So you've got something to ship. Could be a birthday present for Uncle Mike, an XBOX you sold online, or maybe sand for an aquarium for an e-commerce order. Whatever it is, you want it to get where it's going in one piece, right? That's where the boxing, taping, and labeling come in.
You can't just toss it in a box and slap on some tape. There are some tricks to this trade that can make your life a whole lot easier. Since we have been shipping packages for over 28 years we like to think we have some expertise here.
In this article, we're digging into the world of packaging. We'll talk about the right kind of cardboard boxes (spoiler alert: they are not all the same), the best way to tape them up ( it's not that simple, really), and how to slap on that shipping label so it doesn't end up at your neighbor's house instead of cross-country.
Boxing Up Your Item
When it comes to packaging and shipping, not all boxes are created equal. Choosing the right type of box is the first step in ensuring your items arrive safe and sound. Different types of materials have different levels of protection for your products. Now we will go through some of the most common types of cardboard.
Here's a look at some of the common options:
When it comes to packaging, the right type of box is crucial for both protection and presentation. Cardboard, one of the most versatile and widely-used materials, comes in various forms and serves different purposes. Here's a look at the thirteen different types of cardboard packaging and their unique applications:
- Corrugated Fiberboard: A three-layered material with a wavy center for added strength, used in various thicknesses for holding heavy objects.
- Single-face Board: Used for separating items in a box, offering protection without an additional layer.
- Single-wall Board: Your standard corrugated cardboard, ideal for common packaging needs.
- Double-wall Board: Offers an extra layer of protection, ideal for products requiring added security.
- Triple-wall Board: Used for exceptionally heavy items, with three layers of fluting for maximum strength
- More Walls: Rarer, with four or more layers of fluting, used in extreme circumstances for its strength. (For the Heaviest of Items)
- Honeycomb Cardboard: Unique multi-level corrugation for industrial needs or as a pallet replacement.
- Paperboard: Thin and versatile, commonly found in cereal boxes or other lightweight packages.
Ok, you should now have a better idea of the different materials used in cardboard boxes. Let's now take a look at how to choose which box to use for shipping.
Step 1: Choose the Right Box
- Measure Your Item: Determine the size, shape, and weight of the item you're shipping. (P.S. you can use our dimensional calculator for this)
- Select the Box Type: Choose the correct type of box (e.g., corrugated fiberboard for heavier items, paperboard for lighter objects).
- Pick the Size: Ensure the box is large enough for your item and bubble wrap. Make sure your item won't be able to shift during transport.
Step 2: Wrap with Bubble Wrap
- Lay Out Bubble Wrap: Place the bubble wrap on a flat surface with the bubbles facing up.
- Place the Item: Lay the item on the bubble wrap.
- Wrap Tightly: Fold the bubble wrap around the item, making sure it's completely covered.
- Secure with Tape: Use clear packing tape to keep the bubble wrap in place. (Don't go crazy here)
Step 3: Place Item in Box
- Add Cushioning: If necessary, place additional cushioning like crumpled paper at the bottom of the box.
- Insert Item: Carefully place the wrapped item into the box.
- Add More Cushioning: Fill any remaining space with more cushioning to prevent the item from moving.
After selecting the perfect box for your item, it's time to secure it with the right taping methods. Taping your item correctly will prevent damage during shipping. Keep reading to learn about one of our trade secrets on taping correctly.
Section 2: Taping Methods - Industry Secrets
Introduction to Taping
One fact that many individuals fail to understand is that not all tapes are created equal. When choosing tape for your packaging , it's important to understand the different qualities of each specific variety. This helps you ensure that every package arrives safely at it's destination. Below we will walk though some of the types of tape that we use at All Points.
Here's a look at some popular tape varieties:
- Acrylic Packing Tape: Perfect for corrugated boxes, it instantly bonds, offers UV resistance, and works well in extreme temperatures. It's affordable, versatile, and a great choice for various applications.
- Hot Melt Tape: Ideal for high-volume applications, hot melt tape is dependable, easy to unroll, and works well on boxes and cartons. It works nicely between 45- to 120-degree F.
- Natural Rubber Industrial Tape: Known for powerful adhesion, natural rubber tapes work well in severe temperatures and offer resistance to salt water, alkalis, diluted acids, and wear and tear.
- Paper Packing Tape: Fully recyclable, paper packing tape offers outstanding adhesion and the ability to print messages. It includes options like reinforced gum tapes, water-activated tapes, and high-strength flatback paper tape.
- Masking Tape: A versatile tool for various applications, masking tape includes options like outdoor-resistant, automotive, industrial, and construction-grade heavy-duty tapes.
- Duct Tape: Ubiquitous and versatile, duct tape provides remarkable adhesion, shear, and heat resistance.
- Strapping Tape: Designed for industrial use, strapping tape helps hold together the top rows of pallets and resists tearing, splitting, and abrasion.
- Label Protection Tape: A clear tool designed to keep labels securely in place on various surfaces. It's water, chemical, and abrasion-resistant.
- Double Sided Tape: With strong adhesives on both sides, double-sided tape allows for hidden, clean connections between surfaces. (There are many types of double sided tape)
The "H" Taping Method
The "H" taping method involves sealing all edges where the flaps of the box meet, forming an "H" pattern, adding strength, and ensuring security.
"Tic-Tac-Toe" Taping Method
This method involves taping around the length, width, and perimeter of the box, forming a grid that resembles the game's pattern. It's particularly effective for heavier packages.
What to Avoid
Avoid using unsuitable tapes, such as cellophane, that may not provide the needed security. Knowing your specific needs and selecting the right tape for your application is crucial.
The right taping method, coupled with the best-suited type of tape, ensures that your package remains intact and reaches its destination safely.
Section 3: Get That Label Right – Your Package's Passport to Its Destination!
Think labeling is just slapping on an address? Think again! Accurate labeling is the secret weapon for pinpoint deliveries. Get it wrong, and you might as well be sending your package on a wild goose chase. Let's nail it right!
Label Placement Guidelines
Boom! The label goes on top, far from corners, edges, or seams. Secure it with clear packing tape, and you've got a label that scans like a dream and stays visible. Positioning is key, and you've got it under control!
Information to Include
Address? Check! Contact info? Check! Special instructions? Double-check! Cover these bases, and you're practically handing the package over yourself. Attention to detail here is your delivery guarantee.
What to Avoid
Watch out for those classic blunders! Taping over the barcode or scribbling down a handwritten label? Rookie mistakes! Avoid them, and you're in the clear.
Labeling isn't just a step; it's a craft. Master it, and you're not just shipping a package; you're ensuring a swift and smooth journey to the exact right spot. It's not just mail – it's magic!
We have now given you the best methods for shipping a package! Just remember the important steps: select your box, taping like a pro, and label correctly. Every single step? Essential. The result? Perfect deliveries every time. If you have any questions about correct packaging processes feel free to reach out to our team of experts. All Points has over 28 years of experience in shipping packages efficiently and securely.