Get crafty and creative with postal tubes

Cardboard postal tubes are a great example of efficient and cost effective packaging. They are great at protecting longer and thinner products such as posters and blueprints, and help save space in transit.

But what should you do with the tubes after you’ve received your product in the post? Recycling is definitely an option, but wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to release your inner artist and use them to craft something spectacular?

We’ve searched the internet and asked the more creative members of our team to come up with some amazing uses for cardboard postal tubes. These ideas should help you save money, declutter your homes and have some fun!

Stationery storage pots

Tubes cut into sections make ideal storage containers for your ‘bits and bobs’ such as stationery, batteries and toys. These are incredibly simple to make; simply score a line along the outside of the tube, pierce with scissors or a craft knife and then cut along the line.

Pen holder

As with any craft activity that involves using scissors or a sharp knife, children should be assisted by an adult at all times. You may also want to attach a round piece of paper or card at the bottom of each container to avoid damage to walls or surfaces.

Wine racks

On the subject of adults, this next one is for you!

After a long, hard week at work, many of us like to come home and relax on a Friday night with a bottle of wine and takeaway. The only downside is having to stop off at the shops on the way home to buy the bottle.

It’d be great if we could all afford to have a built-in wine rack in our kitchen but if you can’t, don’t worry. Postal tubes make a really simple, attractive and low cost alternative.

Wine rack

You have a bit of license here to design them to suit any room and can alter the size depending on how much space you have. Just like the stationery storage pots, simply cut the tubes into sections of equal sizes and then use string, elastic bands, Sellotape or glue to attach them into a shape of your choice.


When attached together, postal tubes can make quite a sturdy structure. So it makes perfect sense that some crafters have used them to build unique pieces of furniture.

Making pieces of furniture from cardboard tubes will take a little more expertise than the wine rack or stationery pots. Doubleeei, who created the set above, have made hundreds of fantastic sculptures from reused cardboard.

There are a couple of important things to bear in mind when building furniture out of postal tubes. Firstly, despite the picture showing the table and chairs set outside, we would recommend keeping all cardboard furniture indoors or under cover. Unless properly treated, cardboard isn’t waterproof and therefore leaving it outside could spoil it and no one wants to be sat on a chair that suddenly gives way!

Secondly, if you thought it was easy to lose your keys down the back of the sofa, think of how easy it would be to misplace things down postal tubes. Just like in the picture, remember to cover the tops of the tubes with lids or a fabric covering. It won’t hurt to make the chair just a little bit more comfortable!

Totem poles

If creating household storage and furniture doesn’t seem like your idea of fun, you can use postal tubes to create miniature totem poles and go as artistic and creative as you like.

The actual cutting up part of creating the poles is incredibly easy. Just follow the same routine as the stationery pots.

The great thing about these totem poles is that the majority of the work is actually the really fun part; painting your tube. Totem poles are all about creating individual designs, just like Doodlers Anonymous have done with these crazy faces!

Just think of the hours of fun the kids will have and the ideas are limitless.

And a couple more practical suggestions

Reusing postal tubes doesn’t have to be complicated. There are some really simple and practical ways of reusing tubes that require no arts or crafts at all.

When we say practical, we mean things that will make your everyday life easier. Wrapping postal tubes around coat hangers like this will help to prevent crease lines in your clothes.

Clothes hangers

Or maybe if you’re a keen gardener or have an allotment, a more practical use for you would be to place the tube around the stem of a sapling tree to prevent damage while it grows.

Plant pots

Find your own use

Hopefully, these examples will have shown you the many possibilities to creatively reuse postal tubes. The strength and durability of these packaging products makes them ideal for storage, protection or fun and games.

This kind of creativity gives you a really cheap and safe way of introducing your family to arts and crafts. And as we approach the February half term school holidays, what better time to get crafty with your little ones!

Standing out in a crowded market place: how custom packaging can increase profits

It’s widely acknowledged that it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to attract a new one.  A 2010* study said that it could be around five times more expensive to recruit a new customer. Not only are existing customers far more likely to purchase from your business, but it is also easier to convert them into brand advocates who will advertise your brand to friends and family.

