The rise of e-commerce has only further made shipping and distribution of products more important for businesses, but we know that shipping can also be expensive and difficult to streamline alongside your business’ other needs. To help you feel prepared and confident in your business’ shipping capabilities, here is an essential list of packaging supplies your business needs.
While this may seem like the most obvious necessity, it is important to consider the basics and the options available to you when purchasing shipping boxes. Typically, a packaging supplier will offer corrugated shipping boxes that are more durable, to better protect your product. Rather than a single sheet, corrugated boxes feature a fluted medium in between an inner and outer liner.
Next, you should consider the dimensions of the shipping boxes you need. Consider your product, as shipping items in boxes larger than necessary can accrue extra costs, as the box will take up more space when shipped. Your product will also be best protected in a box that matches its size to reduce the risk of it rattling around and experiencing damage during transit.
To properly secure your shipping boxes, you will need to get your hands on both carton tape and stretch wrap. Carton tape will keep your shipping boxes sealed without compromising the integrity of the corrugated material. The reason you want to use carton tape instead of substitutes like duct tape is that duct tape does not adhere well to cardboard. It can also cost more than actual packing tape. Physically tying your boxes closed with strings and similar material puts them at high risk of coming undone or unsecured during transportation, resulting in unhappy customers.
As for stretch wrap, this material is important because it secures your packaging onto palettes, or keeps them from toppling over when stacked with other shipping boxes. Transportation can easily shift and disturb boxes if they are not properly secured with stretch wrap. The wrap also keeps your load free of dust, dirt, and moisture. You can also choose from a few variations of stretch wrap to better suit your needs. UVI stretch wrap will protect your packages from UV rays if your packages must be stored outdoors. If you are worried about products being pilfered during the shipping process, opaque stretch wraps can obscure the contents of a shipment.
A poly bag is thin, flexible, and made from a plastic film, nonwoven fabric, or plastic textile. These are perfect for shipping things like fabric and garments, produce and food, or publications like magazines. This allows for a packaging option that is very compact while still being recyclable, making them a great option for reducing your carbon footprint. Poly bags come in three variations:
Your shipping operations must be well-organized to avoid confusion. While handwritten labels will get the job done if written accurately and consistently, investing in a label machine will save you time while providing a detailed and clear label. These machines can easily print all identifying information and print a bulk of labels quickly, as opposed to having to handwrite individual copies. Good organization and the use of labels will help your business ship faster and move more products in a shorter amount of time.
Bubble wrap is ideal for shipping fragile items, as it is a very effective insulator. The bubbles of sealed air provide a flexible but durable cushion that creates a sturdy barrier against impacts. As an added benefit, bubble wrap is extremely lightweight, so packing your boxes with it will not add weight. This means you will not have to pay more just to keep your products protected. On the topic of cost, bubble wrap can be very cheap, as it is often sold in bulk. Additionally, you can reuse bubble wrap for other packages if most of the bubbles are still intact.
While not a substitute for bubble wrap in terms of insular impact protection, packing peanuts are used as space fillers. Any space that is not taken up by the product or the bubble wrap is filled by packing peanuts to keep anything from moving around during transit. Their peanut shape is purposeful, as they interlock when pressing against each other, but can flow freely when not compressed.
Similar to poly bags, there are a few packaging envelopes to consider for your shipping needs.
Depending on the type of inventory your business carries, you can use this essential list of packaging supplies your business needs to tailor your shipping materials. Keep your customers’ orders safe, and streamline your shipping operations. By utilizing the right tools for the job, you can save your business some time and money.