Packing glassware and other fragile items can be challenging. The last thing you want is for your breakables to arrive at their destination cracked, shattered, or otherwise damaged. Here’s a guide to help you avoid making costly mistakes when preparing your glassware for shipping.
Use Only Top Quality Shipping Supplies
Of course, for any shipment, you should be using good quality, sturdy shipping cartons as well as excellent packing material. This becomes even more crucial if the items you are shipping are fragile. This is no time to skimp and choose thin or weak cardboard boxes. Make sure your boxes are made of strong corrugated cardboard.
While shipping cartons made from recycled materials may be quite sturdy, you may want to opt for boxes made from new materials, particularly if the contents are heavy. Fibers from recycled cardboard tend to be shorter making them less sturdy.
The tape you use to seal your carton should also be strong and up to the task. For that, we recommend water-activated tape (WAT) over pressure sensitive standard packing tape. Standard packing tape is just a single ply of plastic and often isn't very rugged. Reinforced water-activated tape is made of paper and creates a strong and durable bond with the cardboard. When reinforced, it has a ply of fiberglass between the layers of paper for even greater tensile strength. It's your very best option to ensure properly secured cartons.
Carefully Wrap Each Item
Each piece of glassware should be carefully wrapped separately using either clean white newsprint or bubble wrap or a combination of the two. Be sure to take extra care to protect the more delicate stems and handles. You can use some tape to secure the packing material around the object, but avoid using too much tape as this will make unpacking the item more difficult.
Place the Item Correctly in the Carton
Now that you’ve chosen a strong carton and wrapped items carefully, it’s time to put everything in the carton. To cushion the glassware, you need to fill in the spaces on the top, bottom and sides of the carton with interior packing material or “void fill”. There is a wide variety of void fill to choose from including air pillows, packing paper and packaging peanuts. Most packing experts recommend having ½” of space around each item to be shipped and 2” of void fill on all sides of the carton. If shipping glasses and stemware, it helps to find specifically designed cartons with dividers for each individual piece.
Place items in the carton vertically. Laying items on their side can increase the risk of breakage. Then, add extra packing material around items to ensure that it doesn't get jostled or moved in transit. Make sure that there are no gaps or empty space inside the box to prevent the items from shifting.
If you'd like further protection for your fragile items, you can place the first box into a slightly larger shipping carton surrounding it with more packing material to keep the small box from moving.
Seal the Carton and Prepared for Shipping
Next step is to use your water-activated tape so you will seal your carton securely. WAT needs to be used with a water-activated tape dispenser. These dispensers wet and cut the tape to specific lengths, making it ready to apply to the carton. Dispensers come in manual and electric models; the right one for you depends upon your packing and shipping situation. Here’s a tool to help you choose the right machine for you.
You’ll only need one strip of water-activated tape to safely seal both the top and bottom of your carton. Your carton will be strong and tamper evident, making it difficult for anyone to tamper with the contents of your box without being noticed.
Standard plastic shipping tape can easily be compromised by pressing down on the seams of the carton and allowing an individual to steal some of the contents without leaving any evidence. With water-activated tape, any attempt to access the contents will cause a noticeable tear in the tape or carton making it obvious that it has been tampered with.
You can now affix your shipping label to the carton. If the box isn't already marked as such, be sure to add an indication that the contents are fragile and showing which way is up.
If you follow these simple tips, your glassware will have a far greater chance of arriving at its destination intact and unharmed.
Better Packages | Shipping Glassware
The importance of using a strong and secure tape when shipping glassware cannot be over-emphasized for it can make the difference between equipment arriving intact or not. Better Packages offers a full line of water-activated tape dispensers, along with the Central® brand water-activated tape through its parent company, Intertape Polymer Group (IPG). Water-activated tape (also known as gummed tape, gum tape, Kraft paper tape, reinforced paper tape) is designed to create a superior seal on your corrugated cartons while providing advantages other carton sealing methods do not.