Custom packaging gives customers an instant impression of the brand

Custom packaging gives customers an instant impression of the brand

One of the best ways of attracting repeat custom is by making your brand memorable. Businesses can’t always achieve this by creating a great product alone. You also need to market and package it in a way that differentiates your product from the competition. Only then will you create an experience that feels special for the customer.

Fun packaging makes your product stand out, come alive and in some cases becomes the very reason why your users come back to you for more”-Zopim

If your package looks like every other plain parcel your customer receives, how do they remember where they purchased that great product from?

Customisation: how does it encourage repeat purchases?

Customising your packaging allows your customers to instantly recognise your product range, making them more likely to think of it when it comes to buying that type of product in the future. There are many ways that a company can customise their packaging. Digital customisation has made this quicker and easier than ever. This is where you can use websites like or Rajaprint to upload your own images, which are then printed directly onto the packaging.

Large retail businesses have been customising their packaging for years. Think of all the times you’ve had a delivery from Amazon or bought groceries from Asda; their identity is emblazoned on the packaging and tells you in an instant who the package is from. Their branding lasts throughout the customer journey and brand recognition lasts long after the products are received.

What effect does custom packaging have on the customer?


In retail, having ‘top of mind’ awareness is important when trying to achieve a higher ROI and more repeat custom. Top of mind means that when a customer considers purchasing a product, they think of your brand.

Stand out packaging is vital for lasting awareness, as it allows the customer to associate an image and name with the product.

If a customer associates a brand name or image with a quality product, they are more likely to purchase that item again and also explore other products in the same range. In effect they have increased their depth of involvement with your company from product to brand.

Connecting with the customer

Customers are more likely to purchase a product that they feel connects with them or relates to them on some level. This could be showing an understanding of age group, sub culture, gender or personality type.

Gender specific (GS) packaging is a prime example of this. GS packaging is when a product is designed with imagery that appeals to members of a certain gender. This could be in the choice of colour pallet or imagery that resonates with that sex. According to a poll organised by ‘easyFairs’, 37% of women would be more attracted to gender specific packaging.


Customising and branding packaging allows businesses to communicate their personality to the customer. If a customer feels that the brand understands them or their needs, they are more likely to be become brand loyal or brand advocates, rather than just one-off customers.

Taking customisation to the next level with personalisation

A number of big brands have now evolved customisation further with personalised packaging. Personalisation allows the customer to feel personally connected with the brand. This could be through non-targeted personalisation, such as the names on Coca Cola bottles (which increased sales by 2% after a number of year-on-year declines) or the ultra-targeted campaigns such as Nutella’s new label name branding campaign.


Nutella’s label personalisation makes each product unique to the customer and blurs the lines between seller and buyer, allowing the consumer to feel closer to the brand.

What impact could this have on your business?

Statistics tell us that branding and customised packaging encourages repeat purchases, but how does that translate into success for your business?

Bain & Company, the global management consultancy firm, say that a mere 5% increase in customer retention could translate into increased profits of 25%. Although there are extra costs associated with the introduction of customised packaging, the figures show that the return on investment can be well worth the outlay.

If you can start making your customers think of your business as a brand rather than simply a product, you create an audience who are ready to become long term advocates.

* Lee Resources inc.

Jiffy – Pushing the envelope in innovation


Jiffy® bags are as much of a household name as Sellotape and Hoover and have become an essential for e-commerce businesses and retailers around the world. But how does something as ubiquitous as an envelope become as unique as a Jiffy bag?

The early days of padded packaging

The Baldwin family, Jiffy’s founders, started out as wood wool manufacturers in 1896 in Birmingham. These very thin strands of wood were used as an early form of packaging because they were very springy. Even after being compressed, they bounced back to their original volume, so they could be used again and again. Wood wool was big business both in the UK and the USA in the late 1880s and was used in many products. When sulphuric acid was added, it became very absorbent, so much so wood wool was used in early surgical dressings and sanitary towels!

