We continue our week of looking at Easter celebrations across the world with the traditional celebrations that take place in Portugal. Portugal has a large Christian population that celebrate Easter differently to the rest of the country. Here are some of the events and traditions that take place throughout the Easter week in Portugal.
Portugal recognises Good Friday, the most important day in the Holy Week, as a national holiday. Some Christians also recommend that people fast as a symbol of Jesus’ suffering on the cross. This would involve giving up meat and replacing it with fish instead, in particular codfish.
Easter Sunday is a huge day in Portugal, with all sorts of traditions taking place. The local parish priest visits homes to wish a Happy Easter, whilst he also brings a figure of Christ with him which can be kissed by each member of the household to celebrate his resurrection.
There are plenty of pagan traditions still present in Portugal, from Easter Eggs to the Easter bunny. Like many other countries, chocolate eggs are shared out at Easter as gifts, whilst roast lamb is traditionally eaten in Portugal at lunchtime on the Sunday.
If you’re interested in sending a gift to Portugal, make sure you check our list of prohibited items to Portugal so that you know your gift will make it to the addressee without being intercepted by customs.
If you’re someone who has to ship gifts and parcels abroad quite regularly, you might find yourself having to invest in wrapping paper and other necessary parcel materials on a regular basis. This blog post will provide you with various other methods of wrapping parcels so that you can make the process eco-friendly and a little more exciting. Here are a few alternatives to the average parcel.
Newspaper might seem a bit tasteless, but in truth you can turn it into an excellent resource for parcel wrapping if you’re a bit more creative than the average person. Newspaper that gets regularly delivered to your house is ideal and you can use colouring pens, paint, stickers or whatever suits you.
If you aren’t so creative, why not have a look through the gift wrapping materials you’ve got leftover? You’ll be able to choose from all sorts of colours and designs that your addressee will admire, or you can just turn it inside out and use the blank white canvas instead.
Certain fabrics are prohibited in some countries but if you’re sending a gift somewhere where this doesn’t apply, you can always make the most of colourful fabrics from beds, cushions, pillow cases or whatever you can find. In fact, this is a common method of gift wrapping in Japan, so it wouldn’t be to out of the ordinary if you’re sending a gift to Japan.
You might have noticed some familiar faces on your stamps recently, especially if you remember the days of watching kids TV. Since the start of 2014, children’s TV characters have begun to appear on Royal Mail postage stamps as a means of celebrating 60 years of children’s TV.
There are some notable figures to watch out for, including a selection of newcomers such as Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder and Shaun the Sheep. Some of us might even get a bit nostalgic seeing the older characters Postman Pat, Mr Ben and Ivor the Engine.
Andrew Hammond from Royal Mail Stamps told the BBC that they simply couldn’t ignore the landmark. “It feels appropriate to celebrate all of these unforgettable characters on a set of very special stamps” he said.
If you plan on sending a letter or parcel abroad, you might be able to make the most of these unique set of stamps, especially if they’re going to a distant friend or a younger recipient.
We offer an unrivalled parcel delivery service here at RAND, so make sure you get a quote from us today to see how we can save you money when shipping parcels abroad.
To celebrate the news that we could be seeing Mail Rail back on track as part of London’s underground network for the first time in over ten years, we take a look at some of the other historical aspects of the postal service and how sending a parcel abroad might have differed during the First World War.
The Post Office was by far the most lucrative enterprise in the country back in 1914, becoming “the largest single employer of labour in the world” according to the British Postal Museum. Once the war began, many of the workers decided to leave their jobs as staff and left the country to fight or contribute to the war in other ways.
The number of postal staff that ended up joining the army was staggering, as they had been encouraged to enlist in the first place. There was even a battalion, the Post Office Rifles, created that was made up entirely of post office workers.
The APS was then introduced as a means of getting letters to and from the trenches. The Home Depot was introduced in Regents Park to sort all these letters. By the end of the war, the Home Depot had dealt with over 2 billion letters.
On our last day of focusing on the future of postage, we concentrate on how social media has changed the face of the delivery industry and whether or not it could have a telling effect in the years to come. The vast majority of delivery services have managed to achieve excellent results through their online campaigns with social media playing a stand-out role.
Client interaction is something that many delivery services look to build on, whether its regularly updating a Facebook page with new international parcel delivery opportunities or making the most of twitter to provide more clients with a information about their delivery, similarly to that of our Help & FAQ’s page here at RAND.
What’s more, clients can use social media to leave feedback regarding the services they have received. This gives delivery companies the chance to expand by promoting the feedback that they receive.
So how could the delivery industry continue to expand with social media onboard? For starters, social media is the first point of contact for most people nowadays so the option of enhanced tracking and communication is all the more probable in the future.
Delivery companies can also maintain a competitive service by staying in touch with social media and clients will be able to offer their own opinions on how they feel delivery services should operate. In the meantime, you can get a great quote from us here at RAND today should you intend to ship a parcel abroad in the near future.
Yesterday we touched on how tracking parcels could really boost the efficiency of international parcel delivery. Whilst there are plenty of tracking systems available online today, many of us would love to be able to know exactly where our parcels are and exactly how long they might take to arrive, especially if it’s a delivery of particular significance or a heavy parcel.
