What to expect when working with a specialist packaging supplier

We’ve been supplying packaging to businesses since 1954 – that’s over 60 years of experience working with all types of companies.  From small owners working at home to international brands spanning Europe, we’ve built up a wealth of know-how in making it easy for people to package their items well and protect what’s important to them.

But what’s it like to work with a specialist in packaging? In this blog post we’ll detail what it could offer your business.

How do you buy your packaging?

Today there are countless ways that a company can buy packaging, whether it’s from small local suppliers, internationally through the web or via an online marketplace.  With 2.8 billion packages and parcels being delivered in 2016 there’s a vast range of products in all shapes and sizes that need to be protected securely, and choosing the correct packaging has never been more important.

We’ve outlined what we feel are three key benefits that you’ll receive in working with a dedicated, expert led packaging specialist like Rajapack.

A dedicated team of packaging experts at your service

At both Rajapack HQ and on the road, we take pride in training our staff to be experts in all things packaging.

All our Regional Packaging Specialists are ready to use their vast packaging knowledge to advise you with the best solutions possible. They’re supported by a team of in-house experts in areas like supply chain management, warehouse planning and organisation, custom packaging and branding, and for individual product ranges such as cardboard and postal boxes, protective packaging, stretch film, packaging tape, packaging machines and postal bags and so much more.

Your dedicated account team is always just a phone call or an email away. Every customer that works with us has a Regional Packaging Specialist to look after their account, providing quotes, placing orders and discussing specialist packaging requirements. With quick turnaround times too – we’ll get back to you with quotes within 24 hours.

Our team of Regional Packaging Specialists work up and down the UK, visiting businesses using their expert packaging knowledge to advise and support our customers, whether you need help with how to package their products properly, organise your warehouse, speed up your packaging processes or find ways to cut costs and increase efficiency.

In working with Rajapack, a supplier with a passion for packaging, our team take pride in ensuring all our customers are using the right packaging for their business.  That means using the optimum materials, with maximum protection, minimum waste and a low impact on the environment.

Find savings & use efficiencies across your operation with our packaging audit

Whether we’re saving you space in your warehouse or reducing your shipping costs we’re focused on making our customers savings. We are in the process of launching a new packaging audit service to fully assess the needs and processes of our large customers.

When you begin working with us, one of our Regional Packaging Specialists will visit you and carry out a packaging audit on-site.  They’ll look right across your current packaging processes at ways to help find space, save costs and increase productivity.  From warehouse processes to packaging materials, storage to packaging machines, our Specialists will help you find the best solutions for your business.

A simple service, tailored to your business

Next working day delivery comes as standard across 99% of our products, so you can rely on us to deliver supplies promptly and on time.  This way of working means you can use our 10,000m² warehouse like your own – just order your packaging as and when you need it, saving space in your warehouse, with no need to store large amounts of stock.  We can quickly deliver your large orders when your packaging supplies are getting low.

Finally, when it comes to payments, we make the process simple and easy.  We offer a monthly e-billing service that you can access via our portal safely and securely, giving you time to receive your order in full and settle payments within 30 days.

If you’d like to see how working a with packaging specialist could benefit your business, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

What can Rajapack customers look forward to in 2018?

This time last week we held our annual Supplier Day.  This day showcases the new packaging products, packing machines and techniques that our suppliers have to offer, combined with discussion, advice and information direct from the experts.

Every year the Rajapack Supplier Day gives our teams the chance to really understand our suppliers, their ethos and their products.  Working so closely enables us to have a relationship with them based on trust and shared values.  Throughout the day our teams learn directly from the experts, taking their knowledge on board so we can deliver the right products, advice and solutions to our customers.

Right from the start, the floor was humming with activity.  A atmosphere throughout the day gave everyone the opportunity to listen and learn from our specialist suppliers, an invaluable experience.

Seminars were held throughout the day, which allowed suppliers to demonstrate and explain their product and services in detail.  Some of the topics focused on included digital print and bespoke packaging, environmental responsibility and to improve customer service with increased client-supplier communication.  The aim of the supplier seminars is to help the Rajapack team be better prepared and equipped with knowledge to better answer customer queries.

A focus on Environmental Responsibility

This year, a common theme across all our suppliers was a focus on environmental responsibility and recycling, a topic that is very close to our hearts at Rajapack.  The success and popularity of David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet II’ series on the BBC has had a huge impact on the UK population, encouraging us to think about the choices we can make when buying and recycling plastics.

For many suppliers, corrugated cardboard is a key solution in the fight against plastics and the move away from materials which can’t easily be recycled.  Cardboard can easily be recycled, while offering many benefits as a packaging material; high strength, crushing resistance, and light weight are just a few. At Rajapack we agree completely, and together with our suppliers we can all be part of the solution to increase recycling and reduce the waste that washes up on our shores.

What can you expect from Rajapack suppliers in 2018?

All our suppliers contributed on the day in what was a valuable and positive learning experience for everyone.  As one of the few distributors of Ranpak products in the UK, we were proud to host them again on the day.  They showcased a new product, which they will be launching this year and we will be offering through the Rajapack website and catalogue.

The Geami WrapPak Exbox Mini is a wrapping and packaging machine for small operations and retail outlets.  Made from a disposable carton expander box, it’s small and lightweight, ideal for operations with limited space.  It produces Geami’s strong 3D honeycomb die cut paper, a very strong, robust and eco-friendly wrapping which offers great protection for items and also looks attractive.

Another innovative packaging machine that was showcased this year was the AirWave.  This small and compact machine produces void fill pillows and quilts.  Its ergonomic design combined with powerful performance offers a strong solution for protective packaging, and it’s another cutting edge packaging product that we’ll be stocking this year as part of our RAJASYSTEM range.

The Supplier Excellence Awards

In the evening, we held our Supplier Excellence Awards, which gave us an opportunity to recognise and award our suppliers for their support across the year.

Congratulations to all our winners on the day

  • Our Supplier Coach of the Year was awarded to Ranpak. Throughout 2017 they’ve provided excellence in field training, product instructions and we’ve had exceptional feedback from the head office training they’ve hosted for us.
  • The Proactive Supplier of the Year Award went to Jiffy, for proactively providing high quality and regular opportunities to improve RAJAPACK’s product offering, quality and service throughout the year.
  • Winners of our Service Excellence Award this year were Limpet, for their first-rate delivery performance and outstandingly low number of product quality issues.
  • Our Extra Mile Award recognises an individual who has gone over and beyond in their support to Rajapack in 2017, and this year that award went to Mahmood Fakhar at Diamond Box for all of his support and dedication.
  • Finally, our Supplier of the Year award for 2018, which is based on sales performance, training & coaching, proactivity, and innovation went to Reedbut Packaging, manufacturer of corrugated cardboard for all their hard work and support throughout the year.

Overall the day was a resounding success, now into its third year it’s an event that will continue to feature in the Rajapack calendar.  Over the past week we’ve received feedback from all the suppliers about the day, which has been extremely positive, with comments including one of the best events that we have been involved in”, “a well planned, professional event” and “a huge thank you to all of the team at RAJA for making us feel so welcome and valued.”