Thanks to the innovative nature of the Baldwin family, in 1964 The Jiffy Packaging Company Ltd was established to manufacture Jiffy Padded Bags, which were now lined with shredded newspaper print* rather than wood wool.

Even today the original Jiffy Padded Bag® is still significantly more durable and has more cushioning than lighter weight mailers. Over the years, the padded bag design has seen some huge advances. It is now folded and seamless on the sides, with a double-glued bottom flap to make each envelope virtually impossible to burst in the post. The outer is made from tough paper and the modern padding is formed from 100% recycled paper fibres which expand with use. To maximise protection it’s a great idea to ruffle the bag before filling. These elements all work together to create a cushioned, puncture-proof protective casing for heavy parts, engineered components and valuable export items.

What’s the Jiffy secret?

In 2014, Jiffy celebrated 50 years as one of the UK’s leading packaging materials producers. Starting with padded bags, they have now developed ten product ranges from protective foam profiles for cushioning box edges to furniture wraps and digitally printed mail bags. And it’s their dedication and investment in continuous innovation that has kept Jiffy at the forefront of packaging.


Jiffy were the first business in the UK to extrude PE (polyethylene) packaging foam in 1979, and by investing in state-of-the-art PE foam extrusion technology, they now lead the way in this market. After the Jiffy Padded Bag came the Mailmiser® and Airkraft® envelopes that use bubble wrap rather than padded fibres to ensure the envelopes are lightweight and more bouncy. This helped reduce postage costs for e-commerce businesses, retailers and individuals, and ensured items such as CDs, pharmaceuticals and promotional items arrive undamaged. Airkraft outers are laminated for even tougher protection from rips, punctures or the elements.

Meeting the demand for sustainability

Whilst their Padded Bags are fully recyclable, the company have now created Jiffy Green bubble film which is made with a minimum of 75% recycled materials, and is fully recyclable.


With sustainability a huge priority in packaging, Jiffy and have recently launched Earth Aware® which is a new way of packaging Jiffy mailers. By creating banded and flow wrapped bundles of bubble-lined mailers, Earth Aware removes the need for a corrugated packaging outer.


This simple saving means there’s no corrugated cardboard to dispose of, the amount of mailers that can be delivered on each pallet increases and the handling costs are reduced. This very forward-thinking product saw Jiffy named runner up in Packaging Europe magazine’s ‘Sustainability Awards 2015’.

The future for Jiffy

Jiffy manufacture all their bubble wrap inners with a layer of barrier film to seal each air pocket and minimise air escape during shipping. Bubble bags offer long-lasting protection and virtually puncture resistant outers. So it raises the question – if a Jiffy bag can be endlessly reused where will all the addresses go? Perhaps wipe clean outers will be Jiffy’s next innovation for an infinitely reusable mailer!

Discussing innovation with the National Account Manager, Colin Parker said, “Whether you choose the Jiffy® Green Padded Bag, Mailmiser® or Airkraft® bubble lined mailers, or the new and innovative foam lined mailer, Jiffy® Superlite®, there’s a huge variety of mailers for individuals, e-retailers and mail order companies to choose from, for a wide spectrum of applications.”

“Once you’ve found your perfect mailer, now you can customise it by adding your own logo, promotional message, or postage paid mark! They’re digitally printed, with a very low minimum order and fast turnaround which means you can really add a personal touch to mailings and still achieve sophisticated print quality without artwork or plate charges.”


Last call for Animal Protectors nominations!

Flea & worming treatments, leads, collars and toys for 2 dogs?

A winter rug, shampoo, hoof dressing and haylage net?

Litter trays, worming tablets for cats, boxes of dry and wet cut food, stretching posts?

A Rajapack Animal Protectors reward box worth £100 could go a long way to help a charity or organisation near you. So…


What-would-be-in-your-Raja-reward-box (1)

Do you know someone who would really benefit from one of the prizes above? If you do, nominate them as a Rajapack Animal Protector before 31st January and they could win a brilliant Reward Box.

10 Reward Boxes to be won

It’s clear that Animal Protectors are busy, selfless people who really do give their all. With this in mind we’ve made sure that the prize for being our top 10 Animal Protectors will be practical as possible.

