Your guide to shipping for business
- Having essential supplies can help expedite your shipping process
- It’s important to know the differences in the types of void fill, tape and boxes to ensure the best in item security, shipping speed and pricing
With online shopping and home delivery have become commonplace, shipping goods worldwide is a critical aspect of essentially every industry. While there are many things to know about shipping itself such as what can and cannot be sent through UPS, FedEx and the United States Post Office (USPS), having the right tools to secure your items is just as important. Things such as bubble wrap and packing peanuts are great when it comes to keeping items secure, but they’re only part of what you’ll need if you plan on delivering top notch client service.
Ensure you always have the right tools for the job with this guide to packing essentials.
BOXES 101 REVISITED
First things first – if shipping is going to be a major part of your business, you’re going to need boxes. At 3D Corrugated, boxes are our specialty, which is why we can not only help you understand the subtle yet important differences in the types available, but house them until you need them, too. Size and shape aren’t the only things you’ll want to consider when selecting a box, however. You’ll want to make sure you know the dimensional weight your boxes will be most often, as well as if they can sustain an edge crush test.
Once you have your boxes, you can then create your checklist of the other things you may need. This includes:
- Packing tape
- Void fill
- Refrigerant gel packs (if necessary)
- All necessary paperwork (item order confirmation and return forms, etc.)
Void fill, which helps prevent items from becoming damaged during transport, can come in many forms. You can read more about that here. In similar fashion, shipping tape comes in a wide assortment. These include:
- Carton-sealing tape: This is the most common form and good for essentially all packages, save for anything that is very heavy or will be exposed to extreme temperature variations.
- Cold temperature tape: This form of tape is great for sending and storing packages in areas where temperatures can survive extreme cold.
- Water-activated tape: This tape, which feels dry until water activates its adhesive quality, bonds well to cardboard and creates a seal that must be cut or torn. This tape also leaves behind residue/evidence when it has been removed, so this can be a good way to check for tampering should there be a dispute about the status of the contents inside the package.
- Strapping tape: Containing glass filaments and/or fiberglass weaved into its threads, strapping tape can be more expensive that others but secures heavy items inside containers.
- Carry handle tape: A type of tape you may have seen applied to create a carrying handle when buying an item from a big box department store, carry handle used to bundle applications, close a carton or reinforce products during shipment or transportation. This would typically not be on a corrugated box that will be shipped through FedEx, UPS or USPS as much as it would be for carrying it by hand.
Save for shipping heavy items, common carton sealing tape should take care of your basic shipping needs, especially those marked with “heavy duty” or extra strength on the label. Refrigerant gel packs are obviously needed for any item that needs to maintain a cold temperature before it reaches its destination.
Keep in mind most gel packs are only meant to last about 24 hours, so don’t expect a gel pack to work on anything that isn’t being shipped overnight. Scissors are a great basic tool that not only perform a necessary function (cutting tape), but also can help you not waste tape and make your packaging more appealing and look professional. Last but certainly not least, FedEx, UPS and USPS all have checklists available online to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything from packing your item to making sure it reaches your customer safe and sound.
CHECK YOUR CHECKLIST
Making sure you have everything you need ahead of time prevents scrambling to ship something that needed to be to a client yesterday urgency-wise. At 3D Corrugated, we have the packing materials needed to serve the entire Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region and keep items moving on time to your satisfied customers.
Learn more about how we can help you meet your packaging and box needs today by emailing info@3Dcorrugated.com or give us a call at (513) 241-8126.