Finally, Chris Liddell, Head of Product Marketing at Rajapack had this to say about Supplier Day 2018:

“The annual RAJAPACK supplier day and awards event is now a fixture in the calendar for many of the industry’s leading manufacturers, providing a fantastic opportunity to reflect and celebrate with our key partners on our joint successes from 2017 and to plan for how we will deliver excellent service and quality for our customers together in 2018.

In my view, this year’s event was a fantastic success, the passion and energy displayed from RAJAPACK employees and our supplier partners alike throughout the day was inspiring, with numerous innovative products and services on display, what a way to start a new year.”

Help your business go green in 2018 with our eco-friendly packaging

For our first post of 2018 we’re focusing on a topic that’s close to our heart – environmental responsibility.

We’re all committed to sustainable development to benefit the environment, with an environmental policy in place across all of our 15 subsidiaries across Europe.

We regularly launch campaigns to support and help charities around the world and at home.  Our current campaign is the Women and the Environment programme which has raised more than £625,000 for charity projects around the world and has been extended until the end of August 2018.

More recently we’ve undertaken a survey of over 2,000 people to find out more about recycling in the UK.  We also commissioned a cardboard sculpture artist to produce a piece for us to raise awareness of recycling as part of our Art of Recycling campaign.

It’s important for Rajapack to help our customers go green too.  Moving to more environmentally-friendly packaging offers many benefits for a business as well as being kinder to the planet.  It’s great for improving your brand reputation, differentiating your offering in a crowded marketplace and enhancing the experience for your customers.

Over the past few years we’ve been steadily growing our range of eco-friendly packaging and below we’ve picked out some of our favourites to help your business go green in 2018.

Protection: Green Recycled Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is one of the most popular types of protective packaging as it’s so versatile.  It can be used for a whole range of things including wrapping, layering, separating and cushioning goods to give them great protection during storage or transit.

For a more eco-friendly alternative to standard bubble wrap, we offer recycled, recyclable green bubble wrap. Coloured with a slight tint of green and supplied in 100 metre rolls, it’s made from strong green polyethene, 50 microns in thickness.  It’s completely recyclable and made from at least 15% recycled polythene for less impact on the environment.

Protection: Biodegradable Loose Fill

If you use a lot of loose fill in your packaging process, then we recommend trying this biodegradable loose fill from Eco-Flo. It’s more environmentally friendly as it breaks down in the environment naturally and is completely compostable.

High quality light, clean chips will settle immediately and fit around goods in a box, preventing them from dropping to the bottom, providing solid protection.  They are 5 times more antistatic than using polystyrene chips, so can be used for any product from delicate ceramics and china to sensitive electronic equipment or heavy mechanical items.

Labels: Green Documents Enclosed Envelope Labels

Documents enclosed labels are one of the most common packaging labels, used on all large shipments to identify package details without having to open them.  We offer a green alternative, so you can make small, simple changes to your processes to be more eco-friendly without it costing the earth.

Our green documents enclosed envelope labels are made from 60% recycled materials and are still as strong, sticky and durable as standard non-recycled envelope labels.  Available in three sizes; A5, A6 or DL, they’re made from 60 micron polythene with a paper backing and will stick fast to any package.

Strapping: Extruded Polyester Strapping on Cardboard Cores

This eco-friendly strapping, made from 80% recycled material is twice as strong as polypropylene strapping and a great alternative to using steel. The extruded polyester is 100% recyclable and features a cardboard core that can be recycled with your standard paper and board.

Extruded polyester strapping offers lots of other benefits too; it won’t ever rust, scratch or stain your shipments, and its elastic properties mean that it can fit awkward shapes without splitting or losing strength. If you regularly use strapping in your shipments, we recommend taking a look.

Office Supplies: Recycled Cardboard Archive Box Folders

Our eco-friendly range isn’t limited to packaging and protection, we also have office and facilities products available too.  These cardboard archive box folders are great for keeping your office and paperwork organised.

They’re made from 100% recycled cardboard, a single flat sheet of corrugated board which gives a solid finish.  Available in four different spine widths, from 80mm to 150mm, they feature pre-ruled lines across all four side for easy identification.  They’re completely recyclable too.

Plastic Bags: Green Grip-seal Polybags

If you’re using grip-seal bags, then we have a great eco-friendly alternative to standard bags.  Our green grip-seal polybags are made with at least 50% recycled material, lessening their impact on the environment during their production and use. They feature a bold green strip along the closure with

They’re great for packaging and protecting a massive range of items, from jewellery and cosmetics, to electronics, magazines and more.  With brilliant clarity through the bag, they can be used for presenting products too.

 

Paper Packaging: Natural Crinkle Cut Shredded Paper

Made from 100% recycled antistatic Kraft, this crinkle cut shredded paper protects during shipping and looks pretty when presenting gifts and products. The 80gsm natural fibre holds its shape and resists crushing, providing strong protectionyour items.

The spiral folded fibres are perfect for presentation in items such as seasonal hampers, fruit baskets, gift hampers and general gift decoration.  They’re 100% recyclable too.

Mailing Bags: Padded Jiffy Green Bags

Made from 100% recycled paper, padded jiffy green mailing bags provide outstanding protection with super strength.  If you’re already using mailing bags to send out your shipments, then these are a great eco-friendly alternative.  Available in ten different sizes, they can be used to ship a wide range of items including heavy duty products such as mechanical parts.

Featuring a 100% recycled paper fibre lining, they are 100% recyclable and offer exceptional protection with their cushioning paper layer.

Palletising: Moulded Wood Pallets

We offer eco-friendly solutions if you ship your goods on pallets, to help you be greener.  These moulded wood pallets are lightweight, incredibly strong, and manufactured from recycled waste timber.  They’re 100% recyclable too, so you can ensure they get recycled into future products after use.

Lightweight and economical, they can easily be stacked when not in use, saving space in your warehouse, and are fully certified for export according to FAO-IPPC-ISPM 15, so there’s no need to fumigate or heat treat them.  They’re available in other sizes too, from mini pallets through to container size to fit standard ISO containers.

Export Boxes: Cardboard Loading Cases

If you’re shipping pallets of goods, then we can recommend a green alternative for export boxes.  These cardboard loading cases with optional lids are strong, robust and durable. They’re made from double wall corrugated board with a Kraft paper finish, which makes them damp and moisture resistant, perfect for use in humid conditions.

They’re made of 75% recycled fibres and are 100% recyclable.  Once recycled after use, they can be remade and reused in just two weeks.

If you’d like to see how our team of packaging experts can help your business be a little greener for 2018, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

Ten of our favourite Gift Packaging picks from Rajaboutique

Christmas is fast approaching! Here at Rajapack we know the value of great quality gift packaging and we’ve got a bumper selection so you can get your business in the festive spirit.  We’ve picked out ten favourites from our Rajaboutique range that will give your parcels some sparkle and make your packaging process a little easier this Christmas.

Image Source: https://stocksnap.io/photo/CC3WLB6N9V

  1. Christmas Gift Bags

First up are our brand new Christmas gift bags for 2017, they come in a range of finishes and we think they’re perfect for adding some festive flair to your packaging.  Our plastic Christmas carrier bags come in white with a traditional green and red design on both sides and are great for use in a Christmas shop or market stall.  For a more vintage style try our Christmas paper carrier bags in red.  Or for something a stronger, our matt laminated bags with 190gsm paper and a reinforced bottom look lovely and will stay .

