There is so much anticipation in waiting for a package you are excited about. When it finally arrives you rush it in and quickly unwrap it, only to notice a dent or a gouge. There are few things that can make your mood go from excited to disappointed faster than opening a packing only to find that object you were anxious to receive is damaged.
From a seller’s perspective, things aren’t any better. Items damaged in shipping typically lead to you having to replace the item, offer a refund, or both. In addition, even after doing damage control, you often lose the customer for future orders. Luckily there is a huge variety of protective packaging options out there that can help avoid this problem. Let’s look at a few:
This may come as a surprise, but those sheets of bubble wrap everyone loves to pop are actually included for a reason. Bubble wrap is an inexpensive option that provides pretty good protection, especially when paired with other protective options, like an appropriately sized corrugated box. Although it is ubiquitous, there are some drawbacks to bubble wrap: it is not ideal for protecting heavy objects or those with sharp corners, as these will cut right through the bubbles. It is also not a great option for the environment, which can also have a marketing element to it if your brand is considered eco-friendly.
Angle boards are pieces of corrugated cardboard that are used to protect the corners of heavy pieces like furniture in transit. Corner blocks are shaped differently but work similarly.
Corrugated wrap is basically the fluted medium of cardboard, without the stiff outer liners. It can be scored and wrapped around objects as a more environmentally friendly alternative to bubble wrap. Corrugated wrap can be made from recycled paperboard, and it can be recycled after use.
This is another one of those old standbys that everyone has seen and played with as a child. Peanuts are useful when you have an irregularly shaped object you want to ship in a rectangular box. They fill in voids with something resilient to prevent shifting and damage. Packing peanuts are typically made of styrofoam, which makes them another item on the environmentally unfriendly list. Styrofoam has a toxic production process, it lasts basically forever in landfills, and there are almost no facilities to recycle it anywhere. If you use peanuts, look for modern alternatives made out of biodegradable or recyclable materials.
Void fillers are any material that can work like packing peanuts. The most common void filler on the market today is created from shredded paperboard. This shred might be cast-offs from cardboard production, or recycled paperboard. An old-fashioned solution for this would be wadded up newspaper, so anything that mimics that is going to be effective.
One way to reduce items’ ability to shift in transit is to utilize packaging inserts. These inserts fill gaps, so you use less cushioning materials. They can be more environmentally conscious, and depending on the amount of void to fill, might be more economical than some other solutions. One specific type of packaging insert is a molded insert. These will actually exactly match the contours of whatever you are shipping, so they can negate the need for some other packaging materials.
At the end of the day, no matter what you are shipping, there is a packaging solution that exists for it. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Contact a packaging specialist and discuss the options available. Finding a custom solution could easily end up saving you money in the long run.