Monthly Archives: January 2020

Types of cardboard packing boxes

Cardboard packaging boxes and flat pack boxes are a staple of the warehousing, transport and export function of any business. But there is more to the humble cardboard box than you’d think. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, can handle a variety of weights and some even come with their own pallets attached.

So which box types suit your needs and how do you choose? Read on.

Types of cardboard packing boxes

Cardboard packaging boxes and flat pack boxes are a staple of the packaging industry. Mention ‘packaging’ to most people and they think boxes. However, they are more interesting – and useful and varied – than you might think. And getting the right box for your storage needs is crucial.

Getting the right kind of box for your business can help smooth processes, protect your products, expedite storage and, if you are using branded postal boxes to send out your goods, create the right impression about your company. So, choosing the right kind of box is more important than you think.

Cardboard packaging boxes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and can be made of a variety of materials and constructions methods depending on how they are going to be used. They also throw up the issue of what types of tape and other fixings are needed to seal them, as well as coming with a range of inserts to allow for packaging specific items, such as bottles.

There are even a range of accessories such as wheels and handles to make storing and moving goods packaged in boxes easier. So how do you choose?

Cardboard packaging boxes

Single walled (left), double walled (centre) and triple-walled (right) ‘standard’ storage boxes

First of all there are a wide variety of boxes to choose from. At RAJA we offer a  ‘standard’ box, which comes in a range of sizes as well as being singledouble or triple-walled depending on what you need to store and how, as we shall come to. Triple-walled boxes are also known as loading cases and are really tough.

White cardboard boxes

Single (left) and doubled-walled white boxes really stand out

There are also ranges of boxes with single, double and even triple walled boxes that come in white, that stand out and are excellent for getting your consignments noticed or for when you really need handling instructions to be obvious.

Flat cardboard boxes

Flat packaging boxes offer a more tailored fit for a wide range of items

For more tailored needs and to pack a more diverse range of products, such as picture frames, mirrors, gifts, computers and industrial equipment, cardboard boxes come in a variety of shapes and dimensions, including many ‘flat’ boxes.

Extra-large flat cardboard boxes

Flat boxes are great for postal deliveries of delicate and slim items

Many of these flat boxes are the kind of thing that many shoppers will be familiar with as what their goods arrive in when ordered online. One piece flat cardboard boxes  are designed for slim products and, with the item placed in the centre and the flaps wrapped around, theses boxes leave an extended edge that provides impact resistance and corner protection.

Double wall, flat telescopic cardboard boxes

Telescopic boxes offer another tailored way to pack special items for storage or post

For the storage or transportation of items of varying sizes, telescopic boxes offer an ideal solution. Made up in two parts, with a lid that slides over a base, these boxes are great for accommodating different sized products as the lid can be slid as far down as required, always providing great protection for what’s inside. They look good too and, for postal items, offer a more novel unboxing experience.

Triple wall, cardboard export boxes

Strong, triple-walled storage boxes are ideal when exporting

Do I need strong packing boxes?

While there are a variety of different sizes, shapes and finishes of cardboard packaging boxes, one of the main questions asked of flatpack boxes is how strong they are – or moreover, how strong do they need to be for a particular job.

Triple wall, cardboard export boxes

Strong boxes are used for transport and storage and must be stackable

The strength of a cardboard box needed is determined by what is going in it and what are you going to do with it. For anything over 100kg, double or triple-walled large packing boxes are needed – up to a maximum of 500kg for some triple wall boxes.

If the boxes are to be loaded and stacked, or palletised, then they need to be strong, with supportive lids and corners. Many boxes are also used for transport and even export. These will be subject to stacking, moving and bumping and so need to be of strong specification.

The triple wall loading cases are made from triple wall top quality rigid flute corrugated board with 200gsm Kraft paper finish. Outer B flute 140gsm, 3-6mm thick with a 140gsm test; inner C flute 140gsm, 4-8mm thick with a 140gsm test and inner A flute 140gsm 5-10mm thick with a 200gsm test lining.

Cardboard cap and sleeve loading cases without pallets

Cardboard cap and sleeve loading cases add even more protection and strength

For added strength, large boxes can also be purchased with cardboard caps and sleeves that allow for stacking and provide heavy duty protection. They are made of a stitched heavy duty corrugated sleeve, two end caps fitting top and bottom. These large cardboard boxes are easily collapsed for return or storage and can be easily stacked.

Capacitainer pallet boxes with Inka Presswood pallet

Some boxes come with their own pallet to help with protection when stacking

Some pallet sized cardboard boxes like the capacitainer pallet box come not only as flat packed boxes, but are also secured to their own Inka Presswood pallets with white plastic plugs, which fit in to pre-drilled holes on the base of the box and on the pallet. The boxes feature a drop down window making access to the contents quick and easy.

