Packing & Shipping
Whether you are running a store or just someone who wants to ship gifts or other items to friends and family, packing boxes is an important skill. In order to ensure that your items arrive safely, you'll need a number of different types of boxes, sealants, and cushioning. Choosing the right shipping supplies will depend on what you are shipping.
What packing and shipping items do you need?
There are five types of supplies you need when packing and shipping products or items to others:
- Mailers - Mailers and other flat envelopes can be used to ship smaller items while saving some money on postage. There are a large variety of different types of mailers, including padded mailers or polyurethane bags used to ship clothing and other soft products.
- Boxes - For items that are heavy or bulky, you may want to consider using a shipping box. These boxes are heavy-duty and designed to protect your items in transit.
- Tape and sealant - If you're using shipping boxes or mailers that do not self-seal, you'll need packing tape. This sealant keeps your box or mailer closed during the shipping process.
- Scales - A postage scale lets you weigh your package before you ship it out. This way, you can ensure that you pay enough in postage to get your item where it needs to go.
- Cushioning - If you're shipping fragile items, you will want to ensure that they are packed carefully. Adding some cushioning materials can help keep glassware, framed items, and ornaments safe and secure.
What type of shipping sealants are there?
Not all tape is created equal. In fact, some sealants are better than others when it comes to storing and shipping:
- Acrylic packing tape - If you are packing boxes in order to store them, this strong tape is designed to handle a variety of temperatures and settings. It can maintain its seal for up to three years or more.
- Hot-melt shipping tape - This tape has a superior holding power that can handle being tossed around during shipping. This tape is also generally strong enough to strap boxes together.
What cushioning supplies can you use to ship items?
If you ship items regularly, you'll need to learn what cushioning works well to ensure that your items arrive in one piece. Some types of cushioning include:
- Packing paper - For more durable items, you can pack boxes full of this lightweight, recyclable paper. You can crinkle or wad it up to add some extra security.
- Bubble wrap - This plastic material has air bubbles throughout it, creating a cushion for fragile items.
- Foam - Foam blocks can be used to encompass objects during shipping.
- Packing peanuts - The peanuts are made from starches that are biodegradable. They are lightweight and can add cushioning.
- Dunnage bags - These bags are filled with air and help absorb shocks and vibrations during the shipping process.