There is one objective: Have your products arrive safely at their destination in good condition while keeping costs low. The challenge is that during transit, your products and all of its protective packaging are up against some pretty harsh and unforgiving conditions. As an ecommerce business, it’s not only critical have a good sense of how to design your packaging for branding, but also know the proper steps to take to prevent distribution and packaging hazards.
But, in order to protect your products from damage, you need to know what hazards they experience while on their journey to your customer’s doorstep. And how the goods might react to those hazards.
Every time a package drops, struck by something, or falls during transit, you’re facing a shock hazard. Impacts to a parcel commonly occur around the bottom face, corners and edges, but your package should be designed to protect against impacts that occur from any direction.
Note that delivery operations may not always honor “up arrows” for your preferred direction of orientation.
Any vibrations during transit can cause damage to products. Although the severity may seem lower compared to rough handling, long exposure times to vibration during rail transportation, for example, can cause abrasion, loosening of fasteners or other cumulative damage.
When packages are stacked during transportation, compression forces can become dynamic when combined with vibrations. When compared to static compression (think warehouse storage), dynamic compression can cause much more damage to goods. And due to the fact that package orientation may not always be consistent, your packages must be designed to withstand compression from any angle.
Atmospheric conditions such as changing temperatures, humidity, altitude and static electricity can affect the characteristics of the package, the protective packaging and the products. High temperatures, for example, can weaken plastic; low temps can make it brittle. High humidity can weaken corrugated boxes, high altitudes can distort air-containing packaging, and static electricity may damage electronics. The list goes one.
Your packaging must be designed to protect against any extreme atmospheric hazard.
Now that you know the potential hazards. You need to think about how your goods could react to each of those hazards. Will they break or leak? Deform or discolor? Corrode or scratch? What constitutes unacceptability upon arrival to your customer’s doorstep?
Once you have outlined all the possibilities, it’s time to configure the proper packaging materials including corrugated boxes, bags, tubes, mailing envelopes or custom boxes. Additionally, and just as important, analyze the type and amount of interior protective packaging such as air pillows, paper fill, foam-in-place materials, bubble, and other loose-fill materials.
The goal? Find the best protection for your product. No more or less…and at the lowest cost possible.
It should come to no surprise that you could face packaging hazards, but taking the time to examine your shipping packaging operations can save you time, money and big headaches down the road.
At Hughes, we offer all the packaging supplies and equipment you need to improve your production and shipping operations. Learn more about protective packaging supplies from Hughes today to see how we can offer you the total (protective) package. Call 1-267-409-6100.
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