These boxes are made from double wall corrugated board (except CAPAC10 which is triple wall) and the Inka Presswood pallets are manufactured from processed recycled waste timber and are certified for export to: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan and the USA.

White cardboard gift boxes

Small packing boxes are often used for smaller, lighter gifts

For small packing boxes similar rules of thumb apply, but naturally they tend to be able to handle much less weight, instead being designed for gifts and much smaller, often more delicate items.

Choosing tape for packing boxes

Packaging tape and strapping

Strapping or tape – how to seal a box

When putting items in boxes for storage, transport or postage it is key that they stay in the box. This is where tape and strapping comes in.

For a large packing box, many companies opt for strapping tape to seal boxes. Polypropylene hand strapping has a breaking strain of between 120 and 260kg and is easy to apply and won’t corrode. It is also extremely tough.

Pakit portable polypropylene strapping kits

Strapping kits are available to make it easy

Kits that feature a box of strapping – that is easily carried around the warehouse – and the tools to make applying it easy are also available, making it easy to strap up large storage boxes and pallet boxes.

Packaging tape

Tape is great for smaller and medium sized boxes

For medium sized boxes and loads, packaging tape can be used to seal up boxes. It is really easy to apply – and easy to remove. It can also be branded with either the company logo, a message, or, if needed, a warning message.

Pre-printed FRAGILE self-adhesive paper tape

Tape can be used to seal boxes for storage and transport

So there you have it: cardboard boxes come in an almost infinite range of sizes and shapes and can handle loads up to 500kg – can be stacked, exported and can even come with their own pallets.

The other advantage they have is that they can be recycled and so are increasingly popular in our environmentally-conscious day and age. Happy packing!

 


Tip: How to dispose of your used cardboard boxes

>> Find out how


Want to know more about our wide range of cardboard packaging boxes?

For additional advice on cardboard packaging boxes in all their various shapes, sizes and forms, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrapping

Using a heat gun to wrap and package goods is quite straightforward. Shrink wrapping offers a sturdy, protective and professional way to pack goods for storage, transport and even for sale. But to get the best from the material, the wrap needs to be heated so that it can shrink – and that means using a heat gun. Here we take a look at how to choose the right wrap for your needs and then how to use a heat gun to make it work.

Can I use a heat gun for shrink wrapping?

Yes you can use a heat gun for shrink wrapping, it is ideal for professional and effective packing. Shrink wrap is a highly efficient way to protect goods for transit and storage. But for it to work effectively the goods in question have to be wrapped – in the wrap, and then heated so that the film shrinks into place – holding its contents tightly and securely.

PVC shrink wrap

To do this you need a shrink wrap heat gun. The film is made from polyolefin plastic, most commonly polythene and PVC. It is a strong, often transparent and offers protection to heat, cold, moisture, dust and other contaminants. It is also puncture proof and offers a secure way to hold items together for storage and transport and is an ideal way to package various items.

But to get the best out of it the polyolefin plastic needs to be heated so that, as it cools, it shrinks to tightly wrap the goods. But be careful when you heat shrink wrap, as it requires care – so as not to damage the plastic and the goods beneath.

PVC heat shrink rolls shrink at 80 degrees Celsius and have a retraction rate of 40%. It isn’t recommended for food packaging.

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrap

So how do you shrink wrap goods and pallets of goods for transport or storage? For goods on a pallet, or mixed goods that are of non-uniform size and shape, a good starting point would be to use a shrink wrap roll.

Using shrink wrap on an easy to use roll, is a simple method to help palletising or collating. The shrink wrap roll can then be simply un-rolled, and the polythene wrapped around the goods as needed. Allowing for the change of contours and shapes, this helps hold together the goods ready to be heated and shrunk into place to create that all-important tight support and protection.

Shrink wrap on a roll comes in a range of sizes to allow for a variety of sized pallets, goods and needs. Including extra wide for those particularly big or awkwardly shaped products.

It can be found as both a continuous roll of film, this helps to accommodate non-uniform and varied sized and shaped loads. The film can also be manually cut to size, or it is available as a perforated roll, which can be torn off easily for use in sections to cover the load.

To work out the cover height that you need: Load height + 1/2 width + 140 mm. For example, if your load is 1160 mm high (including the pallet) on a standard 800 x 1200 mm pallet, you need a cover with a minimum height of 1160 + 400 +140 = 1700 mm.

Palletising, individual shrink wrap pallet coversAlternatively, it comes as  shrink wrap bags, available in a roll, or shrink wrap pallet covers that can be slipped over the items or pallet ready to be shrunk into place.

