Whether you are shipping merchandise to a client or sending a gift to your friend, you want your items to arrive safe and intact. Courier companies do the best they can to get your package delivered on time and in good condition. However, there is no way of knowing what other items will be delivered along with your package.
Packing your items using the proper materials ensures that your items remain in good condition even while in transit. Here are a few tips for packing your deliverables.
1. Provide enough protection
Cushion your item to prevent it from hitting the sides of your box or other items. This is especially true if your item is fragile like a TV set, a painting, or a pair of glasses. Wrapping your items carefully also protects other items from getting damaged and prevents the courier staff from sustaining any injury.
2. Don’t use regular envelopes for small items
Small items such as pens, keys, CDs or USB flash drives, should not be shipped in a regular paper envelope. These items may be small and can fit in white envelopes, but this type of packaging does not provide enough protection. The items could get easily misplaced, torn away from the envelope, or damaged during transit.
Use a mailing tube or a rigid mailer when shipping these types of items. If these aren’t available, place a piece of cardboard on both the front and back or wrap them in bubble wrap to protect the items from being bent. You can then place the item in a padded bag. Seal the bag with heavy duty packaging tape.
3. Wrap items individually
When shipping several items at the same time, it is important to wrap each piece individually. Cover each part with newspaper or bubble wrap, or fill the box with packing peanuts to keep the items from moving around. You can also use dividers to keep them separate. In some cases, you may need to reserve a box for each to make sure that they remain safe while in transit.
4. Use a sturdy box
For items that cannot be shipped in packets, you can use boxes made out of quality corrugated cardboard. Use double or tri-wall cardboard boxes for the heavier or more fragile items. As much as possible, avoid reusing boxes when packaging your items for shipping. Boxes lose their rigidity and durability the more they are used.
Check the box to see its strength and construction type. Make sure that you don’t go beyond its designed weight limits. If in doubt, ask the supplier of the box for more information.
5. Choose the right size
Picking a box can be tricky at times. If the box is too small, your item/s may not be able to fit inside and it will end up bursting. On the other hand, under-filling your box may cause it to collapse or become deformed during the transit. If you can’t find the right size, choose a box that’s slightly larger than your item. You can use packing peanuts to fill in the spaces and prevent it from collapsing.
6. Use the right type of tape
How you close and seal the box can also make a difference. The right type of tape can keep your box closed and prevent its contents from spilling over or becoming damaged during the transit. Use pressure-sensitive tape such as brown plastic tape, electrical or duct tape. Avoid using kraft paper, cellophane tape or string. These are not enough to keep the box sealed.
Impact protection materials
These types of packing materials will help keep your items from banging against each other or hitting the walls of the box. Impact protection materials include:
a. Bubble wrap
Bubble wrap is identified by small pockets of air lining across one side of sheet of plastic. Although the sheets can get pricey, they are effective in protecting fragile items or breakables such as glass, watches, laptops, plates and more.
b. Brown paper
Sheets of brown paper can be used to wrap items. When scrunched up, they can be used to fill the gaps inside your box. Brown paper is cheap and easy to find. The downside is that the sheets are not durable and they can easily collapse when a heavy load is placed against it.
c. Single ply board
If you are using a thin cardboard box, you can make the sides sturdier by lining it with this material. Some businesses use it to wrap fragile pieces such as bottles. The covering prevents the bottles from banging against each other and cracking during transit.
AUTHOR BIO: Naveen Joseph is the Head of Operations – UAE for Fetchr which supports both B2B, B2C and peer2peer deliveries in the Middle East. Fetchr is a technology solution that makes shipping as delightful as shopping and helps local merchants and global brands build, launch and grow profitable e-commerce and online businesses.