The packaging that you choose for your products is important for a number of reasons. For instance, you might choose a specific kind of packaging based on its:
- Aesthetic appeal
- Available sizes
- Ability to save you money on shipping costs
- Environmentally friendly characteristics
However, one of the most critical reasons for choosing a certain type of product packaging is its ability to protect the contents that it holds. Known as protective packaging, this is a subcategory of packaging that is specially designed to ensure that even the most delicate of items can be warehoused and shipped without receiving any sort of damage.
If you are interested in learning more about protective packaging, then contact Mid-Atlantic Packaging today. Our shipping and packaging supply professionals can guide you through the process of choosing boxes, bags and other items that will protect your products even if they are being shipped to the other side of the globe.
What Is Protective Packaging?
Protective packaging supplies are specifically designed to buffer and protect items from destruction or damage during both warehousing and shipping. Such packaging may be constructed from a variety of materials including metal, plastic, cardboard and others.
Sometimes, protective packaging is the primary form of packaging used for a product. On other occasions, the protective packaging may be a secondary form that is used to encase one or more products that have an alternative form of primary packaging. Whether used as primary or secondary packaging, protective packaging has one main function: To ensure that the wares inside do not receive any damage.
Here are a few examples of protective packaging:
- Skin packs
- Blister packs
- Shrink packs
- Flexible films
- Cardboard boxes
- Air pillows
Why Many Companies Rely on Protective Packaging
Above all, every business wants to ensure that their products arrive in the consumer’s hands in pristine condition. This is what protective packaging helps to ensure. However, there may be additional benefits to using protective packaging.
Did you know that many social media users are garnering massive followings by sharing “unboxing” experiences? Basically, social media influencers are taking photos or videos as they “unbox” a long-awaited purchase. It could be anything ranging from a pair of shoes to a new gaming system. Either way, people are recording these experiences, and others are watching them in droves.
If you want your new product to go viral, then consider using protective packaging for all of your products. Protective packaging frequently is opaque and contains some kind of filler. Both of these characteristics help to maximize the appeal and anticipation of the experience.
Even if your customers don’t decide to post their unboxing experience online, your use of protective packaging will dial up the excitement while also ensuring that your product arrived in perfect condition.
Moreover, you might want to choose protective packaging because you want to do everything you can to guarantee a positive first impression. Few things are as disappointing as anticipating a new item for days or weeks only to find that it is damaged upon arrival. Sometimes, this is enough to make the consumer view your company in a negative light. Go the extra mile to ensure that your products always arrive intact as it will greatly improve your chances of making a lasting positive impression.
Yet another reason to opt for protective packaging is that it is, in general, environmentally friendly. Consumers are more aware and better educated about environmental matters than ever before. This makes them more likely to do business with a company that demonstrates a similar dedication to leading a greener lifestyle.
Customers are actively looking to patronize brands that use protective packaging that is made from biodegradable materials and plant-based polymers. Additionally, bio-plastic alternatives are becoming increasingly popular as more people and companies realize just how damaging and wasteful traditional single-use plastics are. Some of these alternative products do cost more at the moment, but these prices probably will be trending downward in the future. The increased cost involved with switching from traditional shrink film to a plant-based polymer packaging product actually may be offset by additional orders from new customers who appreciate your company’s commitment to the environment.
Who Uses Protective Packaging?
Pretty much every company that ever ships items makes use of protective packaging. You’ll see it from huge corporations like Amazon and your local antique store that has a small online presence. In fact, you could say that protective packaging has become universal in this day and age with so many people shopping and shipping online.
Many protective packaging options are inexpensive and have a small carbon footprint, both of which help to explain why so many companies are opting to use protective packaging on a daily basis. Companies that produce naturopathic products, food manufacturers and even cosmetics companies rely on protective packaging to help them keep promises to their customers.
Consider just how broad an array of protective packaging options there are. If you have ever received a shipment of electronic parts that were wrapped in a plastic film to keep moisture out, then you’ve seen an example of protective packaging. What about the air pillows that protect a delicate porcelain figurine? Those are considered protective packaging as well.
Don’t forget that protective packaging also evolves over time. A few years ago, the Styrofoam packing peanut was ubiquitous for protecting goods of all sizes and descriptions during warehousing and shipping. Now, packing peanuts are something of a rarity. You are much more likely to see and use air pillows today, especially because they cost less, are easier to store, are recyclable and cause less waste.
Dunnage and Cushioning
The purpose of using dunnage is to give your products a little extra protection during transport. Dunnage may provide bracing or spacing or it may fill a void. Some dunnage is added for prevent abrasions or even to add strength to a large stack of boxes.
Bracing and spacing are related concepts when it comes to protective packaging. When it is used for these purposes, dunnage helps to properly position the product within the larger package. Ideally, the dunnage keeps the product in one precise spot and does not allow it to move even an iota during transit. Typically, the product is set in the middle of the package and away from the container’s walls to prevent damage from dents and dings. Spacing may be required if the products in the carton are breakable, like glass bottles that might otherwise crash together during shipping. Materials that may be used for bracing or spacing generally are semi-rigid, which means that they are rigid enough to absorb shocks but soft enough to not cause damage.
Void fill is used to prevent the container’s contents from shifting around by taking up all of the unused space. Rather than being semi-rigid and more or less fixed in place, void fill is packed into the container in an amount sufficient to take up the empty space.
Preventing abrasions is a critical part of protective packaging no matter what stage of the process the product is in. Even a slight vibration can cause products to rub together and potentially cause a great deal of damage. Abrasion may be alleviated by products such as wraps or a material that is coated onto the product’s primary packaging.
If you are using corrugated cardboard to transport many of your products, then it’s wise to consider adding inserts to your boxes. Frequently, corrugated cardboard boxes are stacked quite high during shipping. These stacks may become too heavy for the box to withstand. Adding an insert is an excellent way to ensure that your corrugated cardboard boxes remain intact during shipping so that your products arrive in pristine condition.
Ask Mid-Atlantic Packaging About Protective Packaging
Contact Mid-Atlantic Packaging at (800) 284-1332 to learn more about protective packaging and how it can help you to ensure that your products arrive undamaged at their final destination.
Some breakage is inevitable even when your products are packaged correctly. Still, it is only sensible for entrepreneurs to do everything in their power to ensure that their customers will be delighted when their delivery arrives. If you are serious about the success of your business and you want to attract customers for life, then it is absolutely necessary to consider your options for protective packaging.
At Mid-Atlantic Packaging, our product and shipping packaging experts can help you to make choices that are affordable, eco-friendly and provide sufficient protection for your products.