Our Tips On Packaging and Packing
Even when goods are being transported professionally, they need to be protected from the rigours of the various handling processes that are undertaken en route. A package can be loaded, re-loaded, stored and stowed numerous times during a typical transit, so good quality packaging is essential to ensure safe delivery. Here are just a few things you may want to consider when packaging your products for shipment:
- Will your product withstand damage if other, heavier packages are stacked on top of yours en route? Make sure that your outer packaging is appropriate, strong and secure. Consider using double-walled boxes where appropriate and ensure void space is kept to a minimum.
- Stabilise the goods inside the packages - use a robust filling material, such as biodegradable void filler (often known as packing peanuts or packing chips) or bubble wrap. Pack heavier items at the bottom of the box to ensure lighter and vulnerable products don’t get crushed!
- Cartons generally stay the right way up during transit if address labels are fixed to the top of the package. Ensure delivery name and address details are unambiguous and clearly displayed and, if your customer requires paperwork for inspection upon delivery, use self-adhesive ‘Documents Enclosed’ wallets, which are used as standard.
- Try to gather smaller shipments into a larger package to reduce stress on individual consignments and avoid small packages getting lost in transit. This will also save on postage!
- In transit, even the strongest double walled box is only as good as the adhesive tape used to seal the carton. When making up flat pack boxes, be sure to use strong nylon or vinyl adhesive tape to ensure heavy contents don’t fall through the bottom of the box when lifting and during transit.
- Use padded bags for sharp edges or odd shapes. These can be bubble-lined or traditional Jiffy bag style and are generally available in a variety of sizes to cover a wide range of requirements.
- Sometimes, the simplest methods offer the cheapest and most effective packaging solution. Self-seal polythene mailers are strong and durable and are ideal for situations where additional protective packaging is not necessary. These are great for helping to minimise postal costs.
- Although many domestic carriers accept cartons weighing up to 30 kg as part of their standard service, spare a thought for your typical consumer customer, who may struggle to lift or even move such a heavy package upon receipt. A disappointing end to what otherwise would be a happy customer experience.
- Many carriers impose restrictions on fragile products so it’s best to check with them in advance. Those that do accept these may limit the amount of compensation offered in the event of a breakage. Sadly, the well-used ‘Fragile’ sticker is often not always sufficient to ensure packages are handled with the utmost care, so always use appropriate internal packaging to protect the contents. Make sure fragile items don’t touch each other or the sides of the packaging.
- The same applies to any liquid products, where potential contamination is a big concern for most carriers. After all, they also have obligations to their other clients to ensure safe and secure delivery of all of their consignments.
- For documents, posters and similar materials that can be rolled, use robust cardboard postal tubes with end caps that fit tightly. These will withstand most normal transit situations but remember that extra-long tubes may bend in transit, if handled incorrectly, so it may be worth binding these with a second tube.
- Decide whether you need a fully tracked and signed-for delivery service. This will often depend on the value of the contents and the consequences of non or late delivery. This is particularly important for sales generated via eBay, Amazon and other websites where customer feedback plays a critical part in maintaining buyer confidence.
- If you have a regular volume of shipments, it may be worth using a third party fulfilment house, who can store your products and then pick, pack and ship orders directly to your customers. Many of these provide a low-cost packaging option and can also offer better postal rates than most businesses are able to obtain independently. If you need more information about fulfilment services, then please contact Adstral Fulfilment directly.