  1. Stella Wrapping Paper

If you’re gift wrapping items for your customers and want wrapping paper that’s both elegant and chic, then look no further! Our range of Stella wrapping paper comes in 4 different designs with sparkle in gold and silver, these 50m rolls add some lovely contemporary class to any gift.

 

  1. Metallic Gloss Bubble Postal Bags

We love these colourful metallic bubble postal bags, available in four shiny colours to add style to your postal packaging this Christmas.  They offer great protection for posted items with a thick layer of protective bubbles that makes them tearproof and waterproof, giving your items robust protection in transit.  Available in a range of sizes, they’re perfect for things such as books, CDs, or DVDs.

  1. Magnetic Gift Boxes

For a stylish look with a secure fit, these magnetic gift boxes deliver.  They add elegance to any gift with a soft, magnetic seal.  Made from 900gsm rigid carton, they’re covered with a 140gsm matching colour film inside and out for a beautiful finish and are delivered flat packed so won’t take up space in your warehouse – plus they’re easy to assemble. Available in three colours; black, ivory and striking red, they’re perfect for Christmas gifts and can be combined with tissue paper or crinkle cut shredded paper for a lovely effect.

  1. Protective Wine Cases & Beer Boxes

When posting bottles of wine or beer to customers, it can be hard to ensure they’re safe and secure while in transit.  Last year we launched a new range of wine cases and beer boxes for just such a thing, allowing you to easily and securely ship 1 – 3 wine bottles or 6 bottles of beer in one .

Delivered flat packed for storage, they’re easily assembled into a protective wrap-around surround cardboard system that provides shock protection at the sides, and above and below to cushion any impact on their journey to your customers.

If you’re shipping out more than 6 bottles, then our one piece bottle boxes with integral dividers will carry up to 12 bottles of beer securely to their destination.

  1. White & Black Elegant Gift Bags

If you’re looking for gift bags that ooze class and sophistication, then take a look at our white and black edged elegant gift bags.  These crisp white bags feature a dramatic black edging and black rope handles, made from smooth soft touch 170gsm paper.  Available in 3 different sizes, they feature a strong block bottom, so they stand up beautifully for display.

They’re are also available to customise with your own branding, logo or message too, which you can do using our

  1. Reversible, Dual Colour Wrapping Paper

For gift wrapping we’ve got the perfect solution to add variety to your parcels without having to order different styles of wrapping paper – dual coloured, double sided wrapping paper! This Kraft paper is completely reversible, giving you two colours to choose from with each 50m roll, in either red and gold, or black and silver for an elegant finish.

  1. Self-sealing polypropylene bags

For shipping items that need to be sealed, these self-sealing polypropylene bags do the trick.  They use a self-adhesive antistatic strip that can be repositioned, sealing quickly and securely without the need for extra equipment such as a heat sealer machine. They also feature a 6mm air hole to prevent condensation and allow trapped air to be released.  Available in a range of sizes and thicknesses from 40 to 100 microns.

  1. Wraparound Rajapack standard book boxes

For posting books this Christmas, our range of book boxes are perfect no matter what the thickness or size.  Our wraparound book boxes come in a wide range of sizes and have an adjustable height from 10mm to 60 mm, with pre-creased grooves to adapt to a range of heights.  With extended edges for added corner protection, they also feature an adhesive strip for instant sealing of the box, with no need to extra tape or strapping.  Plus, they’re delivered flat packed, for easy storage.

  1. Design Your Own Packaging, including Bags, Tape &

Finally, if you want to add a personal touch to your packaging this Christmas, then take a look at Rajaprint, our online custom packaging tool. You can work up custom tape to add a strapline, branding when you seal your boxes and parcels, or add your logo to gift bags if you run a shop or stall. We can also customise beer boxes, printed labels, printed boxes, polybags and more!

It’s easy to create your style and design your brand with our made to measure and custom print packaging services, to receive a quote or for more information simply give our team a call on 0800 630 06 21 or email specials@rajapack.co.uk.  For custom bags and tape, we’ll have your items delivered 4 weeks after approval, and for other packaging items lead times may vary, so do get in touch to confirm.

If you’d like to see how we can improve your packaging, request our latest catalogue or browse our Christmas packaging range, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

Spotlight on: 3M Scotch Tape

In 1930 the young engineer Richard Drew invented the first ever Scotch Cellulose Tape which offered an attractive, moisture-proof way for grocers and bakers to securely seal their packages.

Over the next 80 years Scotch became a leading brand for tape and adhesives.  From introducing the first heavy-duty countertop tape dispenser in 1932, to the launch of invisible write-on Magic™ Tape in 1961, through to the release of the hand-held Pop-Up Tape Dispenser in 1997, their focus has always been on resourcefulness and ingenuity.  Today Scotch 3M Tape offer more than 400 different types of adhesive tape for packaging, crafting and sealing.

After selecting the right box for your items, using the correct packaging tape to seal it is paramount to ensure it arrives safely.  At Rajapack we’re dedicated to offering our customers the best choice of high quality packaging supplies which is why we’ve stocked Scotch 3M Tapes for our customers for many years.

In this post we’ll be focusing on the full range of Scotch 3M Tapes that we offer, giving you an overview of each tape and what it’s best used for so you can ensure you are using the right packaging tape for your parcels.

Our range of 3M Scotch Tapes

At Rajapack we stock 11 different types of 3M Scotch tape that are all suited for use in packaging and shipping, each with their own unique properties for a wide range of packaging applications.

All Scotch 3M Tapes feature a number at the end, a simple and easy way to ensure you’re getting the exact tape you need. Tape thickness is measured in microns, the higher the number, the thicker the tape.  We stock a range of suitable dispensers for most of the range, making it easier, faster and safer to apply tape to surfaces.

The tapes that we stock are:

  • Polypropylene Tape 371
  • Industrial Polypropylene Tape 3759
  • Vinyl Packaging Tape
  • Heavy Duty Vinyl Tape
  • Cross Weave Filament Tape 8959
  • Low Noise Polypropylene Tape 309
  • Double Sided Vinyl Tape
  • Adhesive Transfer Tape
  • Machine Tape 371
  • Masking tape 101E and 301E (not advised for packaging parcels)

Polypropylene Tape 371

One of our most popular tape from Scotch 3M is the Polypropylene tape, which offers excellent value for money as a general-purpose packing tape which is ideal for light and medium parcels.

At 28-microns in thickness, it features a good level of tensile and tear strength combined with strong shock resistance.  It’s best used for parcels of up to 20Kg in weight and is light and easy to apply, instantly sticking to all paper and board.

It’s available in a range of colours to best suit your packages; clear, buff (brown), or white and is eco-friendly – it doesn’t use any solvents in its adhesive, unlike many other tapes available.

This tape is perfect as a great all-rounder in the warehouse and as with all packaging tape, is easier, faster and safer to apply from a pistol grip dispenser.

Industrial Polypropylene 3759

If you need a general-purpose packaging tape that’s slightly more robust, then Industrial Polypropylene Tape at 35 microns is ideal.   Offering a stronger hold and greater thickness than 371, it’s recommended for parcels up to 40Kg in weight and is available in a choice of clear of buff. It will give your parcels a strong long-term hold with resistance to splitting if they are handled roughly or subject to the shock from impact.

