How to Ship Delicate Products Safely?
It is one of the most disappointing experiences to open a package you have eagerly awaited only to discover that your order is damaged or broken. Now think about your customers and apply this feeling to them.
In the same way, you feel bad when something breaks or is damaged; people will feel the same way if they get something broken or damaged.
We won't be able to control everything that happens, but we can do everything within our power to ensure fragile items arrive at their new homes undamaged. When shipping products to customers, fragile items can be particularly challenging.
These shipping tips for fragile items can help you prevent them from breaking.
Choosing the Right Inner-Pack
A package inner pack provides more padding, support, and shock resistance. Bubble wrap and custom inserts are just a few options available. Each has its own advantages.
With corrugated inserts, you can enjoy many of the benefits of foam inserts without worrying about the environmental impact. Crafting corrugated inserts to hold products in exact positions for an exceptional unboxing experience is possible, just like foam inserts.
The packaging inserts present many unique opportunities for showcasing products. Alternatively, they can be made from white or Kraft board. If your e-commerce business is large enough to consider or already uses custom boxes rather than stock or post office options, you can afford custom corrugated inserts.
It provides much protection for its low weight, making it a handy inner-pack option. The bubbles can be reused so long as most of the bubbles remain intact, and they can protect various fragile items. While bubble wrap comes in large rolls, it takes up more storage space than some of the other inner-pack options.
Moreover, bubble wrap is commonly made from polyethylene. It's a non-biodegradable material, and bubble wrap can be recycled but still ends up in landfills. Consider using biodegradable bubble wrap or encouraging your users to recycle.
Applying packing peanuts to containers is easy to prevent contents from sliding around, but they won't protect scratch-prone items or bubble wrap. It comes in two main types: polystyrene and biodegradable, which are generally more affordable than bubble wrap.
Shipping is slightly cheaper with polystyrene peanuts than with biodegradable peanuts. However, they do not have an eco-friendly profile and have an electrostatic charge unless you use an anti-static variant, which is generally more expensive.
Starch-based biodegradable packing peanuts decompose naturally over time or when water is added. Furthermore, they are more expensive than traditional packing peanuts, so those on a tight budget may not be able to afford them.
Shipping fragile items is easier with foam inserts, providing great shock absorption. There are two main types of foam: polyurethane and polyethylene. Similar to furniture cushions in texture, polyurethane foam is softer than other foams.
For smaller items, such as electronics, it offers excellent scratch resistance, vibration protection, and shock absorption. Styrofoam is firmer than polyethylene foam. It provides better support for heavier items since it doesn't absorb water. For electronic components, both types of foam are also available in anti-static varieties.
When there are multiple fragile components in a product or when the presentation of the product needs to be excellent, custom foam inserts are an excellent solution. In transit, they ensure items stay in place better than bubble wrap or packing peanuts.
Despite these benefits, foam inserts have two serious downsides: cost and environmental impact. Foam corners can be a relatively inexpensive solution for some products, but only for some. Inner-packing options with custom foam inserts are among the more expensive.
Both polyurethane and polyethylene foams are technically recyclable. However, only some facilities accept them, so recycling rates are low. Even so, foam inserts remain an excellent option for items containing multiple fragile components or that need shock and vibration protection.
Choosing the Right Box
What you choose depends on your product, and various options exist. You can find some of the main ones here, along with their best uses.
It's no surprise that fragile items are often shipped in corrugated boxes and for a good reason. Corrugated boxes provide stability and can be padded with a wide range of inner-pack options, making them a popular choice for shipping.
Moreover, there are many styles of shipping boxes to choose from, such as basic shipping boxes and fancier mailer boxes. It depends on your product, target audience, and budget, which style you choose. Shipping fragile products in multiple packs, large products, and products at risk of damage in corrugated boxes is beneficial.
Bubble mailers offer decent protection for small, fragile items, such as jewelry, without taking up much space. The most common bubble mailers are Kraft and poly. Typically, Kraft bubble mailers have a brown paper exterior. As a result, they are more protective than poly bubble mailers, which are less rigid.
Poly bubble mailers, however, feature polyethylene film walls that provide better conformability to oddly shaped products and are water-resistant. If you are using small objects, either of these options can work well, but you shouldn't use them if you use large items or anything that needs extra support.
Tubes can be an effective way to ship particularly long objects. These shipping containers are often suitable as-is for shipping paper items such as posters and offer good crush protection. If the product requires shock protection, wrap it in bubble wrap before putting it in mailing tubes.
A well-taped package can make all the difference between a safe shipment and a damaged one. Corrugated boxes and mailing tubes must be taped, but bubble mailers are typically self-sealing.
Keep your items safe by using the right type of tape. When shipping items, avoid using duct tape or masking tape. If you don't want to use packing tape, use pressure-activated plastic tape (also called packing tape). For smaller operations, pressure-activated plastic tape provides a good seal and is inexpensive.
Additionally, it can be customized with different colors and prints. Tape activated by water bonds to corrugated cardboard better, preventing tampering and providing better security. Various colors and prints can be branded on it, and it can be applied quickly. A dispenser is needed for this type of tape, making it ideal for medium-size to large-sized shipments.
Consider Double Boxing
When shipping expensive, fragile items, double boxing can provide extra protection. Adding six inches to your original package's length, width, and depth will double its size.
This way, you can determine the size of your outer box to include 3 inches of the inner pack on all sides. The first box should be prepared as usual, then a layer of the inner pack should be placed at the bottom of the outer box (large bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or foam corners work well).
Fill the box with more inner packing on all sides after you center your original packaging. Add an inner pack until the outer box is full and your original packaging is covered. Apply H-tape to the outer box, then secure it.