If you’re shipping anything to your customers, you should be ensuring you take measures to ship packages without any damage. Unfortunately, damage can occur during the shipping process. Regardless of how far you are shipping something, packages are subject to damage, but if you properly package your items, you can decrease the likelihood of damage incurring. There are a few things you can do to keep your products safe during shipping, such as understanding what shipping supplies and options are available. Here are our tips for securely packing and shipping items.
Understanding packaging options
When it comes to shipping, it’s not one size fits all. Fortunately, there are a lot of options for businesses to choose from when it comes to how to package their products for shipping. A few key pieces of information you will need to help you determine the best type of packaging are the size, weight and type of product you are shipping. The following are a few of the most popular shipment packaging materials; corrugated boxes, chipboard and paperboard boxes, and cleated plywood boxes.
Corrugated boxes are sturdy and able to accommodate varying weights, as well as provide a bit of cushioning for products. The corrugated material used to create a corrugated box is what provides the extra padding. This type of box consists of two thin cardboard layers with a wavey (corrugated) layer in between. Corrugated boxes are ideal for shipping as they are strong and durable, recyclable and can easily be printed on.
Oftentimes people think corrugated and cardboard shipping boxes are the same thing, but there are a few key differences between the two. The word cardboard can be used to describe any type of board made from heavy paper-pulp, and is often used to make items such as playing cards. Thin chipboard that is used to create cereal boxes is also considered cardboard. While corrugated boxes are partially made of cardboard, they are not strictly cardboard, meaning the words are not interchangeable. Corrugated refers to a specific type of material that is composed of the three layers mentioned above (two layers of thin cardboard and the wavy layer sandwiched between.)
Chipboard and paperboard boxes are made from bendable and pliable chip cardboard. Common items made out of chipboard include the backs of marbled notebooks or notepads and envelope stiffeners. These types of boxes are often lightweight and brown or white in color. Common use cases for chipboard and paperboard boxes are shipping cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other small, light weight items.
Cleated plywood boxes
Cleated plywood boxes are made of cleated plywood and most often used for cross-border shipping as they are very solid. If you are shipping via the air freight shipping method, you will most likely opt for cleated plywood boxes for their durability. You most likely will not need to consider this shipping material if you are shipping within the borders of your country and sending smaller packages containing few items.
Determine the best option for your product
Now that you know what your shipping material options are, you can look at the specifics of the products you will be shipping to help determine which is best for you. In order to choose the most cost efficient and protective option, you’ll want to consider the size of the item, it’s weight and what type of product it is.
The size of your product plays a big role in determining what type and size shipping box you should use. Choosing a box that is too big for your item will increase the likelihood of damage during transit as the item will be bouncing around in all of the extra space. Similarly, choosing a box that is too small can also lead to damage, as the item will have little protection around it.
Another factor to consider is what kind of product you are shipping. Is it extremely fragile, such as a piece of glass? If so, you will want to opt for a shipping box that offers added layers of protection, such as a corrugated box. Fragile items require a box that will provide both layers of projection, but also a fairly snug fit to decrease movement and friction.
Finally, you will want to consider the weight of the product. A heavier item should not be shipped in a lightweight box, such as a chipboard or paperboard box. In order to achieve proper projection, you will want to package heavier items in sturdier boxes, and save the lightweight options for your smaller, light weight products.
Now that you have hopefully determined the best shipping box material and size, you are still not quite done with preparing your product for shipping. There are further steps you can take while you package your product to secure it even more.
Pad the boxes
Add extra padding to your boxes to secure your items, especially if you are shipping fragile products. Unfortunately accidents can happen and as soon as the product leaves your warehouse, it is out of your hands. Boxes can be dropped or simply move around while in transit, but if you add extra padding inside your box, you can protect your items from these little accidents. Materials such as packing peanuts or newspaper can easily add another layer of projection,
Another way to protect your items during the shipping process is to wrap them. Items such as glassware should be properly wrapped in multiple layers of bubble wrap and secured with tape. Glassware is extremely fragile and will need this extra layer of protection.
Once you have properly secured your items in your shipping box, you can give the box a little shake to see if there is a rattle. While you don’t want to overstuff your box to the point it may burst, you also want to make sure there is no room for your item to roll around while in transit. If you shake your box and notice some rattling, you may need to add some more padding, just watch out for overstuffing!
Shipping can seem a daunting and expensive task, but if you do your due diligence, not only can you find the right methods and materials for you, but you can also save money. Follow our tips for securely packing and shipping to ensure you do what you can to keep your products safe in a cost effective manner.
Printivity Shipping Boxes
Printivity offers corrugated shipping boxes in a variety of sizes, including custom sizes. With no minimum, you are able to order just the amount you need and no more. Every box sold by Printivity goes through one of two tests to very box strength, so you can rest assured your products will be transported in quality material. By investing in the right shipping box and taking measures to properly pack your products, you will be able to confidently provide your customers with the experience they deserve. Do your business a favor and take advantage of Printivity’s short run printing, fast turnaround times and free design service to ship your products in high quality style. If you are ready to place an order, or have any questions, please reach out to Printivity at 1-877-649-5463.