Packaging

Packaging 101: An Inside-Out Look at Perfect Packing

Packaging plays an important role in the world of shipping. It can send your shipping costs sky-high if not done optimally. With multiple connections and several stops along the way, it is also important to use packaging that keeps your items safe in transit. This guide will teach you the importance of packaging and provide packaging tips for shipping.

Why does packaging matter?

In the earlier days, shipping companies used to calculate shipping costs using actual weight. However, with recent technological advancements and increased awareness, shipping companies have realized we can use the space inside a transportation vehicle optimally by using the right packaging. Hence, shipping companies use the dimensional weight of your package to calculate shipping costs today instead of the actual weight.

So, what is Dimensional weight?

In the earlier days, shipping companies used to calculate shipping costs using actual weight. However, with recent technological advancements and increased awareness, shipping companies have realized we can use the space inside a transportation vehicle optimally by using the right packaging. Hence, shipping companies use the dimensional weight of your package to calculate shipping costs today instead of the actual weight.

How do I package small items for shipping?

With a booming eCommerce market, we have witnessed a rise in small to medium packages. Consumers seek online marketplaces to order everyday essentials, from smartphone cases to regular household groceries. These come in a variety of sizes. The smaller items require specific logistical considerations.

Packaging

The type of packaging you use to ship your items plays a crucial role in the final delivery. Small items are usually shipped in padded mailers, envelopes, and corrugated cardboard boxes, as they need lesser space and don’t need as much protection, depending on the nature of the item.  Padded mailers and envelopes are suitable for shipping books, jewelry, documents, etc.

Fillers

Depending on the fragile nature of the item being shipped, we can determine the optimal fillers to use inside the packaging for protection. Protective cushioning usually includes packing peanuts, tissue paper, crinkled paper, air pillows, bubble wrap, etc. Please note that too much filler uses more space and can damage the package in transit.

How do I package large items for shipping?

Package

Packing and shipping large items is complex and requires sturdy, heavy-duty packaging, as they need to withstand the item’s weight, the many stops in between, and friction with other packages in transit. Typically, larger items are packaged in heavy-duty cardboard boxes, which are taped with specialty tape to remain secure in transit.

Filler

Like small items, larger items also need fillers like packing peanuts, styrofoam, bubble wrap, etc. The type of filler used depends on how fragile the item is. It is generally a safe option to double box and provide added protection for larger items as the weight can damage the package in transit.

How do I package items for Freight Shipping?

Freight shipping has different challenges and packaging requirements  For example, if the receiver is a distributor, they could have very specific pallet requirements and local restrictions to adhere to.

At SFL Worldwide, we have dedicated customs experts who can design your logistics to withstand handling, transportation, and storage. Some factors you want to consider when packing and shipping freight are —

Shipment Weight

Your shipment weight can vary depending on the shipping method. For LTL shipments, individual pallets are approximately 4000 lbs to most destinations. Shipments that are heavier than this may require special approvals. It is also important to track the dimensional weight of your cargo to keep your costs low.

Pallet and Packing Base

Ensure your shipments are on a pallet to make handling and transit efficient. This also reduces the impact and damages in transit. It is highly recommended to use a packing base for secure handling and protecting the integrity of your shipments in transit. It is also important to make sure these match the limitations of the liftgate.

Temperature

Some items require temperature-controlled shipping. Some trucks may not be temperature-controlled, and the truck’s inside temperature can depend on many variables, such as the outside temperature and weather conditions. It is, therefore, essential to plan for packaging depending on the temperature sensitivity of your shipment.

Packaging fragile items

Packing fragile items are some of the hardest things to do as they require additional cushioning material and can result in a lot of damage if not done properly. Investing in packaging that fits right and provides enough support for your items.

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Double Box Method

The double box method keeps your package inside another package to ensure extra protection. It is recommended to use the double box method for fragile items to withstand the harsh elements of transit.

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Packing fillers

Ample cushioning should be provided for fragile items, such as packing peanuts, tissue paper, bubble wrap, air pillows, etc. Ensure there are no empty spaces in the fillers to restrict items moving in transit.

Elements of good packaging

Good packaging can handle the brunt of passing many hands during its journey from origin to destination and arrive unscathed. Here are some elements that signify good packaging.

1. Package Material

Using high-quality packaging material is crucial to ensure the items are undisturbed and sturdy until they reach the recipient’s doorstep. While it may be tempting to reuse old packaging to save on shipping costs, it is important not to compromise on the quality of your delivery.

2. Filler Space

Having insufficient or overstuffed packages compromise the integrity of your package. From causing damages to the items in transit to compromised packages along the way, using the right and appropriate amount of filler material inside your package is essential.

3. Sealing Tape

Something as simple as tape can affect shipping costs. A sturdy and secure taping material can pull the contents effectively, ensuring effective use of space in a transportation vehicle. It will not allow packages to open mid-journey and will keep your items secure until they reach the recipient’s doorstep.

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Conclusion

Packaging your products appropriately is critical, especially when it comes to shipping items worldwide. Choose the right packaging materials and apply the right packaging methods to ship your items securely. At SFL Worldwide, every booking is assigned a dedicated shipping advisor who can guide you through packing your items effectively for safe delivery.

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