Billions of dollars’ worth of sporting goods are sold in the U.S. every year. Market and consumer data experts Statista estimate that sales will top $48 billion in 2018. While in-store purchases will account for a sizeable percentage of that volume, much of the merchandise will be bought online and shipped.
Getting those items from the distribution point to the consumer safely is critically important to a sporting goods store’s success.
Why Proper Packing Matters
Many of the sporting goods items shipped to customers are large, heavy, and often non-standard in shape. From exercise equipment and free weights, to skis and snowboards, packing them properly is important for a number of reasons, including that it:
- Helps prevent damage
- Minimizes returns and credits
- Creates a positive impression with customers and promotes future purchases
- Makes packages more secure and less prone to rip-and-replace thefts
- Helps protect package handlers from injuries related to packaging failures
In short, using the right packing materials and techniques is an investment in enhancing your reputation and growing your business. And when compared to the cost and consequences of using inferior supplies, you could say it’s a slam dunk!
“Using the right packing materials and techniques is an investment in enhancing your reputation and growing your business.” TWEET THIS
9 Strategies for Preparing Heavy Items for Shipping
Protecting heavy or odd-shaped items during shipping requires that you use the appropriate cartons and sealing material, as well as the right packing techniques. Follow these tips to help ensure that your packages remain safe and secure until they are opened by your excited customers:
1. Choose the right size of carton.
A carton that is “just big enough” probably is not big enough. You’ll need to have room for adequate product padding and void fill.
2. Use water-activated tape.
Also known as paper tape, or gummed tape or Kraft paper tape, water-activated tape (WAT) creates an actual bond with corrugated boxes, rather than simply sticking to them. This ensures boxes remain strongly sealed no matter what kind of conditions they encounter on route. Regular plastic, pressure-sensitive tape may lose adhesion in hot or cold, or dry and dusty environments.
3. Use fiberglass-reinforced WAT if needed.
For packages that are heavy, strands of fiberglass embedded in the tape provide the added support needed for product safety.
4. Provide packers with a UL-listed WAT dispenser.
The more efficient you make the packing process the more likely it will be done properly. A well-designed and safe dispenser gives packers the properly prepared tape they need to ensure strong sealing.
5. Include plenty of padding.
If there is any room within a package for an item to shift during transport, it will. Excess interior carton space can cause damage to the product and/or the box. Use appropriate packaging material, such as air pillows, to cushion the item.
6. Divide extra-heavy shipments.
It’s much better to break a shipment into two or more boxes if sending it in one might exceed the limits of the box’s structural integrity.
7. Have custom boxes designed.
If you are shipping odd-shaped items on a regular basis, it may be worthwhile to have special boxes developed, rather than trying to use workarounds with other containers. Not only will this better protect the item; it makes a positive impression with your customers.
8. Perform a final inspection.
It’s always a good idea to give a package a careful look before you hand it off to the shipper. Catching and correcting any flaws before a box goes out the door can save you time and money later.
9. Have an ample supply of the right supplies on-hand.
Nothing increases the odds of a packaging failure like having to improvise when you run out of the appropriate boxes or WAT.
Take the Stress Out of Sporting Goods Shipping
Sending heavy sporting goods out the door in marginal packaging can leave you wondering if your products will make it to their destination safely. Using the supplies and processes noted above will help prevent damage and provide customers with an exciting unboxing experience when they receive their purchases. To learn more about WAT click here.