Packing & Shipping Tips | E-commerce

What Are the Top Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Glassware?

Better Packages

By: Better Packages on June 21st, 2017

Print/Save as PDF


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) rather than plastic, pressure sensitive 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. Reinforced WAT has a ply of fiberglass between the layers of paper for tensile strength. It's your best option to ensure properly secured cartons.

Carefully Wrap Each Item

Each piece of glassware should be carefully wrapped separately.  There are a variety of different product protection products from which to choose.  We recommend using either bubble wrap or HexcelWrap.  Bubble wrap is lightweight and can be used in multiple layers. It needs to be secured with tape and, as a result, it's important to avoid using too much or it will make unpacking the item more difficult.  HexcelWrap is an innovative and sustainable solution for protecting glassware and it is made from paper.  Whatever method you choose, make sure to take extra care to protect the more delicate stems and handles.  

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 product cushioning.  This is need to make sure there is no internal carton movement that would damage the delicate merchandise.  Air pillows provide effective cushioning for lightweight products that are free of sharp corners or edges.  Another option is  X-Pad.  When the X-Pad system is used, the paper pad expands to full thickness and molds itself to almost any product, providing excellent bracing and cushioning.   

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 of 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.
New Call-to-action

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.