Monthly Archives: February 2016

See you at Packaging Innovations 2016

24th & 25th February, NEC Birmingham, Hall 9, Stand E51

We’re pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at Packaging Innovations again this year. Being the UK’s leading packaging exhibition, it’s a really exciting event where the biggest names in the industry showcase their latest innovations. Packaging innovations

 Improve your packaging operations in minutes

The focus on the stand will be helping you speed up your packaging operations. Come along to Hall 9, Stand E51 and our Packaging Specialists will be on-hand to offer expert advice to develop your packing operations. You can ask them about everything from increasing productivity and the practicalities of customised packaging to choosing the most economical environmentally responsible alternatives.

 Simon Owens, Rajapack’s Head of Sales says “We can’t wait for you to join us at the Rajapack stand! By speaking to one of our Packaging Specialists, we can help you find ways to make your packaging set up more efficient and most importantly to reduce cost. We have new and innovative products that we can’t wait to show you. And we have had plenty of success in finding better and more efficient ways for our customers to package their products, simply by reviewing their processes with one of the team. For example, some customers have changed the type of packaging tape they use and the way they seal boxes, which have made things 2-3 times faster, more secure and looking more professional, whilst reducing tape costs by 20% or more! ”

FillPakandGeami

Our Packaging Specialists will also be demonstrating the latest high-speed machines to maximise your packaging output, including the super-fast FillPak® TT Cutter producing 1.4m of paper void fill per second, and the compact Geami WrapPak® System. The Geami improves packing efficiency and has won the Packaging Oscar for being an innovation in environmentally responsible packaging.

Whether you’re spec’ing a warehouse or optimising your operations, Packaging Innovations 2016 will be an inspirational event where you’ll find new solutions and get first-hand advice from Rajapack Specialists, so register for your free place today.

It pays to protect your products in the post

Ecommerce is growing faster than any other sales channel in the world. Many larger companies have reacted to this trend by increasing their logistics budgets; hiring more delivery staff, expanding their delivery fleet and investing in more depots. However, not all companies can afford to take these measures and for many SME companies, standard post is the most cost effective and secure method of getting their products to customers.

Package

By the end of 2015 it was predicted that more than 1 billion parcels will have been sent via the post in the UK alone. If any of those products are damaged during transit, it is the seller and not the transporter who is liable.

One of the best ways to help your profit margin on your ecommerce sales, is to use good quality packaging to prevent goods being damaged in the post.

Standard postal boxes, whether brown, white, triangular or extra flat, offer a strong and economical way to send items in the post. However, for some products, a more specific type of packaging is required.

Product specific packaging is becoming increasingly popular as ecommerce businesses grow in size. They may offer a specific form of protection or come in a shape or size that prevents movement in transit.

In this blog, we’re looking at some of the more common items sent by ecommerce businesses that may require product specific packaging:

Documents

If you sell items such as certificates, posters or memorabilia, you’ll know how important it is that your products get to their destination crease and tear free. For bigger documents that won’t fit in standard postal boxes, you will need longer packaging that allows you to roll your poster or certificate, rather than fold it.

Postal Tubes

The best options for this are postal tubes, telescopic boxes and long cardboard boxes. These forms of postal packaging are specific to the product shape and won’t require the sender to use excessive protective packaging or leave space for the product to bend or fold.

For smaller documents that may fit in an envelope, cardboard envelopes are a great way of keeping the document flat and tear fee.

Fragile trinkets or ornaments

Ornaments and small trinkets made of fragile materials such as glass, pottery or hand-made jewellery need extra protection, as you can’t guarantee how they will be handled when sent in the post. Any guidance notes on the box such as ‘fragile’ or ‘this way up’ are helpful, but there is no certainty that the courier will take that advice on board.

Therefore it is important that you add extra padding around the product that should protect it from rough handling or falls. Filling the box with bubble wrap or loose fill is an option, but there may be a more cost effective method available.

Padded box

Foam boxes are standard cardboard boxes with inbuilt foam cushioning. The foam moulds around the product to prevent scratching and movement in transit.

Heavier household items such as lamp stands, cutlery or furnishings

Sometimes when you are packaging heavier items, you need to make sure the packaging is strong enough to hold it.

The packaging will need to withstand the weight of the product; otherwise you could be paying for items lost or damaged in delivery.

Cardboard comes in different strengths. One of the strongest forms available at the moment is triple walled cardboard, which offers a barrier of three layers of cardboard fluting.

Books, photographs and canvases

If you are packaging a small amount of photographs, paintings or canvases, multi-media wrap boxes are ideal as they adjust to fit the shape and size of the bundle. This type of box is easily assembled and most come equipped with adhesive strips, saving you time.

This form of packaging allow the box to compress the product, keeping it straight, flat and crease free.

Wrap around book boxes

For bigger packages, such as books, wraparound book boxes are another alternative. Much like multi-media wrap boxes, wraparound book boxes are adjustable to different heights and come with an easy seal adhesive strip. Some book boxes will offer tamper-evident closure as well.

Other considerations

If you’re sending small electronics or parts, a box is excessive and will cost you more than you need to spend. In this case, you should use a bag or envelope with built in protection. Polyethelene mailers and Jiffy bags are ideal for sending small parts because of their built-in protective cushioning.

By buying product specific postal packaging, you ensure your product arrives at the destination in ideal condition. You can be confident that your package will withstand the potential rigours of transit.

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.

Furniture

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 Moonpig.com 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?

Box

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.

Jean-Paul-Gaultier

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

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-bag

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.

collage

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.

Jiffy-rolls

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.

earth-aware

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.”

* http://searchwarp.com/swa549745-The-History-Of-Padded-Envelopes.htm

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 tosending 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.

Bubble-wrap-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.

Popping-bubble-wrap

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.

Marilyn-Bubble-Wrap

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.

Bubble-sculpture

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.