Individual shrink pallet covers are available in two sizes – the smallest pallet covers are suitable for pallets with a maximum height of 1160mm and the large pallet covers are suitable for pallets with a maximum height of 1760mm. Manufactured from 120 micron low density polythene, the film is also available as shrink pallet covers perforated on a roll and on a continuous roll.

Prepare your loads by ensuring it is tidy as possible, then secure the load on your pallet, pull the shrink film cover over the whole load. For best results raise the pallet to a position where you have easy access to the underside – then pull the cover down underneath the corners of the pallet.

With shrink wrap pallet covers or bags, pull the bags down over the goods into place.

Then the heating begins. To get the best out of the shrink wrap it needs to then be shrunk into place by using a heat gun. This is done using a shrink wrap gun.

A shrink wrap gun is a heated gun that uses butane or propane gas to create a flame, which is contained in a safety housing which gets hot and radiates heat onto plastic wrap. It is crucial that no contact occurs between the flame and the film – or the film will ignite and burn.

These tools are safe and light enough to use all day long. It is available as part of a complete kit, complete with gas canister, lengthy hose and gun. Some systems are also mobile – featuring a film gun and trolley kit, complete with a portable propane bottle – so that the wrapping can happen on the move within the warehouse or packaging area.

RIPACK 3000 heat shrink film gun and trolley kit

A great example is the RIPACK 3000 Shrink film gun, which is safe and easy to use. The flame is never in contact with the nozzle, which stays cool avoiding any risk of burning. The flame fans out to cover a large area making the shrink process quick and easy.

This heat shrink gun is ergonomic, lightweight (1.22kg) and designed to keep operator fatigue to a minimum with its soft grip handle. The RIPACK 3000 is supplied in its own case and includes a regulator, 8 metres of hose, adjustment spanner and instruction manual. There is a spare igniter store in the handle. The case is sturdy enough to be used as an operator platform. Powered by propane gas (not included).

Want to know more about heat guns?

For additional advice on different packaging films, wrapping machines and heat guns, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

The difference between plastic vs cardboard storage boxes

The difference between plastic vs cardboard storage boxesWhat’s best for storage and shipping; plastic or cardboard storage boxes? Well, it all depends on what you want to store or ship and how you want to store and ship it. In this article we take a look at the different kinds of cardboard and plastic storage boxes available and explain why different materials suit different purposes.

The difference between plastic vs cardboard storage boxes

What are the differences between plastic vs cardboard storage boxes? For anyone remotely connected with shipping, packing or storage, the debate is timeless and all depends on what you are wanting to use them for, as well as personal preference.

On the one hand, cardboard storage boxes are tough and strong, easy to label, cost-efficient and can be recycled. On the other, plastic storage boxes offer a durable, water-resistant, strong and reusable alternative. How do you choose?

Cardboard boxes vs plastic boxes

Deciding on which is better, cardboard boxes or plastic boxes, really does come down to what you are looking to do with the box – and perhaps what you might want to do with the box after you have used it.

And you may be surprised by how environmentally-friendly each is when considered across its lifetime.

For starters, let’s look at cardboard storage boxes with lids. These offer protection for goods and items and, to a limited extent, can be stacked up securely. They are easy to label and, can be extremely cost efficient.

Cardboard storage boxes can be used for a wide range of uses. They can be used for sending fragile items through the post, be it books, mugs, DVDs and more. They can, with the right inserts, also be used to ship and store wine bottles, leveraging the natural protective qualities of strong cardboard to protect the contents.

In fact, cardboard boxes come in such a large variety of shapes and sizes – and with a cornucopia of opens and flaps – that they can be used for almost any storage or shipping purpose. There are long boxes, flat boxes, pallet boxes for stacking on pallets, as well as boxes for shipping and even specialist uses. You can even tailor your box to your product with our adjustable and telescopic cardboard boxes.

Choice of telescopic boxes

Telescopic boxes offer a customisable solution for storage, packaging and shipping

You can also use cardboard boxes to store – or indeed ship – documents, as well as cardboard boxes for archiving and even for easy access to goods through special openings.

There are also a wide variety of very specialist boxes for posters and even for clothes. Either being delivered through ecommerce or for storage or house moves.

And of course, there is also a wide variety of large cardboard boxes all sized 600mm+ to help you find the correct size box for your needs. You can even use RAJA’s own sizing tool to work out the best sized box for your goods – but more of that anon.