So we’re providing our winners with the objects they really need to either carry on their care or make their lives a little easier. We’ll call each winner and ask them what they would like, up to the value of £100. So whether they ask for a dog kennel and a play pen or a garden-full of hedgehog homes, our winners will not only enjoy the honour of being named an Animal Protector, they will also get a helping hand towards their invaluable work.

If you haven’t quite got round to sending us your nomination yet, please hurry. Nominations close at midnight on the 31st January.

Bubble wrap – the ultimate pop art

As we celebrate another Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, it is no wonder bubble wrap popping is a worldwide phenomenon. When we see a piece, not many people can resist the urge to pop at least one bubble. The trouble is, we are compelled to pop another… then another. But you may be surprised to learn that bubble wrap was not, in fact, created for our popping entertainment. Its original intention was even more bizarre – it was sold as wallpaper.


Yes, you read that right – wallpaper. Well, it was the 1950’s. But when that didn’t take off it took another 4 years for its inventors Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes to realise the role bubble wrap was born to do – package protection.

But little did Fielding and Chavannes know that their creation was about to become a cultural phenomenon. The pleasure of popping bubble wrap has been widely discussed in an attempt to find the reasons why it is so satisfying and compulsive. Even a proper scientific investigation was conducted, which found those who popped were calmer and more alert than those who did not.


Recently however, an increasing number of us have realised there is more to bubble wrap than losing hours of our lives fixatedly popping it. Instead of destroying the bubbles, people are creating with them.

New York artist Bradley Hart has developed an ingenious method of using them to paint portraits. Injecting each bubble with paint, they act as individual pixels that together make an image. He has been able to create stunning photo-realistic portraits that have been taking the art world by storm.


Not just painters, but sculptors have adopted bubble wrap as a muse for inspiration. Swiss artist, Olympia Scarry, wanted to create a body of work about boredom and frustration. What better product to use than bubble wrap? Her finished piece was the ‘Bubble Wrap Painting’ sculpted from marble.


It isn’t just art-with-a-capital-A that is embracing bubble wrap. Crafty mums and dads use it as a painting tool for their little ones to unleash their creative side. This graphic designer and her 6 year old made some pretty-unique looking wrapping paper with it. And this crafty parent used bubble wrap to fashion some home furnishings. So instead of popping bubble wrap, why not get creative with it?

There’s still time to nominate an Animal Protector

Banner for Animal protectors

Since launching the Rajapack Animal Protector Awards in December we’ve already had an incredible response. We love hearing about people who are as dedicated to protecting animals as we are to protecting parcels so we couldn’t help but have a sneaky read of some of the entries.

We’ve heard about an elderly lady who nurses homeless cats back to health, sanctuaries who take in injured horses, individuals who volunteer their time to dogs’ homes and even an elephant charity in Africa!

Remind you of anyone?

If these stories remind you of someone, why not nominate them for an Animal Protector Award? You’ve still time to enter, and they could win an exciting Reward Box. Ten winners will receive special boxes filled with £100 worth of products that will help your nominee continue their incredible work.

You can nominate any non-profit organisation you like, whether that’s an individual, charity or sanctuary. Unfortunately we can’t accept entries for profit making organisations like a vet or pet groomer.

It only takes a couple of minutes to tell us about your Animal Protector and it’s your chance to give them the recognition they deserve.

The search is on for 10 Rajapack Animal Protectors!

This winter, people up and down the UK will be working hard to give vulnerable animals the food, shelter and care they need. To celebrate their great work, we’ve started to search for ten amazing people to be named Rajapack Animal Protectors!


Our top Animal Protectors will win an exciting Reward Box. These special boxes will be tailored to the winner and filled with £100 worth of products to help them continue caring for animals. Inside could be anything from animal feed or wellies to scratching posts and grooming brushes; it’s up to our winners to decide which pet products can help them continue doing their fantastic work.

How do the awards work?

If you know a person or organisation who has gone out of their way to care for animals, then head over to the Animal Protectors nomination page and tell us why they deserve to win.

