Get your package to reach its final destination
The shipping process is the most thorough test of your package's performance. Anticipating the physical forces your package will endure is impossible to test at home. Here are our best tips to help your package stay sealed throughout the shipping process.
For soft products that are not contained within a rigid product box, poly-mailers or bubble-mailers are the most economical choice. These packages can be tightly folded over to minimize the size. The packaging itself is light-weight, which only adds a few ounces to the final shipping weight.
If you fold these over add acrylic packing tape along the open sides to eliminate their catching hazard. This also reduces the chance the product will wiggle itself through the top or a thief attempting to fish their hand through the exposed side. When purchasing soft-mailers look closely for the materials thickness. Mailers constructed of thin materials will easily be punctured or ripped open during shipping. Look for heavy-duty, thick mailers that are puncture resistant!
Using a corrugated box is the most common packaging material due to its ability to withstand crushing forces. WAT paper tapes are the best packing tape for all corrugated boxes because they create a strong bond deep into the cardboard fibers.
For peace of mind partner with manufacturers that display a "Box Certificate" mark on their boxes. This is the best way to determine if your package will withstand the rigors of shipping.
Reusing corrugated boxes that have already been through the shipping process is a fantastic method to reduce your shipping costs. Giving these packages even one more use is helpful to reducing shipping waste. Be careful this doesn't cause the box to open during transportation because the box no longer has sufficient integrity. If the box has crushed areas, floppy, or punctures it's time to retire the box.
If you're looking to invest in a versatile packing tape, acrylic packing tapes are the best option. These can be used on glossy boxes, corrugated boxes, poly-mailers, and bubble-mailers.
When shopping for an acrylic tape, look for tapes that are advertised with some of these characteristics: at least 2.1mils thick, heavy-duty, tear resistant, or commercial grade. Most economic packing tapes will be 1.9mils and under, these will be difficult to work with, tear easily, open during shipping, and a waste of money. If the product is unclear just move on and find one that brags about its thickness or strength!
Water-activated paper tapes are more expensive, harder to work with, require additional prep time, and a static shipping station is needed. Without question these are the strongest tapes for cardboard boxes and are available with additional fiber-reinforcement.
These are ideal for packages around/over 50lbs, or oversized packages. The water-activated adhesive allows the tape to bond deep into the fibers of the cardboard box creating a tamper resistant seal. Acrylic packing tapes only bind with the top layer of cardboard fibers and require a dust/debris free surface. Acrylic tape can more easily be ripped off if additional time isn't taken to prepare the cardboard surface.
Will your package make it?
Last thoughts about how to keep boxes sealed throughout the shipping process is to test out your materials. Pack up a box and make up a fun package destruction course! Toss the package in the air, touchdown slam it on concrete, kick it down the driveway, and so on. Run the package through your obstacle course at least 6 times or to the point it fails. Once the packaging displays an exposed area, examine your item inside to determine if your packaging is the right fit for your business.
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