Have you ever received a gift (or for that matter any package) and discovered that it was mangled, crinkled, crushed or broken to the point that you couldn’t even recognize what the original item was? After spending so much money and time selecting the perfect business gift for an important client, the last thing that you want to have happen is for the recipient of the gift to open the package and find a huge, broken mess. It is essential to properly pack and ship important items. Here are 5 essential packing tips to help ensure that your business gift- or anything else that you need to ship- arrives safely and all in one piece.
Business Packing Tips
Even if you have shipped packages out for many years, you may have not been packaging them correctly, or not as well as they could have been. We will be covering some important tips for packing items in this article. Some of the advice we provide you with, you may not have seen anywhere before.
1. Remove All Old Shipping Labels
If you happen to reuse old shipping boxes that you have available, it is a really good idea. It is ecologically responsible and frugal. However, do you get rid of the old bar codes and shipping labels? Keep in mind that old addresses or bar codes that are left on the box could result in your package getting mailed to the wrong address. Or at minimum, it could cause some confusion, which may slow the entire shipping process down. Also keep in mind that sending a package out with old labels on it can make you look like you really don’t care. So before re-labeling your package, be sure to remove the old bar codes and labels.
2. Your Shipper Can Provide You With Free Boxes
The U.S. postal service and major shippers all offer free packaging and boxing options. Depending on the item you are mailing out, along with its dimensions and weight, you may be able to use free boxers that are supplied by your shipper. For non-fragile and very small items, you may be able to use a free mailer or envelope, and sent it without needing a box. eBay offers a quite vast selection too.
For example, there is the Priority Mail Flat Rate program offered by the U.S. Postal Service. When you use their flat rate program, free envelopes and boxes are included with the service. One flat rate is paid by the shipper no matter where their package is going or how much it weighs. It is usually delivered in one to three days, depending on how far away the destination is. The program also offers limited free insurance against damage or loss as well as package tracking. You can either order envelopes and boxes online or pick them up at your local post office. Once your package is ready to go, you can schedule a free pick-up from your home or office.
FedEX offers free packaging for those using its service. Packaging from FedEx can even be ordered online. Free shipping supplies are also offered by UPS to its customers. To place regular shipping material orders online, you can go to My UPS and register.
Keep in mind there may be weight or size limitations for items to be eligible to use some size boxes. In addition, if you have a very fragile item to ship, you might want to use a larger box of your own and add extra cushioning like peanuts or bubble wrap around the item. UPS Stores and FedEX Office outlets will wrap items for you for a fee.
3. Pack Your Boxes Using The H-Tape Method
You may be wondering what the H-tape method is. It is a way to apply tape properly to a package to prevent it from opening. When you are sealing the box, just apply tape over the open seams. The tape will be in the shape of an H across the upper surface of the box. If the box is an irregular shape, just be sure you apply tape across all of the open seams when sealing it.
Some items may also ship better in a different shaped container. For example, a tube can work for narrow and paper items. For these containers, just be sure that the tube’s two ends are sealed with tape.
4. The Tape You Use Makes A Big Difference
The tape used for sealing your package makes a very big difference. Use reinforced paper or plastic tape that has been designed to be used with packages. This tape is normally 2 inches wide and should be 60-lbs grade at minimum. Do not use masking tape or cellophane tape (regular Scotch tape). Neither one is all that strong. We aren’t sure why, but the UPS, U.S. Postal Service and FedEX all have notices that caution against using duct tape. Since all of them are very emphatic about not using duct tape, we strongly suggest that you pay attention and not use it. Also, don’t ever use string or rope for sealing packages. Rope and string can get caught up in equipment and either break or result in a mangled package that your recipient probably won’t appreciate.
5. Nest A Box Inside Another Box
At times, one boxes isn’t sufficient, especially when you have a very fragile item to ship. Using two boxes- with one inside the other one- will provide your item with double protection. The trick to this is you will need to completely insulate around the inner box. First wrap your item with approximately two inches of cushioning. Then put the cushioned item inside a box. Make sure the package won’t be able to move around inside the box by using peanuts, crumpled newspaper or another type of cushioning material. It is very important to restrict movement. This can also be accomplished with bubble wrap or even closely packed plastic bags or similar packaging – those offered at great prices from Lion Labels are more than suitable
Put the first box inside another box that is a minimum of six inches higher, wider and longer than the first one. Use more of your cushioning material so that the smaller box will not move around too much inside the larger box. Then close up the outer box and tape it up.