Different Packing Techniques
If you’re a business that ships products to customers, effective packing is essential for a few keys reasons:
- It minimizes the chance of products being damaged during shipping
- It helps to cut down on material costs and waste
- It keeps shipping costs at a minimum
Making sure that you package your products correctly will keep customers happy, prevent costly returns or refunds, and help grow your brand image.
Here are the best practices for packing products for shipping:
1. Choose the Best Packaging Materials for Your Product
Determining the best packaging materials to use is key to efficient packing. Some items, like clothing, posters, or books, may only need to be packed in a plastic bag or mailer tube to be protected properly during shipping. Others, especially glass, ceramics, or electronics, will need extra precautions or special materials to prevent damage.
- Poly Bags / Mailer Bags
Poly bags and mailer bags are simple and cost-effective. They work great for shipping clothes, paper documents, and other items that don’t require much extra protection.
- Mailer Tubes / Boxes
Mailer tubes and boxes have reinforced sides that give them extra strength, and are great for shipping books, posters, clothes, and other slim objects.
The most common packaging material is the standard cardboard box, suitable for a wide range of products.
2. Choose the Right Size Packaging for Your Products
Finding the perfect balance between product size/type and package size is key to minimizing material costs and ensuring your products arrive safely. Packages that are too large can lead to damaged products that tumble around inside, or increased material costs from using extra void fill. On the other hand, packages that are too small will prevent you from using enough void fill and can lead to damaged products as well.
While certain items may not need as much (or any) void fill to protect them, in most cases it’s best to give your products 2-3 inches of space for void fill on all sides. This is especially important for glass, ceramics, and other fragile items that need ample cushioning.
3. Wrap All Items Securely (and Separately)
The best method to protect your products during shipping is to properly wrap everything before boxing/bagging it up.
- Glass, ceramics, and other fragile items need 3-4 layers of bubble wrap to protect them. Items with more delicate areas – coffee mug handles, vase lips, etc. – will need extra bubble wrap beforehand in order to give these areas extra padding.
- Electronics need protection from both static and moisture during shipping. 3-4 layers of anti-static bubble wrap and a moisture-resistant bag are the best bet for wrapping these items.
- For items with accessories – charger cables, bolts for assembling parts, batteries, etc. – wrap all parts, components, and accessories individually to prevent them from damaging each other.
When shipping multiple items in the same package, wrap them separately as well. Cardboard or styrofoam inserts are incredibly useful to keep multiple items separated inside the box. It’s also best to place heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top – this will help prevent the lighter items from getting crushed. Use “This Side Up” labels with arrows when necessary to keep packages upright.
4. Void Fill: Not Too Little, Not Too Much
As mentioned above, it’s best to use 2-3 inches of void fill on all sides of your items in the package. Packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and even crumpled up kraft paper / newspaper are all effective void fill materials. When packaging electronics, make sure to use anti-static materials. Using the right amount of void fill is important for a few reasons:
- Not enough void fill will allow items to rattle around inside the package
- Too much void fill can weaken the package and can cause package to fail during transit
5. Seal Boxes Using the H-tape Method
The best way to tape up normal cardboard boxes is to use the H-tape method shown in the image below:
(image courtesy of Secureship: https://secureship.ca/)
This reinforces the box along the middle (where it is weakest) and gives corners extra protection. If necessary (such as when shipping very heavy items) the Cross-shape method should also be used to give the box extra strength.
6. Use the Box-in-Box Method for Extra Protection
After sealing up your box, the next step is to package that box inside of another box. This box-in-box method provides another layer of protection during shipping, and all but ensures that any product will arrive safely.
Place the first box inside a slightly larger box, allowing for another 2-3 inches of void fill like before. Seal this box with the H-tape method as well and apply your shipping labels, as well as any other necessary labels (“Fragile”, “This Side Up”, etc.)
Unrivaled Packaging Solutions – No Matter the Product
Preferred Packaging Products Is Here for Your Business Needs
Since our founding in 1985, we have become the preferred packaging supplier for hundreds of businesses along the Front Range. Our success comes from our drive to really listen to our customers and come up with effective solutions for their packaging and shipping needs.
In addition to our generic packaging products, we also specialize in developing customized packaging using our in-house design center. We also offer equipment automation and installation, kitting & assembly, and warehouse, distribution, & logistics services to meet all of your packaging and shipping needs.
To see what Preferred Packaging Products can do for your business, give us a call at (303) 444-4774 or get in touch with us online to get started.