Vinyl Packaging Tape

Vinyl tape is particularly suitable if you need a tape with a long shelf life as it resists turning brittle with age.  It’s got great resistance to moisture, chemicals and works well in all temperatures including deep freeze conditions.  It’s perfectly suited if your parcels are going to be subject to a varied environment or stored for long periods of time.

At 35 microns it provides a good level of strength for medium box sealing tasks, can be teared by hand, is low noise and made from a PVC backing combined with a solvent-based natural rubber adhesive.

Heavy Duty Vinyl Packaging Tape 60

For heavy duty applications that need an extra strength Scotch 3M Heavy Duty Vinyl Tape will give you a strong, long lasting bond.  Designed for the toughest applications, this 60 micron tape is one of the thickest and strongest that we offer.  It’s ideal for at sealing very heavy duty cartons, boxes, pallets and packages, sticking with an ultra-strong solvent-based natural rubber adhesive.

This tape is also ultra-resistant to chemicals, moisture, temperature and humidity changes including deep freeze conditions, making it one of the most resilient and hardworking tapes that you can buy.

Despite its resistance it’s easy to work with and even tearable by hand – though as with all packaging tapes we recommend using it with a pistol grip dispenser for a fast, safe and efficient application.

Cross Weave Filament Tape 8959

When you need an extremely tough, industrial quality hold, 3M Scotch Cross Weave Filament Tape is the tape for the task.  At an impressive 145 microns, cross weave possesses an extremely high tensile strength due to its reinforcement with glass fibre filaments in two directions.  It’s where it gets its ‘cross weave’ name.

Featuring a powerful adhesive, it will instantly stick to all paper and board surfaces providing a long lasting, secure hold on your parcels and packages.

It’s perfect for reinforcing cartons and containers that need extra support, giving additional tear and burst resistance to packages.  It can also be used for larger shipments, strapping up heavy goods or securing export consignments

As with most tapes a pistol grip tape dispenser makes application easy. It can simply be pulled over the surface to tape up any seal or join easily, quickly cutting with its sharp cutting blade and built in brake for automatic control.

Low Noise Polypropylene Tape 309

Where noise is a problem in your packaging operation or if you’re working in a small, confined space Low Noise Tape can be an excellent replacement for general packaging tape to make your working environment more comfortable for staff or customers.

Low noise tape is exactly that – it’s been engineered to make much less noise when being pulled from the roll, making it more comfortable to work with in small or busy spaces.

At 28 microns in thickness it’s suitable for light and medium applications, with good split and tear resistance and the same high quality sticking application you would expect from Scotch 3M Tapes for paper, board, and fibreboard surfaces.

Finally, this tape is well suited to long-term storage in cold and damp environments, in a temperature range of 4-26 degrees centigrade. It won’t spoil or degrade meaning you can always ensure you’re well stocked even if your warehouse suffers from high humidity or a large range of temperatures.

Double Sided Tape

If you need to stick materials other than paper or card, such as glass, metal, wood, fabric or plastic, Double Sided Tape is perfect for the job, giving a clean stick with no mess.

This white PVC double sided tape offers a strong a secure bond on both sides, protected by a glossy paper backing that simply peels off to use.  The adhesive is a high tack acrylic which has strong a resistance to high temperatures and UV light.

Suitable for sticking a wide range of materials it excels for use in retail, for things such as point-of-sale displays, indoor and outdoor signs, fixing plastic extrusions, badges or nameplates.  This versatile tape comes in two widths, a thinner 25mm and a wider 50mm for larger applications.

Transfer Tape

When you need to apply glue and stick directly to surfaces but don’t want to use double sided tape then Transfer Tape is what you need.  This is ‘glue on a roll’ and is perfect for sticking a whole range of materials, from paper to plastics, textiles to leather, even wood or glass.

It’s a versatile tape that can be used on everything from framing pictures, boards and posters to small product assembly or graphics and art projects.  It’s designed for almost any art application where you need two surfaces to firmly bond but where double sided tape isn’t suitable.

Fast to dry, as it’s a tape it means you can get your glue perfectly lined up for an accurate stick and is manufactured with a paper backing and a strong and permanent acrylic adhesive.

For simple, quick and clean application Scotch 3M offer a lightweight but strong pistol grip tape dispenser which applies the tape in one simple motion and removes the paper liner at the same time.  It also features a transparent body, so it’s easy to see how much tape you’ve got left.

Machine Tape

If you’re using carton sealing machines to close and seal your packages (such as 3M-Matic™ Case Sealers) then you’ll need a tape to go with them that’s strong and quick to grip. Scotch 3M Machine Tape is designed specifically for these machines to seal packages instantly and effectively.  Flexible and split resistant, it’s made from bi-axially orientated polypropylene film that retains its strength even when stretched.

It’s suitable for all carton sealing machines and at 28 microns in thickness it can securely seal packages up to 20Kg in weight, with a tensile strength of over 45N (on steel, this is reduced to 40N).  It comes in a clear finish for white or coloured cartons, and is supplied on large rolls 990mm in size.   For a standard A4 carton, one roll should be enough to seal in excess of 1,500 boxes.

Masking Tape

The final tape that we offer is not a packaging tape but is perfect for creative projects or DIY work.  101E and 301E general masking tape is easily tearable by hand and sticks firmly to most metal and plastic surfaces for masking out areas for spray painting or precision decorating.

It’s write on surface also means it’s suitable for bundling, sealing or labelling, and it can easily be removed after use without leaving any residue, markings or damaging to surfaces.  Made from a soft crepe paper with a rubber adhesive it’s also resistant to water or solvents.

If you’re not sure what packaging tape you need, or are looking for advice on selecting and purchasing tape, dispensers or other sealing supplies for your business, then please get in touch with our Packaging Experts.  Call us free on 0800 542 44 28 or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.

The Art of Recycling: Does the UK care as much about the environment as we think we do?

As individuals, could we be doing more to help the environment? We looked a little closer at some of the UK’s recycling habits and learnt that on average, every seven weeks people in the UK throw away their own body weight in rubbish.[i]

The benefits of recycling are clear. Manufacturing one aluminium drinks can uses the same amount of energy as recycling twenty.[ii] What’s more, there would be 14 million fewer full dustbins every year if we recycled all the aluminium drinks cans sold in the UK.[iii] All our Rajapack cardboard boxes are 100% recyclable and we’re always working towards growing our range of environmentally-friendly packaging solutions.

94% of British adults say they care about the environment

What are the effects of not recycling as much as we could? Earth Overshoot Day gives us an idea of how much we are harming the environment.

Earth Overshoot Day

We use more from nature than the planet can renew. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date each year when we have consumed more than can be regenerated.  Thirty years ago, in 1987, this day fell on the 19th December. Ten years ago, 2007, it was 26th October.[iv] In 2017 Earth Overshoot Day falls on the 2nd August.

This is a clear indication we need to start doing more to help the environment. So, we decided to find out a bit more about the public’s attitudes to recycling. Local councils provide plastic crates, bins and bags – usually free of charge – specifically to make recycling easier for us. But is it working?

Are we a throwaway society?

