Fact Sheet - Packaging

How you package your freight matters.
Here’s how to ensure your freight packaging is up to the challenge.

Why is packaging so important?

Nobody likes to receive damaged goods. Not only does sending a replacement have a financial impact on your business, it will also impact your customer’s perception of your business.

Investing in the right packaging, and making sure you package your products the right way, will protect your bottom line, and keep your customers happy.

Use Quality Packaging Materials

The materials you use to package your goods should be fit for purpose, and for the product.

Fragile goods should be packaged in strong, rigid packaging. Avoid cheap cardboard and choose industrial cardboard instead.

Make Sure the Product Fits the Packaging

Look for boxes that suit the size of your product as closely as possible.

Products that fit tightly inside their packaging, and don’t move around are less likely to be damaged. They also require less padding and fill, which increases your packaging costs and generates excessive waste.

Use Appropriate, Light-weight Padding

Sometimes, using padding is unavoidable, especially if you’re shipping fragile goods.

Bubble wrap, polystyrene chips, polyethylene foam, shredded paper, and air cushions don’t weigh much and will keep your items secure inside the box, reducing the risk of damage.

Wherever possible, look to use sustainable, environmentally friendly padding materials, like merino wool offcuts (for temperature controlled goods), or shredded paper and cardboard.

Clearly Mark Fragile Goods as FRAGILE

It seems obvious, but make sure you clearly mark any fragile goods as FRAGILE on the outside of the packaging.

This will help those handling the goods to know they need to take special care.

If goods are likely to be split into separate consignments during transit (for example, from a pallet into cartons), you should mark each carton.

Don’t Overfill Boxes

Boxes that are too full will burst open in transit, leaving your goods exposed.

Overfilled boxes can also cause fragile goods to be crushed when the boxes are stacked – so don’t stuff your packaging boxes to the brim.

If you have to force it closed, it’s too full.

Don’t Over Pack Boxes

In addition to overfilling, you shouldn’t over pack your boxes.

Don’t put lots of loose products into a large and bulky box. This increases the chance of your products moving around during shipping and becoming broken or damaged.

Instead, use smaller packing boxes that are easier to handle, reducing the risk of droppage or breakage.

Seal Packaging Tightly

Securely seal your packaging to prevent theft, and to keep your boxes from opening in transit.

Make sure you’re using the right type and quality of tape. It should be at least 4 – 5 centimetres in width.

Sealing your boxes using the H-Taping Method will ensure that all the box flaps and edges are kept secure during transit. Do this by applying sufficient tape to the centre box opening and both edge seams.

Remember that you’ll need more tape to properly secure larger boxes.

Test Your Packaging

Doing a trial run is a great way to see if your packaging is the right fit for your product.

Send just a few items at a time and see if they arrive in perfect condition. If not, you’ll know you need to improve your packaging approach before you start sending large quantities.

Don’t Forget About Sustainability

There’s a lot of waste in freight. Lots of plastic. Lots of rubbish.

Customers are starting to prioritise sustainable businesses, and using eco-friendly packaging solutions can make a huge difference to our environment.

How can you reduce, reuse and recycle the packaging in your freight?

  • Can you make a change in the type of packaging you use (like switching from plastic to cardboard)?
  • Does that box really have to go inside another box?
  • Do you need that much shrink wrapping?
  • Can you take more care in the way you package your goods? Is there wasted space? Do you really need all that padding?
  • Can you redesign the way you package your goods on the pallet so you can ship more with less? More on a truck at one time, means less truck movement, which equals more sustainable freight.

Using the right type of packaging made from the right materials can help reduce pollution, shows customers that you care for the environment and can also save you a lot of money on printing.

Need help with your packaging?

The Freight People team are here to help. If you’d like support in finding the right packaging solution for your freight, get in touch with your Account Manager.