings a package into your location without a label, or with a handwritten label, you must ask the customer to open the package for a visual inspection of the contents.”

“If the customer refuses to open their package for inspection, you must refuse the shipment.”

We always ask what the contents are if we don’t do the packing per our Approved USPS Postal provider regulations, but appreciate your understanding if your package for UPS falls under this new criteria. We will not charge you to reseal the package. We just want to ensure that our carrier partners are safe. Thanks for your understanding.


21st Century Mail

We live in an electronic world. Cellphones, tablets, and computers now do so many of the tasks which just a few short years ago, had to be done manually. However, there’s one facet of our lives that has been slow to embrace technology: mail. Certainly, the proportion of mail one receives has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. We pay our bills online, text and email instead of writing letters, and receive more packages because of online shopping.

What if you travel frequently for business? Have multiple residences? Vacation? Identity theft is also an increasing problem. In 2016, 15.4 million people were victims of some type of fraud, up 16% over the previous year. So, how do you mitigate this risk and easily manage your mail?

The answer is:

Turn your old clunky metal mailbox into a virtual mailbox. A picture is taken of the outside of each piece of mail you receive. You can then decide what needs to happen to this mail, whether it’s opening the contents and scanning it, picking it up, having it forwarded to another address, or simply having it discarded. Your mail is available to you 24/7. And with a mobile app, you can turn your clunky mailbox into an email type inbox and manage your mail anywhere.

Your mailing address is a valid street address which is better than a PO Box because you can receive packages from FedEx, UPS, and DHL. It’s safe and secure. You get an email  that you’ve got mail along with push notifications if you utilize the mobile app. So bring your mail into the 21st century and put your clunky old mailbox out to pasture.


Package Receiving

With online shopping an ever increasing part of people’s and shipping company’s lives, it should come as no surprise that UPS has finally decided to start delivering ground packages on Saturday following what FedEx and USPS already do. They’ve rolled out the program in several major markets and anticipate that by the end of 2017, that they will be servicing 50% of the United States.

Even with that additional service day, there are many times that people won’t be home to receive or sign for a package. Formerly, UPS would make three delivery attempts before returning a package to the sender. Now they’re utilizing Access Points (which we are one). After the first delivery attempt, they bring the package to us. We hold them for 7 days enabling people to find a time convenient to get their package. FedEx will soon be following this by utilizing the drugstore chain Walgreen’s to hold packages for people. In larger markets, Amazon has begun using parcel lockers.

We offer free package receiving for our mailbox customers which can eliminate those delays in receiving packages, especially if it’s one that requires a signature. We also offer package receiving services for non-mailbox customers. Since we’re also an Access Point, people can have their package redirected directly to us. And of course, the best reason to use us for help with your packages, is that you can get a great cup of coffee to go with it.

Espresso Mail

Welcome to our new blog. In this blog, we hope to share information, fun facts, photos, videos and links about us, packing, shipping, coffee, and many of the services and products we offer. Hopefully you’ll find it informative and entertaining. Please feel free to leave us comments and suggestions, ask us questions and let us know what you think.