Thankfully, it seems that the introduction of smartphones, tablets and other kinds of handheld technology might completely change the way in which consumers deal with postal services.
We mentioned the idea of using e-mail as means of getting in touch with addressees in yesterdays blog post. Rather than restricting tracking services to email, we could even see an application of some sort that lets delivery companies provide information to customers directly to their handheld devices.
There are also many useful applications already available on the app store that could benefit delivery companies and their drivers including ZipCodes, Postal Code and UK Postcode, all of which provide in depth information regarding locations and so on.
There has been a real explosion of tracking applications available on both Apple and Android’s app store recently. As long as delivery services continue to explore the possibilities of parcel tracking, customers could gain all sorts of useful benefits from the service in the future.
With regards to future technologies, work is currently going into tracking systems that could potentially tell us exactly where our parcels are in the world using state-of-the-art GPS trackers.
Today we take a look at how parcel delivery might develop to avoid one of the more frustrating aspects of receiving a parcel in the post. It can be incredibly annoying to come home and be welcomed with a message from the driver saying that you weren’t in to receive your parcel.
So how could parcel delivery change in the future to compensate for us not always being at home? Here are some of the possible solutions that the Royal Mail came up with last year that could make international parcel delivery a whole lot more efficient:
Many of us use smart phone applications as part of our everyday lives and we could now introduce tracking applications to give us a better idea of exactly how long our parcels are going to take to arrive on our doorstep.
In order to make sure your letters and parcels cannot be accessed when you aren’t in to receive them, lock boxes were also suggested so that drivers could deliver parcels in PIN-protected storage compartments rather than delivering to your neighbours.
E-mail is a form of contact regularly used in other forms of delivery service and it could prove to be extremely beneficial should someone need to know exactly when they have to be home to receive their parcel.
Visit our Help and FAQ’s page at RAND Logistics if you need to learn more about our current collection and delivery service.
Yesterday we focused on Amazon’s Prime Air service that could change the face of how parcels are delivered on a global scale. Today we take a look at how Google has responded to Amazon’s “drone” project. Google have been widely recognised in recent years as they look to take the technology world by storm with driverless cars and “Project Glass”.
Towards the end of last year, Google revealed that they were planning the introduction of droids that could deliver groceries and heavy duty parcels to our doors. A Google executive partly responsible for Android smartphones, Andy Rubin, was the first to reveal Google’s postage project to the public.
Since resigning from his position at Android, Rubin has managed to get several companies onboard at Google, all of whom possess technologies that are capable of working towards a robotic postal service. Whilst it may seem too far off to challenge something like Prime Air which already has prototypes in operation, Google are confident that they can cover all sorts of activities with their robots including manufacturing and ultimately a parcel delivery service.
So what’s the realistic outlook for this particular form of delivery service? It might seem like something from a science fiction movie but Google have managed to join forces with a Japanese company that already make the most of digital robotics in delivery services. With that in mind, could we end up being greeted by a robot the next time our groceries arrive at the front door?
This week we’ll be taking a look at what some of the potential outcomes could be as new ideas and the latest technological advancements start to appear in the postal industry. There are plenty of new ideas and inventions that have already been revealed by major online retailers including Amazon. We’ll be focusing on the prospect of Amazon’s Prime Air service today. Here at RAND we work with some of the largest couriers in the UK and internationally, including UKMail. Why not get a quote from our UKMail courier service today if you’re looking to ship larger parcels?
The Amazon drone was revealed to the world towards the end of 2013 and it proved to be a huge hit on YouTube as a result of its concept and appearance being related to that of something from science-fiction. The drones themselves have been named “Octocopters” by Amazon and the chief executive Jeff Bezos believes that they could be the start of a postal revolution.
The drones are capable of flying from one location to another, carrying a parcel up to 2.3kg in the process. Once they reach the postage address they simply drop the item off and return to the warehouse. Bezos has said that the drones aren’t likely to be in operation for some time yet, although they have already named the prospected service “Prime Air”.
It’s certainly a sign that technology is being integrated into the postal industry and new ideas for a more efficient postal system are emerging all the time. You can stay in touch with our blog here at RAND to learn more about the future technologies we could be seeing at some point over the next few decades.
On the 6th May 1840 the very first postal stamp was introduced. As a way of combating the financial losses of the Postal Office, 1d was charged for prepaid letters, whereas 2d was charged if the fee was collected from the recipient. This meant it was better for the sender and the recipient to prepay for their letter, plus the Postal Office received the money straight away (some messengers would be likely to pocket the money received and claim the letter was lost).
As a way of documenting this, an ‘adhesive label’ was attached to the prepaid letter. This was known as the Penny Black and was the first stamp ever to be used.
The Penny Black was quickly discontinued, as the black ink made it hard to see any attempts to void the stamps by crossing through them. In 1841 the stamps were printed in red, becoming the Penny Red. This new stamp was originally only for use within the UK, as it was a local stamp that depicted a profile of Queen Victoria. When international postage gained popularity, envelopes would be marked with the country’s name.
In 1951 a special commemorative stamp was issued containing the name Britain for the Festival of Britain, and the name has been used in stamps ever since.
At RAND Logistics we endeavour to provide you with the best service at competitive rates. RAND Logistics can provide an instant quotation on excellent rates on parcels to Spain, Norway or anywhere else worldwide.