No creature is too great or small to need protection, so we’d love to hear stories about people who care for any animal from butterflies to bulldogs or birds of prey, however we can only accept entries for non-profit organisations. So you can nominate an individual, charity or sanctuary, but not a vet or pet groomer.

Rewarding protection

It may seem strange for a leading packaging company to honour Animal Protectors, but as our products are used to protect valuable items, we admire others who take protection as seriously as we do. Last winter we teamed up with Tiggywinkles, the world’s busiest wildlife hospital, to build Hector the hedgehog a house. We raised over £350 for the charity and also donated £220 worth of stationery to their busy offices. As part of our core values we look to always put something back into society and this is one way we can make a difference.

It’s easy to nominate your Animal Protector today

If you know someone who deserves a big thank you for their great work, why not take five minutes now to nominate them and make sure they get the recognition they deserve.

Emmanuel Clair appointed Managing Director of RAJA Group

Emmanuel Clair has been appointed Managing Director of RAJA Group, the European leader in the distribution of packaging supplies and equipment for businesses. He will be responsible for the Group’s development programme and oversee the implementation of the growth strategy.

Emmanuel Clair

 His main tasks will include:

  • Steering the internal growth strategy and the acquisition plan
  • Accelerating the Group’s digitalisation and ensuring responsibility for the Information Systems,
  • Managing the diversification strategy and the international development of specialised subsidiaries.

He joins the RAJA Group Executive Board, which currently consists of Nathalie Chapusot, Alain Josse, Daniel Cohen and Vincent Terradot.

As a graduate of the ESSEC Business School, Emmanuel has great experience in the overall leadership of international companies, especially in multi-channel distribution, across B2B and B2C markets.

“My aim is to contribute to the Group’s development, whether internally or externally. In order to do so, I will work in close collaboration with the other members of the Executive Board, under the direction of Danièle Kapel-Marcovici,”

Due to his background in consumer product for companies such as Henkel, Scott Paper and Vileda, he has also been able to gain vast experience in the field of mass distribution.

As Deputy CEO of 3SI Group and Argosyn, Emmanuel managed B2B distribution activities and e-commerce services from 2007 to 2015. He has been instrumental in the development of the company Mondial Relay, and managed a shift in the business model to office supplies distribution as Chairman of JM Bruneau, as well as Co-Manager of Otto Office Germany.

Is unpoppable bubble wrap about to revolutionise protective packaging?

One of the more famous aspects of bubble wrap are the stress-relieving, fun qualities of the poppable bubble. That could soon be about to change as the inventors of the popular protective packaging material, Sealed Air, have announced the release of an unpoppable version, dubbed ‘iBubble’.

Bubble Wrap

How is it ‘unpoppable’?

The ‘pop’ on standard wrap occurs when there is a high build-up of pressure in the individual bubbles. This new form of unpoppable wrap, which will be delivered deflated, sees the individual bubbles become joined up strips. With these new strips, any pressure put on the wrap will just move the air to a different part of the sheet rather than forcing it out of the material.

This infographic from the Wall Street Journal shows the new shape of these unpoppable bubbles:

New iBubble form

Why is there a need for unpoppable bubble wrap?

Many people, especially on social media, have questioned this new approach, pointing out that Sealed Air are eliminating one of the product’s biggest selling points; the fun in popping. But for large volume distribution operations there are a number of advantages from switching to this new product. So why has iBubble  been created? :

1. It’s easier to transport

The original reason for changing the format of the popular packaging material, doesn’t have anything to do with actually making the bubbles unpoppable; that is merely a by-product. The change was brought about to enable the manufacturers and users of the product to save time, money and man hours on delivery. Poppable Bubble Wrap needs to be rolled into giant ‘haystack-shaped’ rolls in order to be transported. These can take up space in transit which limits the amount of wrap that can be transported in one go.

iBubble is delivered deflated and therefore takes up far less room. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, it will take up 1/15 of space that the standard form does in transit. The customer then uses a special Sealed Air machine to inflate the product on site, when needed.

