Granted, you now have a choice between a variety of packaging and shipping supplies, from the ubiquitous cardboard mailing boxes to bubble wrap, packing tape, packing peanuts, foam, padded envelopes, and more. But if you are packing and shipping different kinds of items for your business, you need to know which shipping and packing supplies to use since some supplies are better used for certain things. Following is your definitive guide to packaging supplies for shipping – and which to use for different items.
First: what you need to know
Protecting your items is your priority, of course, especially if your business does a lot of shipping to customers. But aside from making sure your items are protected, you also need to consider another factor: the cost of shipping. The kind of packaging material you use will have an impact on your overall shipping cost, as major carriers will often base their shipping rates on the size and weight of your parcel or shipment. This means that you need to find shipping and packaging materials which can offer both protection for your items as well as limit the weight that is added to your shipment.
The most popular kinds of boxes and mailers for shipping
There are different kinds of packaging and shipping materials, but the most commonly-used items include envelopes, boxes, and tubes. Standard or plain envelopes are ideal for small, lightweight, and flat objects, such as paper documents weighing less than a kilo, magazines, and lightweight clothing such as t-shirts. Bubble or padded envelopes, meanwhile, are suitable for books, DVDs, and boxed jewellery, as well as some items of clothing. You can also use flat mailers made of cardboard for items such as art prints, placemats, and small books, whilst fold-up mailing boxes are ideal for larger books and artwork in a frame. A standard box is perfect for large items which require protection, or a number of items packed individually, whilst you can also go for double-sided or walled cardboard boxes for heavy or fragile items which require extra support and protection. You also have the option of using mailing or postal tubes, which are ideal for sports equipment such as golf clubs, or rugs and posters.
Choosing fillers and other packaging supplies
Aside from boxes, you need to make use of other packaging supplies which can serve as cushioning and fillers for the better protection of your items, as confirmed by experts in packaging supplies in London like UK Packaging. But when choosing fillers and cushioning, you may need to think about the presentation of your package or parcel, and the fillers may play a role in how well you present your product or item as well.
Also, fillers can add weight and bulk to your shipment, so you need to choose carefully. Make sure the fillers and cushioning you choose will prevent your items from shifting or moving during transit, will absorb impact or shock to prevent item damage or breakage, and will prevent the surface of items from rubbing or scratching against the container. Additionally, the cushioning should create a memorable, branded ‘unboxing’ experience for your customer.
Whilst some items don’t require much aside from blank newsprint paper, there are other items which need good cushioning. For instance, you can make use of polyethene bags for grouping various pieces together in a box, but these don’t provide any cushioning. You can also make use of newsprint, which is a good void filler for items which are sturdy, but the weight of it can add up if you use a large box. You can also use bubble wrap, and this is perfect for wrapping fragile items, especially since it’s lightweight and can come in large rolls for easy storage. You can make use of packing peanuts as well, which is lightweight and ideal if you don’t want an item to shift or move. Packing peanuts will require a lot of storage space, however, and they are not ecologically-friendly and can be messy. Foam is often used for irregularly-shaped objects as a protective filler and cushioning, but it can also add bulk to your shipment.
At the end of the day, the packaging materials and supplies you choose should be suitable for the item, so think carefully about what you use to ensure your item’s full protection.
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