Protecting products from damage during shipping and handling is a critical concern for any business involved in distributing goods. Items that are improperly packaged can suffer breaks, cracks, dents, scuffs, and other defects that diminish their value and viability. Fortunately, a wide range of packaging supplies exists to safeguard products throughout the delivery process.

The purpose of this blog post is to provide an overview of some of the most essential packaging supplies used to prevent damage in transit. We will explore common materials like foam pouches, loose fill insulation, packing tapes, and stretch wraps that serve as the defensive layers between your freight and the perils of the open road or airways. Proper packaging is like insurance – it may add a bit to the initial cost but saves you from exponentially higher losses down the line through effective cushioning, vibration dampening, and protection. With the right knowledge and selection of packaging products, you can ship your goods with confidence knowing they will arrive intact and undamaged. Read on to learn more about the top packaging supplies that can become your product’s best line of defense during distribution and delivery. 

Foam Pouches

Foam pouches have become a staple packaging solution for protecting fragile and delicate items. Foam pouches are constructed from polyurethane, polyethylene, or other flexible, lightweight foam materials. These soft yet resilient foams contour precisely around the contents to immobilize them and provide cushioning from impacts. Foam pouches completely encase products to guard against dust, debris, and other contaminants during shipping.

Foam pouches excel at absorbing vibrations, shocks, and bumps that may otherwise cause damage to the contents. The foam disperses impact energy so it does not transfer to the protected object. They offer excellent protection for electronics, medical supplies, cosmetics, industrial parts, and any other fragile goods. They come in various sizes and thicknesses to accommodate items big and small.

Popular styles include bubble pouches with an inner layer of air pockets, mailer pouches with foam lining in an outer pouch, and custom die-cut pouches shaped specifically for the product. When selecting foam pouches, match the foam density and thickness to the weight of the contents. Allow a bit of extra room for the pouches to act as impact cushions. Use the pouches in boxes and crates to immobilize products and prevent rubbing or collisions. With proper foam pouch selection and usage, you can ship delicate items safely and securely.

Loose Fill Packaging

Loose fill packaging materials, commonly known as “peanuts,” are a versatile void-filling option to protect goods in boxes and crates. These lightweight particles surround products and absorb impacts that could otherwise cause damage. Popular loose fill options include expanded polystyrene, starch-based foam, and paper fill.

Expanded polystyrene peanuts made from plastic are inexpensive and provide excellent impact absorption. Starch-based foam peanuts are more eco-friendly as they dissolve in water. Paper loose fill is made from recycled materials and can be easily compacted, though it may not cushion as effectively. Air pillows that inflate and conform to empty spaces are another loose fill variety.

The key benefit of loose fill is as a void filler – it occupies the empty areas around products to keep them immobilized. Loose fill cushioning prevents shifting and friction during shipping that could lead to scuffs or dents. When selecting loose fill, consider the size of voids needing to be filled, the required level of shock absorption, and environmental factors. The fill should be inserted loosely around each item so it can move and absorb impacts. Only fill about 80% of the box to allow some room for the fill to compress during shocks. With the right type and amount of loose fill cushioning combined with outer packaging like boxes, you can effectively protect your products.

Packing Tape

Packing tape is an indispensable item for securing boxes and packages for transport. The adhesive coating allows tape to bond firmly to corrugated cardboard and other packaging materials to keep them tightly sealed. Key tape features to evaluate are adhesion strength, thickness, and durability. Common varieties include acrylic, hot melt, and reinforced tapes. Acrylic tapes like transparent packing tape resist aging and solvents. Hot melt tapes adhere quickly at lower temperatures. Reinforced tapes have added fibers for high tensile strength. 

Packing tape dispensers allow for quick, efficient taping of boxes. Basic handheld dispensers are suitable for smaller jobs while powered industrial dispensers save labor for high-volume operations. Consider tape width, roll capacity, and braking control when selecting dispensers. For occasional use, an inexpensive hand dispenser with acrylic or hot melt tape should suffice. Frequent shippers may benefit from an electric dispenser with reinforced tape to boost speed and security. Matching your tape type and dispenser to your specific packing needs helps ensure your shipments remain securely sealed.

Stretch Wrap Film

Stretch film wrap, also known as stretch film, is an indispensable palletizing material that firmly secures item groupings on pallets. The thin, clingy plastic film is stretched and wrapped under tension around loads to bundle products together. The benefits of stretch wrapping are load containment, compression, and water resistance. 

Common varieties of stretch film include blown film, cast film, and hand film. Key properties like gauge, elongation, and cling level determine the film’s strength and elasticity. Proper stretch wrapping involves enclosing the entire pallet load in at least two uniform layers of cling film. The initial bottom wraps stabilize the base. The stretched upper passes contain the load. Rotating the pallet while dispensing optimized coverage. With quality stretch wrap film applied correctly, you can ensure your pallet loads hold together securely for shipment. Investing in the right equipment like an electric turntable dispenser also boosts wrapping efficiency and load integrity.

To conclude, utilizing the right packaging materials and techniques is crucial for the safe transport of products. Properly cushioning items, filling voids, and securing loads with adhesives and wraps protects against shocks, vibration, and other hazards. Matching packaging choices to product size, weight, and fragility ensures your shipments arrive intact.


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