Sending products is often a risky business. However, there is no reason why this should be so. Like enjoying free spins at an online casino, it is good to know the rules of the game before play. No one wants their products to be damaged before they are delivered. So, it is important that those sending items know beforehand, the how’s and why’s of packaging in order to prevent this from happening.
The importance of packing well
For online businesses packaging is vital. It is the main way that online stores interact with customers. How the item is packaged and then received by consumers can have an enormous impact on them. The experience of opening the package can leave quite an impression. Obviously, it is the importance that the product be packaged in such a way that it is protected during transit and that it arrives safely and undamaged.
Making sure that things are packed well actually saves money as you will not need to send a replacement product if owing to be poorly packed it gets damaged in transit. It also helps to protect your company’s reputation. Consumers receiving poorly packed and damaged goods will not good for the company’s name, and ultimately not good for business.
What kind of packaging is the best?
There are a variety of different types of packaging material that can be used for wrapping products for delivery. Below are listed the most common types used but there actually far more.
Materials for outer packaging:
- Polyurethane which is good for lightweight items that are non-fragile
- Packaging tubes
- Small single-layered cardboard boxes – suitable for small items
- Large double or triple-layered cardboard box for larger and heavier items
Materials for filling and cushioning items:
- Tissue paper
- Peanuts for packaging
- Cardboard inserts
- Rumpled paper
- Bubble wrap
Different types of sealing tape:
- Brown polypropylene tape
- Electrical vinyl adhesive tape
- Duct tape (paper tape)
The choice of packaging material you choose will depend on the item you are sending. However, there are a number of things worth doing in order to be sure that your product arrives safely and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Important steps in the packaging process
Choosing the correct packaging materials according to the item in question.
Reused cardboard boxes are not recommended. Parcels go through many hands before they reach their final destination. All kinds of service providers, air freight workers, customs officers and others. Secondhand boxes have mostly lost their strength and may actually fall apart as they pass through the transit process. If they don’t fall apart, their lack of sturdiness and constant banging up against other packages in transit may cause the item inside to become damaged. Choosing low-quality packaging will very likely result in damage occurring along the way.
How to know what the correct packaging is for your product
- The weight of the item is important. If it is a heavy product it will need stronger packaging. The strength of the packaging is usually to be found on the manufacturer’s label. Heavy products require double or triple-layered corrugated boxes. Polyurethane bags will suffice for lighter items.
- Pay attention to the size and the shape of the item. When using a box, you should make sure that there is enough space to add filling for cushioning. The item should sit in the centre of the box, not touching its sides.
- It is important to take into account the value of the item and how fragile it is. The more valuable and fragile the item, the more filling and cushioning it will need. Also, a FRAGILE sticker should be placed on the box.
- A polyurethane bag is good for lightweight items like clothing, just wrapped with some tissue paper.
All items should be wrapped individually
If you are sending a number of items in the same box, it is important to wrap them individually, cushioning them from one another. If not, they make bounce against each other in transit and get broken or damaged. If the item is one that needs extra protection, from say, water damage, it should be placed in a plastic bag first.
Filling and cushioning
The package should be completely filled by filling, leaving no empty space in the box. It is not necessary to overstuff the box but should be sufficiently filled so as to prevent items from moving around or getting bumped in transit and getting damaged.
Cushioning should be at least 5-6 cm around the item and should be foam or cardboard inserts, bubble wrap or airbags. The rest of the package can be filled with other materials like Styrofoam, paper or packing peanuts.
Sealing the package with the correct material
If you are sending a box, make sure you seal it with one of the tapes mentioned above, making sure it is of an at least 5cm in width. If your product needs only a polyurethane bag, make sure its self-adhesive strip is sealed properly and moisture is not going to get it.
It is not recommended to add string or ties to your package. This can cause damage to a heavy parcel and could damage the machinery used by your service provider.
Boxes sealed with the H-taping method
Using this method makes your package really secure and prevents the flaps of the box opening during transit. The H-tape method is where you apply tape to the centre and edge seams of the box.
Using the box-in-box method is excellent for valuable fragile items that require extra protection. The inner box can be part of your company’s branding experience and the fact that the branding box is inside is also a deterrent to theft.
Obviously, two boxes are required. The outer box needs to be large enough for the inner box to sit and allow for enough filler or cushioning. Cushioning should be placed on the bottom of the outer box where the inner box will sit. Fill all around the inner box and then seal the package by H-taping it, as described above.
Packing your products appropriately is important. If you follow the advice given above it will ensure that your product arrives at its destination without being damaged. It will save you money and improve your customer’s experience.