Are Your Products Protected for Shipment?
The right internal packaging system is just as important as good external packaging materials. Internal packaging will secure your product during transport, lessen outer impacts, and will provide space between the contents of your shipment and the external packaging solution. Before you ship any items, it is important that you take a close look at your internal packing solutions to ensure your products are properly protected.
Internal Protection Basics
When packaging your items for shipment, internal protection is crucial to ensure your items reach their final destination safely. Keep these tips in mind when you package your items:
Wrap each item separately. By wrapping up each individual item, you'll ensure that they stay protected during transit, as items tend to shift and move during transportation. Fragile items especially need to be kept separated from each other as well as from the corners, top, bottom, and sides of the box.
Surround each item with the proper amount of cushioning. There are several different packing options that can provide cushioning, but it is crucial that each item is covered by a minimum of two inches of material. Items should also be placed with adequate space from the inner walls of the box in order to prevent damage from shock, vibration, and product-to-product contact.
Avoid improper cushioning materials. Many people make the mistake of choosing improper packaging materials. Newspaper and towels are some of the most commonly selected options, and while these might be cost-effective options, they won't do much to protect your items during transit.
Investing in the right packaging materials, including impact protection and void fill materials, will help to ensure that your products remain safe during shipment.
Impact Protection Materials
Regardless of the mode of transportation that you choose for your products, they will likely encounter some degree of impact. The right internal packaging materials can keep them protected:
Bubble wrap. This impact protection material is especially useful for breakable items like glass, but it isn’t always the most cost-effective option.
Corrugated board. Single-ply corrugated roll is a good option for lining thin boxes to increase their resistance to impact. It can prevent bending and dents but may not stand up to heavy loads.
Engineered foam enclosures. These enclosures can be made of polyethylene, polypropylene, expanded polystyrene, or copolymers, and they are pre-engineered to protect specific products.
Kraft paper. When crunched into cylindrical shapes, this item can provide excellent protection for your products. It can also be easily recycled, but it isn’t a great option for long transits, as it won’t stand up well with heavy loads.
Void Fill Materials
Foam is available in a variety of densities, so it is important to choose the option that is most appropriate to meet the requirements of your products
If your packages have a lot of extra space between your item and the outer packaging, you may need to add void fill materials for extra protection. Some of the most popular options include:
Air Cushions. These small, air-filled bags can provide good protection for your products, and because they can be inflated, they will minimize on-site storage.
Foam. Foam can be sprayed directly into a box or mixed within packets, and some options can expand in order to provide a protective mold for the package contents. Foam is available in a variety of densities, so it is important to choose the option that is most appropriate to meet the requirements of your products.
Loose Fill. Sometimes known as packing “peanuts,” loose fill can provide protection for your packaging, but they are also messy and expensive.
Properly Sealing Your Package
Even the best materials will fail to keep your items protected if you don’t seal your package properly. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of using regular duct tape, masking tape, or paper over-wrap in order to seal their package, which aren’t really intended to provide a secure closer for shipping. Instead, you should be using a strong tape with a width of at least two inches, and there are a couple of good options to try:
Nylon-reinforced filament tape. When using this type of tape, ensure that you select 60 lb. (27 kg) grade tape that is at least three inches wide, and apply three strips to the bottom and top flaps of a package. With RSC packages, the flaps will meet at the center, so it is important that the middle and edge seams are all sealed. For corrugated containers, if the flaps overlap, the top and bottom of the box should be sealed so that the tree edge seams are secure.
Pressure-sensitive plastic tape. This versatile tape can be placed without water, and it sticks to a variety of surfaces. It is often the easiest and most convenient type of tape to use. It can be applied in the same way as the nylon-reinforced filament option.
Special Consideration for Perishable Items
Extra precautions are needed when shipping perishable items. Insulation is important in order to reduce the transfer of heat via the container walls, and expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is a popular option. Items that need to be kept cold should include gel coolants or dry ice, but it is important to protect your item in a plastic bag in order to prevent leaks. Insulated foam containers are often used for perishables, and these containers are then packaged in a sturdy, outer container.
Nefab Will Ensure Your Products are Protected for Shipment
While it is certainly important to consider your external packaging needs before you ship your products, many companies fail to put the same thought into their internal packaging solutions. In fact, internal packaging is just as important when it comes to keeping your products secure and damage-free during transit. At Nefab, we provide full-service packaging solutions that can address both your internal and external packing materials.
As frontrunners in the packaging design industry, we are committed to helping customers to create safe, affordable, and eco-friendly packaging solutions. Whether you will be shipping your items via rail, ocean freight, air, or ground, it is important to choose packing materials that meet your needs.