Monthly Archives: July 2020

The best postal boxes to use for delivery

The best postal boxes to use for delivery

Things you need to consider when looking at postal boxes that are best for delivery are not only how tough they are and what sizes they come in, but also what sort of experience they give the customer. The box, after all, is the first thing they see of your products or brand, even before they see the good themselves.

With ecommerce hitting new heights, what are the best postal boxes for shipping small, medium and large items – and how do you use them to make a good impression?

Let’s take a look at the best postal boxes for your business.

 The best postal boxes to use for delivery

What are the best postal boxes for delivery? It depends on what you are sending, where you are sending it and, to some extent, what sort of impression you want your packaging to make when it arrives.

Postal boxes come, literally, in all shapes and sizes, but are more than just cardboard boxes; they can have a variety of sizes, cross sections, linings and lids. Boxes for posting, however, do tend to have one thing in common: sealable lids, as we shall see.

Be aware, too, that postal boxes are different from cardboard boxes, the latter having different sorts of lids, as well as coming with a variety inserts to package up specific items from documents to bottles and beyond.

Postal boxes are designed to protect the goods with card, as well as having closeable lids that tend to be integrated into the main box design that not only keep the items in place and protected during transit and postage, but also make for a satisfying ‘unboxing’ experience for the customer when they receive their items.

Brown book boxes with adhesive strips and red tear strip

Postal boxes typically have a sealable lid with tabs that can slot Into the main box construction. It not only makes them look and feel all the more professional but this added benefit provides reinforced sides, making them strong. Constructed with single, double or triple sides, some boxes have extra thick, rigid flute cardboard, making them ideal for ecommerce applications.

But there is more to postal boxes than just the basics. Depending on what you want to send, there are a wide variety of speciality boxes, designed to contain other things, such as books, mugs, jewellery and even delicate electronics. Each comes with its own special features, such as book boxes that have specially designed flats to protect the books keeping them snug and secure, but which are also easy to open.

Mug boxes, meanwhile, offer a wrap-around design that wedges the product In, protecting the delicate mug and is easy to access when delivered. Boxes for more delicate and valuable things, such as jewellery, can be sealed in boxes that have a self-adhesive seal on the lid.

Postal packaging for returns

Talking of seals, to make life even easier for customers, resealable boxes – postal boxes that feature a second seal that can be used by the customer once they have opened a sealed box –  otherwise known as returnable packaging, are becoming increasingly popular for ecommerce, as they make it easy and safe for goods to be returned.

Cardboard boxes are also becoming increasingly popular in ecommerce, but they also have many other roles to play when it comes to choosing the right postal box solution. Standard boxes can be used for shipping or storage, protecting goods and documents from dirty, dust, some moisture, as well as shocks and impacts.

Document and archive boxes: ideal for storage, transportation and postage

Cardboard boxes that come in A4 and A5 size are ideal for storing and protecting brochures, magazine, documents and more, either for storage or for posting and transportation. Specially designed document boxes are also available for storing and posting standard sized document boxes.

Where cardboard boxes get interesting for postage is where they can have inserts in for special uses. There is a growing business in wine and other goods in bottle – not least driven by the growth in direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce brought about by the lockdown. These boxes are ideal for transportation and postage of fragile goods, with the card insert not only neatly separating the bottles, but also giving them a layer of added protection inside the box. This opens up the options for delivery of such goods, no longer needing specialist couriers.

RAJAPRINT - RAJA Packaging bustom and bespoke boxes

For an added ‘wow’ factor for customers receiving bottled goods through the post, bottle presentation boxes design to hold gift amounts of wine, beer and other glassed consumables also now come with handles and a sleek design that adds to the customer experience. They also come with integral bubble-wrap linings to make things even more secure.

What to use long cardboard boxes for

Long cardboard boxes are ideal for rolled goods

Long cardboard boxes can be used for a variety of other specialist postal applications and open up a range of postal possibilities for non-standard items such as posters and more. Long postal boxes are ideal for rolled documents and come in a range of lengths and cross-sections to accommodate a rich variety of items.

Wide-opening, they allow for easy insertion of items, without buffing up the ends of the goods and damaging them. Like all postal boxes, long cardboard boxes also offer a good deal of protection from dirty, dust and even some moisture, thanks to their corrugated structure and Kraft finish. They also can be sealed up with a self-adhesives strip, again making them ideal for ecommerce.

Long cardboard boxes can also be tubular. These are ideal for posters and large documents – such as maps or plans or posters – and feature flush fitting end caps. Being circular in cross section – and made from premium grade fibre board – these tubes are very strong and are ideal for use as postal tubes.

Benefits of flat boxes for postage

Extra flat postal boxes are designed to fit standard letter boxesFlat cardboard boxes offer a range of benefits. They are ideal for the postage of books, magazine and electronics such as tablets and even computers – and are even designed in some instances to fit standard sized Royal Mail post boxes and home letter box slots.

This design makes them ideal for sending all sorts of items through the standard post, opening up ecommerce delivery options.