In the country, 96% know aluminium cans are recyclable, only 76% that use them recycle them

Since 2010, the amount the UK recycles has been increasing. However, in 2015 this rate dropped.[v] To find out a little more about this decline, we commissioned a YouGov survey to find out how the British public really feels about recycling.

Our results show that almost everyone in Great Britain says they care about the environment (94%), but almost half of them (47%) feel they could recycle more than they currently do. This is despite almost three-quarters of the British public (74%) thinking their local council makes it easy for them to recycle. Do people simply not have the time to sort out their recycling?

We found out that although almost everyone in the country knows that aluminium cans can be recycled (96%), only 76% of those who use them say they recycle them every time. In Wales, 100% of people who responded to our survey knew that aluminium can be recycled, but only 80% said they recycle their empty cans every time.

100% of the Welsh know aluminium cans are recyclable, only 80% recycle them

Does a lack of knowledge around what can be recycled contribute to people not recycling more? Polystyrene isn’t a commonly recycled material, but some councils do accept it at household recycling centres.[vi] Yet over a third of Brits (37%) think polystyrene can be recycled, while nearly half of them believe it can never be recycled. Only 13% of those in Britain admitted they didn’t know.

Recycling cardboard

One of the most common packaging materials in the UK is corrugated cardboard[vii], which means most of us will probably have it in our homes in some form. The good news from our survey is Brits are more likely to recycle cardboard than any other material we asked about, with 79% of people who use it saying they always recycle it.

Our findings back up the statement that cardboard has the best recycling rate of any packaging material in the UK. This high rate of recycling means that cardboard boxes made in the UK contain up to 76% recycled material, on average. Some boxes are constructed from 100% recycled material. [viii]

The most recycled materials is cardboard, 79% say they always recycle it

How can we improve?

Although it’s worrying that recycling rates in the UK have dropped from previous years, it isn’t too late to do something about it. With people in the UK willing to admit they aren’t always sure what can be recycled, there is scope to educate people about what can and can’t be put into their recycling bins.

Many businesses are beginning use more eco-friendly packaging solutions. At Rajapack, we offer eco-friendly and recycled packaging across our range and our Packaging Specialists are always on hand to provide information on how to make more environmentally-responsible packaging choices.

If you want to find out more about what you can recycle in your local area, this tool from Recycle Now will tell you everything you need to know.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2026 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th-18th July 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

 [i]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[ii]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[iii]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[iv] http://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/past-earth-overshoot-days/

[v]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/593040/UK_statsonwaste_statsnotice_Dec2016_FINALv2_2.pdf

[vi] https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/polystyrene-1

[vii] http://www.paper.org.uk/information/factsheets/Corrugated%20key%20facts%20May16.pdf

[viii] http://www.paper.org.uk/information/factsheets/Corrugated%20key%20facts%20May16.pdf

Labelling Packages for Shipping

Using the correct packaging will ensure your parcels are well protected and secured during shipping, but there’s one other important item that you need to include so that it reaches the right destination – a clear and correct address label is essential for any shipment.

Whether you’re shipping parcels up and down the UK or overseas, having the right labels will mean that it’s handled correctly at all stages of its journey; minimising damage, passing through customs smoothly, and reaching its destination on time.

When it comes to labelling your parcels there are a multitude of options available from simple handling instructions, indicators, and hazard warnings to sealed document envelopes.  Below we’ll take you through the main types of packaging labels available and offer some tips on what you’ll need if you’re shipping abroad including how to apply labels to your parcels.

Handling, hazard and documents enclosed labels

Shipping Nationally & Internationally

Depending on your parcel’s final destination there are different types of forms that you’ll need to include to ensure it gets through customs smoothly.

If you’re sending within the UK…

Post as normal – include the destination name and address, and a commercial invoice with details of the order and the sender’s name and address.

If you’re sending within the EU…

It’s just like shipping in the UK as we’re still part of the single market.  There will be no customs charges and no special customs documents are needed.

If you’re sending to the rest of the world…

Then your parcel will pass through customs and you’ll need to include a completed customs form.  There might also be additional import charges to pay based on the information you include on the form.

There are two different forms depending on the value of the items you are sending:

  • Up to £270, you’ll need a Customs Declaration Form CN22 (signed & dated).
  • Over £270, you’ll need a Customs Declaration Form CN23 (fully completed).

You can find the forms you’ll need and more useful information on shipping internationally on the Royal Mail website.

Where Should Labels Be Placed?

Correctly labelled parcels and packages

If you’re including handling instructions on your parcel, such as ‘This way up’ or ‘Handle with care’, then placing these on several sides will ensure that they’re not missed and that it’s clear to everyone who handles your shipment. Finally, avoid placing labels over a seam or closure of your parcel, such as on the top along the sealing tape.   Always position labels on the largest surface of the package you are shipping.  For a small jiffy bag or envelope this will be on the front face of the package. If you’re shipping a box, then the largest side of the box, which is usually the front face.

The Types of Packaging Labels Available

Below, we’ve detailed an overview of the main packaging labels available for your shipment.  Combined with high quality packaging, the correct labelling will ensure your parcel reaches its intended destination in one piece and on time. 

Documents Enclosed Envelopes & Labels

Wherever your parcel is going you must ensure all paperwork is included at every stage of its journey.  A Documents enclosed envelope label will keep all those important details safe and dry during shipping, such as the address details and your customer’s invoice.

Documents Enclosed Envelope Labels

These envelope labels feature a full adhesive backing to stick firmly to parcels and are transparent so that the delivery address can clearly be seen on the front.  Once the paperwork is folded and tucked in, they seal tight so that everything inside is kept safe.  They should be included on every large parcel you ship to your customers, so always ensure you are well stocked with these envelopes.

At Rajapack, they are available in four different sizes from 115mm x 100mm right up to 315m x 225mm for larger parcels.  All feature a clear address window, so the paperwork is visible to everyone that handles your parcel on its journey.

Eco-friendly documents enclosed labels are also available for businesses that wish to minimise their impact on the environment.  Choose green documents enclosed labels which are made from 60% recycled materials and feature a green message.

For larger operations envelope dispensers are ideal if you’re sending a lot of parcels.  These heavy-duty dispensers use rolls of up to 330 labels and can be secured to a work surface for quick and easy dispensing.

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling instruction labels include clear instructions on a parcel such as ‘Fragile’, ‘This end up’ and ‘Do not bend’.  If your package needs these special instructions, then adding these labels will ensure everyone who encounters your parcel knows how to handle it correctly.Once you’ve included the correct paperwork with your parcel, you should consider adding handling labels to provide clear handling instructions to anyone who will be shipping your parcel.

Handling instruction labels come in 8 different messages:

  • Handle with care
  • Open with care
  • This end up
  • ‘This way up’ arrow image
  • Do not crush
  • Do not bend
  • Documents Enclosed
  • Caution Heavy

Fragile labels are also available for parcels that are delicate and need to be handled very carefully, such as glass or ceramics. 

Hazard Labels

If your parcel includes anything that could be considered hazardous such as flammable gas, flammable liquid, corrosive or toxic chemicals, then hazard labels should be also added.  This helps couriers to ensure that your package is stored and transported safely, and that no accidents could occur because of mishandling.

Highly visible, each hazard label features a pictogram with a hazard statement to clearly state the nature of the package’s contents and how it should be treated.

