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An Essential List of Packaging Supplies Your Business Needs

An Essential List of Packaging Supplies Your Business Needs

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.

Shipping Boxes

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.

Carton Tape and Stretch Wrap

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.

Poly Bags

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:

  • Garment bags: Commonly used by dry cleaners, these bags protect clothes and keep them wrinkle-free, so when the garment is delivered, it will still look fresh and new.
  • Flat poly bags: Preferred for their outstanding value and protective storage, flat poly bags can seal and press dry foods for preservation and are ideal for separately storing sensitive materials like screws.
  • Poly liner bags: Best used in conjunction with other boxes and bags, you can use these as liners for containers to add an extra layer of protection. They are resistant to damage caused by debris and moisture, but are not recommended for shipping products like fine powders, as they are susceptible to leakage.

Labels

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

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.

Packing Peanuts

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.

Shipping Envelopes

Similar to poly bags, there are a few packaging envelopes to consider for your shipping needs.

  • Bubble mailers are ideal for small products that need some protection since, as the name suggests, bubble wrap is inlaid within the envelope. This makes it ideal for objects like books, DVDs, or jewelry.
  • Plain Tyvek® envelopes are a cheap solution for products like apparel and cloth goods that will not face damage by impact. These are very basic and easy to order in bulk.
  • Flat chipboard mailers are great for shipping products such as art prints, books, and anything in danger of becoming crumpled or bent. This cardboard sleeve will keep the product safe and ensure the pages stay smooth, so it is delivered in the most pristine state.

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.

An Essential List of Packaging Supplies Your Business Needs

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