2. Competition from other cost-effective void fill products

The introduction of global-scale online retailers such as Amazon and eBay has led to a surge in demand for protective packaging products. More and more viable alternatives, such as liquid foam, have been created in order to meet the demands of different products. Bubble wrap has lost some of its dominance in the market and it is no longer Sealed Air’s bestselling product. This is partly down to cost of delivery; companies shipping products can get more protective packaging for their ‘pound’ from other materials.

3. iBubble is more environmentally-friendly

Bubble wrap’s ability to protect products is significantly diminished when the bubbles burst. Therefore if, like many consumers do, the recipient of the product decides to pop the bubbles, the wrap can’t be used again. Aside from the environmental benefits of shipping a more compact product, the “unpoppable” nature of the wrap makes reuse more likely. Reusing iBubble could be good for the environment as it reduces energy costs associated with manufacturing and transportation.

4. iBubble can be custom designed

As the product is pre-formed on a reel, it gives customers opportunity to create bespoke bubble patterns. This means the wrap can be customised to better fit the shape of the product it’s protecting.

Does this signal the end for the poppable bubble?

With advantages to both the environment and costs to retailers, unpoppable wrap is no doubt going to become a major player in the packaging industry. This has led some to question where the future lies for the standard form.

Bubble wrap is set to maintain its position as an extremely popular form of packaging and here’s the reasons why:

  1. It is still a secure and cost effective way to protect products

The introduction of this new generation of product will not suddenly make standard wrap obsolete – it is still a cost effective, secure and versatile way of ensuring that products arrive at their destination in ideal condition.

  1. Environmentally friendly Bubble Wrap is already available

Forms of environmentally friendly wrap continue to be developed and are becoming more readily available. This includes a biodegradable form which disintegrates naturally after use and is easier to dispose of in a way that is safer for the environment.

  1. It is popular with consumers

As well as its protective qualities, retailers should remember that bubble wrap is popular with consumers for fun and stress relieving purposes.  People can have fun with this packaging, and can also re-use it to protect other products easily; one on the reasons it remains one of the most popular packaging materials round the world.

What will be the potential impact on businesses and the packaging market?

In an interview with USA Today, Sealed Air spokesman Ken Aurichio said:

Because the product ships flat to customers, it takes up less space than traditional bubble wrap in trucks and the result is more sustainable shipping. It will not replace traditional bubble wrap as there will still be a consumer, retail and business market

Sealed Air logo

Sealed Air still seem to appreciate the value of the consumer market for traditional bubble wrap, but the launch of new iBubble Wrap is an attempt to make the future of the material more sustainable.

We asked our very own head of product marketing, Brian Davis, what impact he thought iBubble would have on the packaging industry:

”Whilst bubble film remains the most popular method for protecting products in transit packaging, it remains a hindrance with so much space taken by the air within it. Having the ability to inflate bubble rolls as needed reduces the space required to store, the costs of shipping and allows customer to produce on demand. Because its unpoppable, less bubble is required, so double layering to cope with multiple impacts is not needed.”

Bubble wrap is a product that continues to develop in order to suit budgets and requirements across the packaging market. Even before iBubble was created, customers could choose between different strengths and qualities of wrap.

Co-extruded bubble wrap for example, is manufactured to incorporate a strong nylon barrier through the centre of the bubble cell material, offering a stronger and more lasting option than mono-bubble films.

The question remains as to whether losing the ‘pop’ in bubble wrap will allow it to compete with other protective packaging and void fill in the market.  For large volume users, there are definitely some advantages to using iBubble.  But one thing is for sure, the presence of bubble looks like it will be part of your packaging deliveries for some time to come.

(Picture Credit: Chrysti)

Top 10 tips to safely package and ship your large and heavy goods overseas

When shipping your large and heavy goods abroad, it’s vital that you package them in a way that keeps them in good condition and also gives guidance to those receiving them in the other country.

Shipping boxes 1

Large and heavy goods require appropriate packaging to prevent them from becoming damaged, or from damaging other items in the shipment.

For a shipment to be cost and time efficient, you need to ensure that your packaging is fit for purpose, whilst also remembering all the legal requirements that have to be met.