Labelling consignments with Hazard labels

If you’re not sure if your parcel needs a hazard label, the Health & Safety Executive offer information about the labelling and packaging of hazardous materials, with further advice offered by the European Chemical Agency about when these labels are required. 

Specialist Labels

For items that are sensitive to static electricity, being dropped or handled roughly or being tilted during shipping, there’s a range of labels that can provide protection for sensitive shipments.

Shockwatch and Tiltwatch labels are both indicator labels.  They stick to wood, cardboard or plastic, are resistant to moisture and suitable for exporting overseas.  If your parcel has been tilted or suffered a high impact during shipping then they will let your recipient know immediately on delivery.

Shockwatch labels feature a small glass tube that turns red and stays red if dropped or handled roughly. Tiltwatch labels permanently show red if the product has been tilted over 90 degrees.  Both labels provide an instant way to identify if your parcel has been mishandled during transport, so you can easily identify the responsible party in the event of a complaint.

Specialist labels provide extra protection to sensitive shipments

Finally, for sensitive electronic equipment such as circuit boards, computer equipment or mobile devices, apply an antistatic packaging label on your parcel (combined with antistatic protective bags) to make it clear that your parcel is sensitive to static electricity and must be handled as such. 

Postage Labels

Postage and Printer labels to clearly mark all parcels and packages

If you’re sending smaller packages such as mailing bags, envelopes or bubble mailers you might not need to include a full documents enclosed envelope label.  Simple address labels which detail the recipient’s address and the return address for the sender might be all you need.  A postage label is ideal for use here and can be quickly and easily printed off from a normal inkjet or laserjet printer.

Avery have been printing labels since 1937, and their laser and inkjet labels come in fully perforated sheets made from FSC certified paper with an eco-friendly, water based permanent adhesive for easy application.  They can be printed from practically any computer once you’ve installed their free design & print software, allowing you to set up and save personalised label templates, or generate labels from excel databases such as mailing lists.

Thermal Labels

For convenience, thermal labels are excellent – they lightly burn information directly onto thermal paper for long lasting labels which require no ink, meaning less to spend on printing supplies.

They’re perfect for an office desk or small packaging operation with their small and compact size, but don’t be fooled, these little printers can run off large volumes of labels – up to 71 per minute from the Dymo LabelWriter 450.

Dymo Thermal Printers and Labels

They connect straight to a PC or Mac and come with free printing software so you can quickly get set up.

Printing labels up to 100mm in size means you can use thermal labels for almost anything; from postal addresses, shipping or mailing labels to pricing stickers & product labels, including barcodes and graphics.  Thermal printers offer excellent speed, convenience and simplicity in a small but powerful labelling solution that’s cost effective – the only supplies you’ll need are the thermal labels.

If you’re not sure what packaging labels you need, or are looking for advice on labelling your shipments correctly please get in touch with our Packaging Experts.  Call us free on 0800 542 44 28 or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.

Wrap it up: How to package unusual items

How to package unusual items

With the growth of online shopping comes the expectation that we should be able to get our hands on pretty much anything with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a screen. According to eMarketer, 2017 is predicted to see 10% of all worldwide retail purchases made digitally[i].

This means the packaging industry has needed to innovate, to ensure items purchased over the web arrive safely at their destination.

Here at Rajapack, we know an awful lot about protective packaging. Wondering how to package something valuable or oddly-shaped? Follow our step-by-step guides on how to package some of the more difficult things companies or individuals might need to protect during transit. We’ve also spoken to companies who rely on good quality packaging to get their advice on how to package items so they arrive in pristine condition.

How to package a chandelier

Chandeliers are extremely delicate and fragile pieces. Not sure where to start or how to protect them in a move? Follow our steps to success.

What you’ll need:

  • A cardboard box
  • Bubble wrap and tape
  • Foam wrap
  • Loose fill
  • Cable ties
  • Fragile/This way up labels

How to package a chandelier

  1. It’ll be easier to package the chandelier if it’s hanging. If possible, wrap it in situ or use an industrial hook. If not, be sure to place the chandelier on plenty of padding; cushions, towels and blankets work well. Laying it directly onto a hard surface is likely to damage it.

To package the chandelier, first find a suitable cardboard box. Ideally the box should be around three inches larger than the chandelier all the way round. Consider the weight of the chandelier. For heavier chandeliers a double wall cardboard box will provide extra protection and puncture resistance.

  1. Remove all light bulbs from the chandelier and pack in a separate box. Look for any other detachable pieces, if any other pieces can be removed, wrap these individually and package them in a separate box.
  2. Next, look for any sharp edges that could be damaged during transit. Wrap these with thick packing foam or use cardboard and tape to protect them. Pay attention to the top and bottom of the chandelier, the bottom is where the most pressure will be and, along with the top, it’s the part most likely to be damaged. Wrap these areas well with packaging foam or bubble wrap.
  3. Make sure the bottom of the cardboard box is well secured with tape. Cushion the bottom of the cardboard box with foam wrap or bubble wrap. Use your hands to wrap any loose wires and secure with cable ties. Lower the chandelier into the box and hold as upright as possible. Fill the rest of the box with loose fill, making sure these are well compacted so the chandelier can’t move around.
  4. Once you’re happy the chandelier is tightly secured inside the box, cover the top with layers of foam or bubble wrap. Close the box and seal with tape. Label all boxes containing the chandelier’s parts as ‘fragile’ and be sure to mark which way up the box needs to be kept. Specialist fragile and this way up labels can be used.

How to package artworks: Tips from the experts at Eyestorm

Valuable artwork is very precious, and packaging paintings or any other art requires it to be well protected. We spoke to Eyestorm, a leading online gallery and retailer of limited edition contemporary art, to get their advice.

How to package artwork

How does Eyestorm prepare a print for postage?

We flat pack our prints in cardboard and then into a custom made white box with the Eyestorm logo on it. The boxes are standard sizes, either 75 x 75 x 3 cm or 120 x 120 x 3 cm.

Can you talk us through the process of packaging and shipping them?

We’ll take the print and wrap it in tissue paper. It’s then secured onto the cardboard with corners to ensure it doesn’t move around during shipping. Another piece of cardboard is then placed on top and the two pieces of cardboard are secured together with polypropylene tape. The two pieces of cardboard are put into the white box, which is then secured with more polypropylene tape. We then use document enclosed envelopes to address the package and ship it via a 3rd party a courier.

How to package fine china

Small items, such as fine china, can be fiddly to package. No one wants to receive a chipped tea cup. Take a look at our how to package your fine china so it arrives in one piece.

What you’ll need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tape
  • Loose fill
  • Polyurethane foam liners
  • A cardboard box
  • A second, double-walled cardboard box, three inches larger than the first
  • Fragile labels

How to package fine china

  1. First, make sure you’ve enough space to work. Clear a large packing table or workstation, if you do not have a large enough space, lay blankets on the floor to create a big enough surface to see all your materials and items to pack. The blankets will also help protect the fine china from accidental drops and breakage.

You’ll need a cardboard box at least one inch larger than the fine china you’ll be packing inside. You’ll need a second, double-walled cardboard box at least three inches larger than the first one.

