November 23, 2022
When your shipment leaves the warehouse, it won’t be handled with care. It will be tossed, squashed, and hurled as it makes its way across the country or the world. Your packages and boxes suffer through freezing cold and broiling heat. They crumble under the pressure of heavier boxes placed on top of them. They fall off trucks.
Packaging plays an important role in eCommerce shipping, as it helps to protect products from damage during transit and ensures that they are delivered safely to customers. Without adequate packaging, products can be easily damaged by handling or exposure to environmental elements like moisture and dirt. Additionally, poorly packaged items can reduce the overall customer experience, as customers aren’t likely to be happy when they receive a damaged or broken product.
Put it to the test
Like the automakers that use crash dummies to test the safety of the cars they build, our order fulfillment team has a testing system for shipments we handle. It’s not terribly sophisticated or scientific, but it uses some commonsense tactics and has proven effective in testing packaging for our client’s products and materials.
Basically, we take a product to be shipped, evaluate it, come up with what we believe is the best packaging, pack it and then drop it.
One of the most common types of tests used for packaging is drop testing. Drop tests are typically carried out on individual items that can be placed inside a package to check and see if they survive with no damage done after being dropped from different heights, in various orientations.
We figure that toss equals the abuse the package will endure in transit to its destination. After a couple of tosses, we open the package to see how the product fared. If it survived our test, we could feel confident it will survive the manhandling in the future. If it doesn’t, we look for ways to improve our packaging.
Packing materials are your product’s best insurance
Packaging must protect the products from damage. We first look at off-the-shelf options and usually find a standard packing material that will be effective. Doing so saves our clients money. But if needed, we can have custom packing materials designed and manufactured.
Packing materials are essential to protect your goods in transit. Fulfillment professionals know how to choose and test everything from packing peanuts or bubble wrap, to tape placement on boxes. Flawless delivery is important for every business owner, so we select the right cushioning materials to fill the void. In general, you want to avoid the void by choosing the right size box, but sometimes a little padding is needed. Padding helps protect against damage caused by rough handling during transport, so it's important not only that they're cushioning but also lightweight enough so you can ship them easily. Successful shipping might begin with a sturdy box, but it sure doesn’t end there. Given the beating that shipments often take on their path from the warehouse to the recipient, the materials used inside the box to protect products from damage are equally important.
All cardboard is not created equal, so buy a better box
Cardboard all look alike, but there are different grades. The cheaper box might not always be the best box for your product. Cheaper boxes sometimes collapse under pressure. Odds are good that your boxes won’t be lucky enough to sit on the top of the pile and will have to withstand the weight of other packages on top of them. So, it is often best to buy the better box.
A minor change can be a major improvement
We know how to make minor adjustments, like changing the way a package is taped to improve its strength and durability. We can often make a simple, no-cost change in packaging to better protect our clients’ products.
What's the best way to ship your items? That depends on what you're shipping, how much it costs, and where they need to be delivered. Ultimately, the key to effective packaging for eCommerce shipping is using a combination of different types and quantities of packaging materials. One size does not fit all in order fulfillment. By choosing the right type and amount of packaging, you can help to ensure that your products arrive safely and undamaged at their destination, while also enhancing the overall customer experience.