Tips to Ensure Carton Safety and Satisfied Customers during Transit
These days, all businesses operate in an environment in which 3 out of 5 customers are willing to try a new brand or company for a better customer service experience.* Yet, when working on improvements to customer service, many businesses view customer service enhancements solely as customer interactions either in person, by telephone, or over the web. Businesses often overlook, as a component of customer care, the shipping packages that customers receive from e-commerce purchases.
Deliveries must go through a much longer and challenging journey to the doorstep. In many cases, that delivery is the first time a customer is interacting with the service provided by your company. Consider the message conveyed to your customers if the products they order arrive in cartons that are dented, torn, or damaged. What is the message to customers if your cartons are messy, covered in tape? If you aren’t employing good packaging practices, you may be inadvertently communicating to your customers that their orders aren’t a priority. To help prevent this, here are a few tips to improve carton safety and appearance during transit.
Choose the Right Size Box
Selecting the most appropriate carton size is important to ensuring that it gets to its destination safely and undamaged. Squeezing an item into a box too small can potentially result in it splitting or tearing during shipping. Conversely, under-filled boxes are at a greater risk of collapsing from the weight of other cartons stacked on top of them. Mitigating this problem is as simple as keeping a stash of shipping boxes in various dimensions in your inventory.
Use Sturdy Packaging Materials
It is tempting to reuse cardboard boxes when trying to economize. However, any savings gained can be quickly negated if the carton loses its integrity during shipping. It's best to use new corrugated cardboard boxes if there is any doubt about the carton’s efficacy. Carton strength degrades after multiple uses, particularly when used in more extreme climatic conditions.
If you are shipping items that are particularly expensive or heavy, you may want to opt for cartons made of virgin fiber. Recycled cartons contain shorter fibers, and each time fibers are recycled they become shorter and weaker.
Make Sure Cartons Are Adequately Sealed
One of the most common causes of damaged parcels is an inadequate carton seal. There are situations where the content weight makes regular plastic packing tape separate, resulting in carton breakage. Using multiple passes with a tape gun and pressure-sensitive tape provides greater stability, but this gets expensive. The best solution for a strong and securely sealed box is to use reinforced water-activated tape. Available in a variety of widths, reinforced water-activated tape comes with a layer of fiberglass embedded within for strength. This is particularly useful when shipping heavier items.
A couple of additional added benefits of water-activated tape are its inherent tamper-resistance and branding. Traditional plastic packing tape sits on top of the box and is susceptible to tampering. With just a bit of pressure on the carton, it's possible for someone to reach into the box, pull out an item, and reseal the box with little or no evidence that it has been tampered with. Water-activated tape creates a permanent bond with the cardboard. It welds itself to the corrugate so an attempt to break the seal to steal some of its contents will be clearly evident. Its strong adhesion and reinforcement make it an excellent deterrent against theft and pilfering. An added bonus: you only need one strip of tape to securely seal your carton.
Water-activated tape is made from paper and provides a great medium for messaging. You can print logos, promotions and general information in full-color or black & white.
In a world of heightened customer expectations, it makes sense to do everything you can control to ensure customer satisfaction. Follow these easy tips and your products will arrive safely to their destination…and this should bring a smile to your customer’s face.
* Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs.
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.