  1. Lay out the fine china you need to pack and sort the items into similar sized groups. If your items aren’t similar shapes or are extremely fragile, separate smaller boxes will provide better protection. These smaller boxes can then be packaged inside the second cardboard box.
  2. Wrap each item individually with tissue paper and secure with tape. Then repeat this step with bubble wrap, completely cover each item in bubble wrap, and secure with tape.

With very delicate items prone to breaking, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. A lot of damage to these kinds of items occur because they bump into each other during transit.

  1. Take your smaller cardboard box and cut two pieces of polyurethane foam liner to fit snugly inside. Place one section into the bottom of the box and put your first layer of wrapped china on top of this, then cover with about two inches of loose fill. Repeat until the box is 1-2 inches away from being full. Now add the second piece of polyurethane foam, ensuring there is a gentle pressure when you close the box. Be careful not to add too much pressure as this could damage the contents.
  2. Add around three inches of loose fill to the bottom of the larger box and place the packed smaller box on top. Use loose fill to fill all the space around the smaller box. Once this is done, close the double walled box and secure all flaps and edges firmly with tape. A fragile label can then be applied to the box.

How to package wine: Tips from the experts at Yapp Wines

Shipping wine? Not sure how to prevent any damage or breakages? We spoke to Yapp Wines, online wine merchants, selling and importing characterful wines from small independent wine makers, to get their advice.

How to package wine

Talk us through the process of packaging glass bottles for shipping.

As an importer and distributor of wine in the UK, Yapp Brothers handles bottles in two distinct ways. Imports arrive in a variety of (normally flimsy) cardboard boxes of 12 bottles, but the wine is palletised (as 50 cases) and shrink-wrapped, therefore breakages are extremely rare. We then despatch orders through a UK courier and our own vehicles for next day delivery. These packages can be individual bottles, cases of six, 12 or 15. Neither we, the customer, nor the carrier wants a breakage, so our branded boxes are well-designed to withstand the fulfilment process.

How easy was it to find protective packaging that perfectly met all your shipping needs?

Not easy, but we’ve honed our packaging over 50 years through collaboration with delivery firms, packaging companies and through trial and error.

What sort of protective packaging do you use the most?

5mm thick (glued) cardboard boxes that have insert dividers and bases (all 5mm) to add additional protection. Polystyrene inserts are also used in the wine industry, but these aren’t recyclable so we avoid them.

Have you ever had any breakages related to the packaging you use?

Yes, unfortunately, breakages occur but they’re unusual thankfully. It’s expensive when it happens, not least as insurance is very limited in carrying wine bottles. For very rare bottles, specialist couriers are used. During December, we despatched over 2,000 wine packages and total breakages were in single figures (so <1%).

What is the largest order you’ve ever sent?

We regularly send out palletised loads (of 50 cases) to the many restaurants that we supply. We’ve also sent full container loads (15,000 bottles across 25 pallets) to ski resorts. On the whole, larger orders are less likely to be dropped, crushed, lost or stolen than small consignments.

How to package a bike

If you’re looking to transport a bike, then it’s important to take precautions so it’s not damaged in transit. Here’s a few of our considerations:

What you’ll need:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Thick foam tubing
  • Loose fill
  • A large, strong cardboard box, big enough for the whole bike frame, a cuboid shape is best
  • A small box or clear plastic bag to hold any loose nuts or bolts
  • Cable ties
  • A spanner or wrench
  • Allen key (for disassembling the bike parts)

How to package a bike

  1. Make sure you have a clear space to work in. Remove any extra accessories, such as lights, mudguards and bottle holders. Wrap these separately and add to the box after your frame.
  2. Remove the bike seat. If your seat is attached with a bolt, put this in the separate box or plastic bag so it isn’t misplaced. Then use the spanner or wrench to remove the pedals.

If you can, turn your handlebars 90 degrees so they align with the bike frame. If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to remove these too. Unscrew any bolts holding the handlebars in place, but don’t detach any cables. Lower the handlebars vertically so they sit in line with the front wheel.

Next remove your front wheel. If you have quick release bolts this is very simple. If not, unscrew any bolts and add them to the box or plastic bag with the others. Let some air out of both tyres before packing them.

  1. To protect your bike during transit, first you’ll need to use cable ties to attach the handlebars to the main bike frame. Use foam tubing wrapped around the bike frame to prevent scratches, secure in place with cable ties. Wrap as much of the frame in foam as possible for the best protection. Where it’s not possible to use foam, use bubble wrap instead and secure with tape.

Cover all cogs well with bubble wrap to avoid the sharper edges scratching the rest of the bike.

  1. Fill the bottom of the box with about two inches of loose fill and place the bike frame on top. Then slide your front wheel into the box next to the frame. Add the small box or bag holding any nuts or bolts, along with any accessories removed at the beginning.

Now fill the rest of the box firmly with loose fill. The aim is to use enough so the frame doesn’t move around too much. Once this is done, tape the box shut.

How to package unusual items

[i] https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369

 

Beating the bias: Challenging the idea of traditionally male industries

Rajapack was started by two women in 1954, in post-war France. This was not only an unusual industry for women at that time, but even today there are industries that, for many reasons, remain male-dominated. We wanted to know why this is, especially as it’s clear that gender parity in the workplace matters to a business’s top line. In fact, gender diversity is crucial for industry innovation. In 2011, 85% of corporate diversity and talent leaders agreed that ‘A diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that drive innovation’.[i]

But what is it like for women working in traditionally male-dominated industries?

We spoke with 10 inspirational women working to change things from within the packaging, construction, manufacturing and engineering industries.

To mark International Women’s Day 2017, we have built this interactive report showcasing the inspiration and advice from these women, and gain an insider insight into why these industries have previously been lacking diversity.

Gender diversity in the workplace   

Lack of gender diversity in more traditional industries is a significant problem, both at entry level and in the boardroom. Packaging, construction, manufacturing and engineering remain male-dominated professions. Naomi Climer, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) revealed the extent of this issue in the engineering industry: “Men still hold down 91% of jobs [in the engineering industry]. That is simply not acceptable. Indeed, it is harmful.”

There is no doubt that gender diversity in the workplace provides both cultural and economic benefits, so it is in everyone’s interest to do more to get women into roles in these industries, at all levels. To get to understand what it’s like to work in these industries, we asked women at senior levels about their experiences.

The current situation

According to the Diversity Matters report, re-released in 2015, businesses with a more diverse workforce perform better in terms of growth, earnings, and profits.[ii] As it stands, women-led SMEs contribute roughly £75 million to the UK’s economic output, and on a global scale, it is calculated that $28 trillion could be added to the GDP by 2025 if women are able to meet their “full potential” in the workplace.[iii]

There is something to be said for cultural shifts in the business environment at the hands of a greater gender balance. Women offer a different perspective in business,[iv] and workplace dynamics can change when the gender balance starts to shift. This is something a number of the women we spoke to have witnessed first-hand.

Joanna Stephenson, Co-founder of Women in Packaging commented, “until we’re in a place where we no longer have to think about what it means to be a ‘male leader’ or a ‘female leader’, rather than simply a ‘leader’ we still need to offer support, advice and guidance along the way. That’s why organisations such as Women in Packaging are necessary to help drive the change we wish to see in the industry.