That’s why we have put together this very handy list of top 10 tips and things to remember when packaging and shipping your large and heavy goods overseas.

  1. Palletise your goods to reduce the risk of damage

One of the best ways of saving space, ensuring that all your goods arrive at their destination without damage, is to strap them together on a pallet. Pallets are easily transported using a pallet jack and therefore save time and energy for both the carrier and those receiving the goods.

Remember that there is EU regulation in place that effects some pallets and pallet boxes. ISPM15 is the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures NO.15, and was put in place to prevent destructive organisms from being transported from one country to another in treated wood work. You can use products such as our Wooden Pallet Boxes & Inka Pallets that comply with these export regulations.

  1. Extra strong strapping will prevent damage, theft and tampering of goods in your shipment

Extra strong strapping and custom packaging tape keeps your items together and prevents people from opening the packages in transit.

With products such as custom packaging tape, it also allows you to add extra branding and instructions to your products.

  1. Use void fill to protect surrounding items

 It is vitally important that the appropriate void fill is used to ensure that products don’t move around and become damaged in their shipping box when they are being transported. This is especially true with large and heavy goods that could potentially damage stock around them.

Bubble wrap is good for protecting the item itself, but if you want to protect other items from large and heavy goods falling on them, void fill such as vermiculite is ideal.

  1. Clean your items thoroughly to avoid fines at customs

Certain items can become dangerous if they are not properly cleaned. For instance, if wood is not cleaned, it can begin to rot and become a home for parasites and organisms that can carry infections and diseases. If dangerous goods are not properly declared or packaged, they can be stopped from going through customs and fines can be issued to the exporter and carrier.

You should wash or wipe products thoroughly and inspect for elements such as damp that could lead to rot or product damage.

  1. Research what products are classed as Dangerous Goods

Goods that are considered to be potentially dangerous need to be packaged and labelled in a way that protects the item and those who have to handle it. If you send these goods on a regular basis, you may also be required to employ a DGSA (Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor).

Dangerous goods are separated into categories depending on the type of damage they can cause and the type of event that must occur for those products to become lethal.

Examples of dangerous products include:

Flammable liquids and gases, toxic waste, infectious substances, radioactive material.

For a full list of the categories of dangerous goods, head to the ‘shipping dangerous goods page on the .gov website.

  1. Check weight restrictions applied by the forwarder or carrier

Depending on the size of your goods, you may need to be aware of weight restrictions. These usually only come into effect with much bigger items (larger than pallet loads). However, even with smaller goods such as large parcels, there are increasing charges as size and weight grows.

It is important that you research the freight agent’s and forwarder’s charges as it can often work out cheaper to palletise your smaller items.

  1. Fill out an ESCI as accurately and with as much detail as possible

An ESCI (or Export Cargo Shipping Instruction) is an instruction document which is given by the exporter to the carrier. On this document will be notes about the route, the way an item should be handled, who should receive the goods and an allocation of costs.

Many insurers won’t pay out on goods that don’t have a correct and completed ESCI. These notes are especially important for shipments that require temperature control or include fragile goods.

Shipping boxes 2

  1. Don’t forget your Standard Shipping Note

Standard Shipping Notes are a necessity if you’re shipping goods abroad. They contain information about the goods and those carrying them and are used by the carriers and custom officials. Without these notes, your goods can be prevented from leaving or entering a country.

  1. Take out export insurance

Export insurance protects the exporter against the risk of not being paid under export contract, or not being able to fulfil that contract because of events that prevent the delivery of goods.

Given that the economy and politics of nations can change in the space of days, export insurance gives you peace of mind and could save you large amounts of money.

10Avoid taxes by acquiring an ATA Carnet

If you’re moving goods into another country on a temporary basis, you may be eligible for an ATA Carnet. An ATA Carnet is a document which secures tax and duty free importation of goods into a country as long as they meet one of the following criteria:

  • They are sample products
  • They are being displayed at a trade show
  • They are being used for construction.

Avoiding taxes on these imports can save your business money and time.

Picture credit to Bridget Colla and Jaxport