How to Decide on 3 Key Types of Shipping Materials
A company’s shipping practices can have a significant impact on its success. From customer satisfaction to how shipping costs impact your bottom line, there are many factors to consider. This includes your choice of shipping materials.
At a glance, purchasing bulk shipping supplies can appear to be a cost-effective approach, especially if your company has high shipping volumes. However, as many organizations quickly learn, skimping on the way goods are packaged can have negative consequences. Not only are there costs associated with providing refunds or replacing damaged items, there are also the long-term effects of developing a reputation for “cutting corners” on shipping.
While having shipping insurance provides a measure of security in the event that something goes wrong, safeguarding your packages with top-tier shipping materials can be well worth the investment. In particular, the protective packaging, tape, and tape dispensers you use can support better overall results for your business.
Packing and Shipping Supplies: Protective Packaging
The material used to surround an item within a carton is, of course, critical to ensuring that it arrives undamaged. Inflatable packaging, also known as bubble wrap, provides many benefits, including that it absorbs shock and is lightweight. Inflatable packaging can also be custom printed and color tinted for brand recognition.
Paper packaging is another option. It is an easy-to-use and cost-effective way to fill voids within shipping cartons and provide exceptional cushioning. Plus, it is eco-friendly and 100 percent curbside recyclable.
Yet another popular cushioning material is a product called HexcelWrap. It is an innovative paper-based wrap whose segmented design provides outstanding protection of goods such as glassware, ceramics, and generally anything fragile. It also provides excellent packing efficiency. It is curbside recyclable and repulpable.
When temperature control is a need, products like Chill-R™ Insulated Packaging are a cold chain (i.e., temperature-controlled supply chain) solution that protects sensitive products. Chill-R is recyclable in collaboration with Goodwill® and cost-effective.
Packing and Shipping Supplies: Tape
Ensuring that shipping cartons stay securely sealed from one end of the shipping stream to the other is essential. Consequently, your choice in tape is very important. Plastic pressure-sensitive tape (PST) is one option and may be appropriate for some uses. However, water-activated tape (WAT) can be a better choice for a number of reasons. This includes preventing theft, which is an issue for many companies.
WAT creates a permanent bond with the surface of a carton and can produce a strong, tamper-evident seal with just one strip. If you are not familiar with WAT, you can learn more in A Guide for Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions.
Packing and Shipping Supplies: Tape Dispensers
A second factor in the sealing of shipping cartons is the type of dispenser you use. Your selection affects everything from safety to productivity. The hand-held tape guns commonly used with PST pose a few different risks. One is the potential for injury from the tape-cutting blade as the device is used. Another is risk of repetitive use injuries that can cause shipping team members to miss work and potentially require treatment.
If WAT is chosen for package sealing, there are two types of dispensers: manual and electric. Both support high productivity and can improve packing station safety. As a result, they can help improve your financial results.
Wondering which type of dispenser is right for your organization? Our tape dispenser selection flowchart can help you make the right choice.
A Ready Resource for Your Packaging Material Decisions
Investing in the right packing materials for shipping has many benefits. There is, of course, much to consider as you make your choice, including a variety of resources like our How to Exceed eCommerce Shipping Expectations guide. If you need guidance from one of our product experts, we’re happy to help! Contact us today.
About Better Packages
Founded in 1917, Better Packages is a leading manufacturer of tabletop water-activated tape (WAT) dispensers used in carton sealing. Better Packages’ product line includes auto-dispensing electric machines that are used in high volume fulfillment centers, as well as manual dispensers. In the U.S., Better Packages sells through multiple channels that include industrial and packaging distributors and catalog wholesalers, as well as direct to end-user customers. Its distribution network consists of over 160 authorized distributors including Tier 1 shipping and packaging. Better Packages also has another 50 international distributors that service over 70 countries. Better Packages is a wholly owned subsidiary of Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), an acknowledged leader in the packaging industry. IPG sells a full line of Central® water-activated tape, as well as many other premier packaging products.