Achieving gender parity

Despite the benefits of increased gender parity, growing the presence of women in traditional industries can be an uphill struggle. Not only are there long held male perspectives to contend with, women in these industries have long suffered from the age-old gender first, talent second prejudice still held be my so many in these industries. Cristina Lanz-Azcarate of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) tends to agree: “…entering an industry where nobody looks like you requires determination and clarity.”

Understandably, this is something felt by many women in construction, engineering and packaging. But, Emma Porter of Story Contracting is able to offer a different outlook, and one that injects a little hope too:

[…] I often bring a different perspective to the team, which is a huge advantage. And it’s easier to stand out if you are different from the norm; clients, prospective employers and other stakeholders are more likely to remember you.”

The problem does not stop at the recruitment process, and it is so much bigger than getting more women through the door. The day-to-day realities faced by women as a minority in the workplace are extensive and often hugely undermining to the talent and skillset of the employee. Organisations like WISE, Women in Packaging and NAWIC exist to provide support and advice to businesses seeking to create a more gender inclusive culture. Culture creation is typically an organic process, but it must start from the top. Non-inclusive environments are part of a far wider issue, and can be a catalyst to the commonplace negative attitudes witnessed by so many. Helen Wollaston, of WISE spoke more on this:

“I have been in board level meetings where there are more men than women and the social chit-chat centred around football and rugby, neither of which I follow. Although this might seem trivial and is not intended to exclude women, it can be a little tiresome.”

It is easy to blame the current situation on large corporations who have the means to educate and invest in fairer recruitment processes, and on the job training to address gender disparity across the board, but there is work to be done on both sides of the table. There must be a demand from business and an active interest in recruiting more women, from the bottom up. Education is crucial in improving the wider situation. We need to tell girls about the opportunities available to them, the career path they need to get there, and the progression once they’ve made it.

What does the future hold?

In most industries, gender diversity is slowly improving through changing perceptions, as gender equality seeps into education. Speaking on the current situation in supply chain and logistics, Beth Morgan, of SCM World, remains hopeful for gender parity in the future:

“…interestingly, there is a greater female representation today at entry level, which bodes extremely well for re-dressing the balance in the future at more senior levels.”

Sadly, this is by no means a quick fix. At the current rate of change, it’s estimated that it will take over 70 years to achieve gender-balanced board rooms across the UK[v], not to mention that the estimated close-of-the-pay-gap gong will not sound until 2186[vi].

Unconscious bias remains an issue in recruitment, and until perceptions are challenged it is likely to be sometime before even this is instinctive. Such bias dictates that people hire people who remind them of themselves. We spoke to Harriet Kirk, Senior Geo Technical Engineer at Atkins, who pointed out the need to combat unconscious bias as a key step to achieving gender diversity, “…if you don’t fit into the industry norm it’s harder to get a break.”

Beating the bias: Unpacking the new female industrialists

We’ve spent time talking to female leaders in packaging, construction, logistics, supply chain and engineering, and dug deep into the data to find out what’s going on in traditional industries, like our own, for women in 2017. It’s all here in our interactive report, Beating the bias: Unpacking the new female industrialists. Hearing from inspirational women in various industries, we’ve been able to shed some light on the day-to-day realities of working in a traditionally male dominated profession, and look to the future as we strive for gender parity and a more inclusive workplace for all.

 

[i] Global Diversity and Inclusion – Fostering innovation through a diverse workforce, Forbes Insights, 2011

https://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/innovation_diversity/

[ii] Why Diversity Matters, McKinsey & Co, 2015 http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters

[iii] BIS, Small Business Survey 2012: businesses led by women and ethnic minorities, 2013, p2. Output is Gross Value Added. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/small-business-survey-2012-businesses-led-by-women-and-ethnic-minorities

[iv] Gender diversity in the boardroom: reach for the top, CIPD, 2015, p6. The benefits of gender diversity in the boardroom https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/gender-diversity-boardroom_2015-reach-for-the-top_tcm18-10828.pdf

[v] Women in Boards, Gov.uk, 2011, p2 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/31480/11-745-women-on-boards.pdf

[vi] Measuring the Global Gender Gap, World Economic Forum

http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2015/measuring-the-global-gender-gap/

Getting your business ready for the Christmas rush: ensure you have the packaging you need for the festive period

Christmas is fast approaching with only 3 weeks left to go! Our packaging experts at Rajapack have put some useful information together to help your business run smoothly over the festive season.

black-friday-christmas-present-web

It all started with a record-breaking weekend

We’ve just passed Black Friday on November 25th, where you may have picked up a bargain or two on the high street or the internet, which ran through to Cyber Monday on November 28th.  Last year UK shoppers spent £3.3 billion over that weekend, and forecasts for this year were expecting £5 billion in the busiest online trading day ever!

Following Cyber Monday, the run up to Christmas is now in full swing as many businesses see demand surge right through to Christmas Day.  Last year UK retailers took £24 billion across November and December, a 12% increase on 2014, which is expected to grow even more this year.

Just what can you do to ensure you’re prepared?

If you’ve been trading for more than 12 months then you should have a good record of what happened in 2015; total orders taken, extra hours required, and how much packaging, stock and supplies you used.  Look back over last year’s results for each month and it should give you a starting point for what to expect in 2016.

Find out when orders began to increase and work this into your planning.  Did orders rise by 50% in mid-November, and then again by 200% by December? By noting these changes, you should get a good sense of what to expect so you can order enough supplies to fulfil your orders.

rajapack-uk-packaging-warehouse-web

The Rajapack UK packaging warehouse stocked up for Christmas

Many small businesses don’t have the space to store lots of materials or packaging on site, so ordering from suppliers that offer next day delivery can help you be more flexible, buying materials and packaging when you need it.

Make sure you’ve got your packaging boxed off

The right packaging is essential to give your customers a good experience when they receive your parcel, ensuring it arrives safely and well presented. We’ve shaped our services so that all our customers can benefit from our expert advice, flexibility as well as our wide range of packaging, so you can stay focused on your business.

Just a few of the things we offer include:

  • 99% of all our packaging products are in stock, always.
  • Next day delivery offered as standard.
  • Credit arrangement terms are available after your first order, so you can pay by invoice.
  • Expert packaging advice, to ensure you’re using the right packaging for your products.
  • A wide range of Christmas packaging, including personalised bags and tape to ensure your products stand out.

Key delivery dates

Finally, we’ve compiled some key dates below so you don’t miss anything when it comes to posting your parcels out this year.

Parcel Service Last posting date to arrive for Christmas
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® Thursday 22 December
1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For® Wednesday 21 December
2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For® Tuesday 20 December
DHL – Last Posting Date Wednesday 21 December
DPD – Next Day Service Thursday 22 December
Parcel Force – Next Day Thursday 22 December

Ordering your packaging this Christmas

For ordering your packaging from Rajapack UK, our last order dates are:

  • To ensure your packaging arrives in time for Christmas, place your order by Thursday 22nd December, we’ll deliver the next day on Friday 23rd.
  • We offer a Saturday morning delivery service on 24th December, available at an additional cost for orders placed on Thursday 23rd.
  • We’ll be open as normal between 27th & 31st, with normal deliveries resuming on 3rd January 2017.

For full details of our Christmas opening times, to request our latest catalogue or browse our Christmas packaging range, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.