How to Pack and Protect an Ecommerce Shipment

There are three main facets to packing for ecommerce shipments.
  • Protection. Helps prevent damage to the items during transit.
  • Presentation. Gives perceived value to the client.
  • Cost. Frequently a limiting factor.

In this guide, I will address”security” matters: The best way to stop a shipment from being damaged during transit.

What to Protect Against?

When considering protection, it’s worth considering it is almost impossible to have no obligations in shipments — without excessive cost. There needs to be a compromise between a decent number of damages when compared with the cost of further packaging. That equilibrium varies greatly among companies. It’s determined by the value of the product, the value of a client’s repeat business, and the ease with which a replacement can be sent. There’s absolutely not any point triple-wrapping a USB cable, for instance. But an urgent, high-value machine part may benefit from a paranoid amount of wrapping to make sure the client has it on time and not damaged.

Consider the way the parcel be managed and what you need to protect against. Postal and carrier employees will throw light parcels when sorting. Parcels will fall down chutes and possibly fall from conveyors. You should prepare things to withstand at least a 3-foot –approximately 1-meter — fall onto concrete. Anticipate your packages to get temporarily rained on, slid around the van floor and piled beneath other packages. If your parcel is traveling out the country, expect it to get lost and bumped more than once.

There are an assortment of packaging materials made to protect against different kinds of abuse during transport.

How to Pack Fragile Items

First, consider why things break and ways to prevent it. Fragile items can get damaged by impact or by tension and torsion. Packaging, therefore, needs to have both damping against impact and, too, structural rigidity. Bear in mind, also, that products can harm themselves and may still break, however great the outer box. To prevent this, be certain nothing is able to move within the bundle. Glass is a fantastic example of this. It’s extremely powerful but very brittle. If glass jars are piled in an ordered manner and packed closely together in a box, it is easy to stand on it and it’ll withstand impact. There is no need for padding between the jars as they can not strike each other. If they’re loosely organized in a box, however, they will hit each other and smash, even if surrounded by heavy packaging.

Packing and Shipping Materials

For packaging and transport, you need”outer” substances,”impact protection” substances, and”emptiness fill” materials. I will describe options for each, under.

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Outer Materials

  • Polybag. Very cheap and provides excellent tear and water resistance, but provides no additional protection or structural power. Polybags are extremely easy to throw, so that they may get rougher handling when being sprinkled. Polybags are acceptable for items which are already nicely boxed — but need more confidentiality — or for soft, non-fragile products.
  • Jiffy bag. Cheap and provides similar protection to polybags, but with some additional cushioning against minor impacts. Jiffy bags are acceptable for smaller, non-fragile items which benefit from a little defense.
  • Single-wall corrugated box. Cardboard prices have risen substantially over the previous 12 months. But cardboard is still very economical packaging. Cardboard is strong. It provides good impact protection and unexpected resilience to brief periods of rain.
  • Double-wall corrugated box. Made with two corrugated layers offering additional rigidity and impact protection. This is particularly appropriate for very delicate or thicker orders — over 20 pounds, or 10 kilograms — in which one wall box is very likely to deform when raised.
  • Book wrap. The Amazon-style packaging is excellent for books, DVDs and smaller apartment products. These are rather expensive, but they still provide value for luxury books or long distance travel.
  • Card envelope. This is the newest favorite for smaller books and DVDs. Card envelopes are much less costly than book wraps. The security level is quite low, but it prevents damage to corners of books and DVDs.

Impact-Protection Materials

  • Kraft or brown paper. Use this scrunched up into sausage shapes and zigzagged across and about the item. This provides excellent protection and is readily reused or recycled from the receiver. Notice, however, that on long transits it can fall under heavier loads.
  • Bubble wrap. Can be very expensive, even if purchased on trade-sized rolls. It is very good in which an item requires complete coverage against impact protection, such as glass. For different purposes, brown paper is typically more effective and more affordable. Even after long transits, brown paper maintains good protection if used several layers thick. Some producers make bubble wrap which you could tear in a perfectly straight line. This saves much time and eliminates the need for knives and scissors.
  • Corrugated roll. Single-ply corrugated plank on a roster. This may be used for lining thinner boxes to improve their influence resistance, or for wrapping around bottles. Corrugated board can fall under heavy loads, but it has the benefit of having a few structural integrity which prevents bending and dents.
  • Specialist protection. There are quite a few additional high-protecting items available. These include self-activating foam bags that mold and place to form a perfectly shaped cradle. They provide the very highest degree of security, but have a price tag to match.

Void-Fill Materials

  • Kraft or brown paper. If more broadly scrunched, this may be used to prevent smaller items from moving in the box. It’s cheap and effective, but will not hold up against heavy products.
  • Air cushions. These are little air filled bags which are almost strong enough to stand on. They may be inflated on site to decrease storage. The only drawback is that the inflating machine can be costly to buy, though many providers will rent you one for free if you purchase their product. We use them regularly in our fulfillment center.
  • Loose fill. Foam chips or packaging”peanuts.” These are the bane of our lives. They are costly, take up enormous amounts of space, and end up all over the ground. It best to prevent these. No customer over age 12 enjoys cleaning them up.

Environmental Concerns

If you opt for the proper suppliers, you’ll have the ability to find all of the materials above in various recycled and biodegradable forms. Bear in mind, however, that the most environmentally friendly way is to use less packaging, as even recycled materials emit CO2 when they’re processed.