But cardboard boxes do have their drawbacks. While they are strong and cost effective, they are also limited in their strength and, perhaps more crucially for some storage and shipping options, not waterproof.The difference between plastic and cardboard storage boxes

This is where plastic storage boxes with lids come in. Plastic storage containers are more costly per unit – but they offer some advantages over cardboard boxes

For starters, plastic storage bins and boxes are generally stronger than their cardboard counterparts and, as a result, can be stacked higher. They can also hold heavier and more awkward items.

The main advantage, however, of plastic over cardboard is that it is waterproof and so is ideal for the storage of items that need extra protection from moisture or other environmental contaminants.

As a result plastic storage boxes can be used to store and ship all manner of small to medium duty items that need to be kept water tight and protected. The boxes with lids can be stacked and, when not in use and with the lids removed, can be nested.

For heavier duty storage and transportation, extra-tough, heavy-duty storage boxes that protect from impact as well as water and other environmental factors can also be used – offering a highly-reliable form of protection for a wide range of goods.

Plastic containers can also be used to store smaller, more delicate items, such as small components, stationery or other goods. Here plastic offers a resilient option that can be reused over and over again, where perhaps a cardboard alternative would wear out.

However, while plastic storage containers have a wide variety of uses and offer a greater degree of reuse, they are not so suitable for some applications. Plastic bins and containers are good for storage and shipping, but are often too expensive for one-off use in last mile delivery. In other words, you won’t find your Amazon book being delivered in a plastic box.

That said, some delivery businesses are toying with plastic – if they can get the boxes back. Plastic boxes, on the face of it, may seem to be less environmentally friendly than cardboard. However, if plastic boxes can be reused numerous times, they start to be less environmentally impactful. Recycling takes a lot of energy – even for paper – so getting more use out of a container can be more efficient, if you can sort out collection.

Types of cardboard storage boxes

While there are advantages to using cardboard or plastic storage boxes, depending on what you want to store where, let us focus for now on cardboard storage boxes, as they come in so many different shapes and sizes.

While for heavy duty and heavy weight storage and shipping needs, plastic is a clear winner, cardboard boxes aren’t as wimpish as you’d think, coming as they do in a wide variety of thicknesses.

For starters, there are single wall cardboard boxes, which are made of a single layer of tough corrugated cardboard and offer robust protection for your products with superior resistance to bursting, humidity and temperature change; in addition tapes adhere perfectly to the surface. The corrugated cardboard and puncture resistant Kraft outer works hard to secure your items, while still maintaining a smooth and clean finish for your adhesive address labels to stick to.

Single wall cardboard boxes

Singled wall cardboard boxes are strong, light and low cost way to store a wide range of items

These boxes are ideal for storing, packing and shipping of products and goods and are delivered flat packed for easy storage and transport.

Double wall cardboard boxes

Double wall cardboard boxes are tougher still for stacking and shipping of fragile objects

If that isn’t enough, there are also a wide range of double wall cardboard boxes, which are designed to be tough still. Double walled cardboard boxes are made from two layers of rigid corrugated fluting with a tough puncture resistant Kraft outer lining. This means that the double wall cardboard box retains its shape during shipping or storage and offers superior strength and durability over single wall cardboard boxes.

These sturdy boxes are suitable for a wide range of products from glassware, household fixtures and fittings to small electrical goods and can be stacked.

Triple wall cardboard boxes

Triple walled storage offers a really tough way to store and ship even the heaviest items

If you need a really strong storage and shipping box, triple wall cardboard boxes have you covered. Manufactured from top quality rigid flute corrugated board with a 200gsm Kraft paper finish, these are ideal for heavy duty items such as metal parts, compressors, boilers, pumps, industrial tools and machinery. Recommended for shipping and exporting.

In fact, these boxes has been especially designed for metal parts, compressors, boilers, pumps, industrial tools and machinery our heavy duty triple wall boxes with a weight capacity of up to 500kg also come flat-packed for easy, space saving storage in your warehouse.

Conclusions

The debate over whether cardboard or plastic makes for a better storage box is not really a debate at all: it all depends on what you want to store, ship or archive. For heavy duty, long term storage, or to store things that are in repeat use, plastic storage boxes have the edge as their higher price delivers more value over time.

However, for one off shipping cardboard has the edge. With cardboard storage boxes coming in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, they offer the ability to ship and protect anything from a book right up to a compressor. The only thing that ‘weakens’ the case for cardboard is that it isn’t waterproof like plastic.

That said, which you want to use comes down to what you are packaging and what you want to do with it. There is a vast array of solutions to choose from – and we can help you choose.

Want to know more about the wide range of cardboard and plastic storage boxes?

For additional advice on storage boxes in all their myriad shapes, sizes and materials to meet all your packaging, storage and shipping needs, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.