If you work in the warehouse, logistics or e-commerce space, you know how important proper packaging is. Protecting the goods you’re shipping is paramount to not only keeping the items intact, but also your reputation!
To ensure you’re packaging your items properly, you need all sorts of packaging materials, including void fill. To make sure you’re choosing the best void fill option to suit your needs, we’ve put together some handy information about the different kinds of void fill packaging materials that are currently available, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
But, before we jump into the different kinds of void fill packaging materials, let’s learn more about what void fill is and why you should be using it.
What is void fill and why should I use it?
When you package and ship items, the last thing you want is for them to move around inside the packaging and potentially get damaged in transit. In a perfect world, everything we make and send would be in square or rectangular shapes and fill up all spaces of standard packaging, like boxes.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t quite work like that, so we’re shipping all sorts of goods and products, in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and commonly we’re shipping them in boxes. But, when you package something that isn’t square or rectangular into boxes, chances are there are going to be gaps and spaces in the boxes, and these gaps are known as voids.
Well, void fill is essentially packaging materials that can fill in these voids, and keep the items you’re shipping more secure and in place. When items are shipped from place to place, it is impossible to avoid potential damage, from drops and bumps to smashes and crashes, your shipped items are subjected to a lot. The right packaging supplies, and void fill materials can help to absorb the shock of both general movements and accidents. Essentially, void fill is one of the best ways to prevent damage occurring to the items you’re shipping.
What are the different kinds of void fill packaging supplies?
When it comes to how you’re going to fill that void, let us help you out. Here are some of the best gap filling packaging products out there.
Biofill Loose Fill
Packing peanuts – there’s no doubt you’ve seen these before. Chances are you’ve received a parcel in your time with these packing peanuts keeping the items padded and secured.
Well, packing peanuts have changed over the years and in Australia, they are now biodegradable, being made from corn starch.
Some of the advantages of biofill loose fill is that they are quite cost effective and lightweight. They are also highly flexible and able to fit into all sorts of packaging and gaps. Oh, and of course, they are very eco-friendly – being both biodegradable and compostable.
While there are some upsides, there are also some downsides that should be acknowledged. For example, items packed with biofill can move around quite a bit, it’s hard to package something tightly and secure – which means for breakable items, like something made from glass, they are not recommended. They are also lightweight, so if the item you’re shipping needs to be protected but it is sort of heavy, the item will move to the bottom of the box below the peanuts. They can also take up a lot of space when they are not in use – so unless you have a very large storage space, they can encroach on your space. And if you happen to spill them, cleaning them up can be pretty annoying.
These are the mini plastic pillows that you’ve probably seen in a box or two. They can be packaged into all kinds of shipping packing, like boxes and envelopes and can do a good job of absorbing the shock if your items are dropped.
The packaging pillows comes deflated and require a machine to fill them with air. The process itself is quite simple and allows you to inflate just what you need each time.
Some advantages include that you save on space because the pillows are deflated. They also come in a wide range of sizes, so if you’re shipping items in packages of all sizes you can choose what you need. The machine required to inflate the pillow is very affordable. And when packaged properly, your goods are going to be pretty well protected.
Disadvantages include that you do need a machine to actually use the product. The other major disadvantage is that they are not the most environmentally friendly solution. Many of the packaging pillows can actually be recycled, but you’re at the mercy of the receiver as to whether this actually happens.
Another highly popular option is packaging paper. You’ve probably seen the brown recyclable paper in packages you’ve received. It can be folded, scrunched and manipulated however you need it. And it can be used for all sorts of items, and is recommended to be used for items up to around 50kg in weight.
Some of the other advantages include that it is lightweight, so it isn’t adding to much additional weight to the packaged. It’s super easy to use, you can use it however you need to. It’s also biodegradable and recyclable. Not too much storage is required for the paper. And it’s also a very affordable option.
The only disadvantage of packaging paper is for those heavier items – ones over 50kg, will need something else to protect them.
This one of the most traditional forms of void filling packaging materials. It has been effective in providing protection over the years and some of the advantages of bubblewrap include:
- It’s easy to use
- It can be used for all kinds of packaging materials – like boxes and envelopes
- People love popping it
While it is effective, there are actually a number of disadvantages when it comes to bubble wrap. For example, it’s actually quite a costly material to use as it will be inflated when it arrives for you to use. So it can take up a lot of space. While it’s lightweight, as it takes up a lot of space, shipping it to you for your packaging needs can be costly. It’s also not a great option environmentally. It also requires a lot of storage space on your end too.
A newer and more eco-friendly version of bubblewrap has arrived on the scene and it’s called paper bubblewrap or honeycomb paper.
This packing material is a great option for wrapping around breakable goods to provide protection, and when packed properly, particularly in smaller packages, those goods are well protected.
However, this material isn’t the best option when it comes to larger items or when you need a lot of void fill.
Environmentally though, it is a great option as it is biodegradable and recyclable.
Melbpack industrial packaging supplies has your bases covered when it comes to your warehouse and logistics packaging needs. Get in touch with Melbpack to find the best void fill and packaging supplies in Melbourne and Victoria today.