Available with either up and over lids or with a single opening side, flat postal boxes offer the benefit of carefully cradling and protecting flat items for postage.

Flat boxes also have self-adhesive lids, making them not only quick to assemble, but also allow them to be secured for postage.

With all flat cardboard boxes, integral lids and double reinforced sides protect all flat items and have revolutionised how good can be packed for ecommerce – doing away with having to finds a box big enough for the goods in one dimension that is too large in all others and so needing a lot of secondary packing material.

Reasons to use foam lined postal boxes

Foam lined postal boxes are used for many reasons

Foam lined postal boxes are used for many reasons

Foam lined postal boxes can be used for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are ideal for sending delicate items through the post or by courier. Secondly, they are ideal for added protection to high-value and small items.

Made in a simple and strong one-piece design from triple layer card and lined with shaped non-abrasive polyurethane foam, these boxes can be used to give items a double layer of protection.

Firstly, there is the outer card, which protects from dust and dirt. Inside, when closed, the items therein are swaddled in two layers of foam, preventing shocks and knocks damaging what’s inside.

This makes them useful for sending electronic devices, such as cameras and phones, as well as jewellery and other fragile, delicate and high-value goods.

Foam slider postal boxes completely wrap items in non-abrasive foam in a slider ‘box within a box’ which not only adds double layers of protection to the items, but also makes for a solid and luxurious opening experience for the customer.

Want to know more about our wide range of postal boxes?

For additional advice on the best postal boxes, our 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.

 

 

 

We’ve moved: How RAJA’s new UK warehouse and offices offer more stock, more choice – and solar powered hot water

RAJA UK's new packaging warehouse 2020

Growth is risky at any time, but in the current climate expanding to a new premises is more challenging than ever. Yet, despite the tough environment all businesses find themselves in, and with one eye on the future, we decided to go ahead with our move to a new, bigger, warehouse and UK HQ.

And it’s big (and eco-conscious).

The new warehouse takes our inventory space from an already impressive 90,000 sq ft in the old warehouse to 267,000 sq ft – the equivalent of three and a half football pitches. It also increases racking height by a metre and a half to 13.5m – giving the new site an astonishing 40,000 pallet bays, five-times more than we previously had.

And while we are looking at the numbers, the new-build also has 20 HGV docking bays and four level access doors – more than double the number of bays of the old site.

This is a big step up for RAJA UK and not only makes it possible to offer a wider range of stock right now, but also will ensure future growth needs are met in the years ahead.

RAJA UK's new packaging warehouse docking bays

Driving growth

So what is driving that growth? At RAJA, we have always been a distance selling specialist and since the 1970s, we’ve used catalogues as a major way of doing this. Underpinned with the support of telesales, account managed customers and a strong field sales team.

Since 2000 – when the Group launched its first website in France – the business, like many others, is becoming increasingly digital. Web sales now account for a third of our business, email and e-procurement 41% and telephone sales 22%. Digital transformation is well underway.

As a result, we are focussing on becoming the business supplies provider of choice across Europe with hundreds of thousands of products available to core target customers.

With this in mind, the entire RAJA Group’s CMS is being completely updated during 2020 and early 2021, the web is undergoing an extensive top to bottom overhaul and key best-in-class eprocurement services are being implemented to drive long term digital growth.

Catalogues continue to be a central part of our growth strategy, however, with spend here approximately 1/3 of budget to digital marketing’s spend of 2/3.  Seven years ago, this split was the other way around and this continued drive of digital is only likely to continue over the coming years.

The effect of the Coronavirus pandemic

Like most businesses, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown that followed was a cause for concern for us. Lockdown happened at the end of March – the new warehouse was set to open in late June.

However, after some early fears, the RAJA team realigned how we operate during that pandemic – catalogues that were literally hot-off-the-press were parked, while digital spend was switched to bottom of the funnel stuff such as affiliates and PPC.

The RAJA UK team also reacted quickly to the business opportunities in April and focussed our sales teams on the business sectors that were growing quickly.  We also rapidly developed a whole range of COVID-19 products such as distancing floor markers, tapes, masks, plexi-screens etc and launched these products on the website daily.

We also found ourselves well placed to tap into the massive up-tick in ecommerce. As the UK – as well as, the world – went into lockdown, the need for ecommerce packaging from businesses exploded as existing online retailers and those that were new to ecommerce all started to need packaging to ship out their goods.

As a result of this, sales have grown very strongly through April and May and marketing budgets were readjusted to take advantage of this sales growth.

And with the consumer switch to ecommerce set to continue, the new warehouse ideally positions us to continue to service and grow this market.

The new build also provides an extra 14,000 sq ft of office space over the old building. While this 24,000 sq ft was not originally ear-marked to be used straight away, it proved perfect for accommodating existing staff in a socially distanced way during lockdown.

Going green

The move to the new warehouse, a vital part of RAJA UK’s long term growth strategy, was also undertaken to make the business more sustainable. The new site has several features that are expected of a modern sustainable building.

LED lighting is used throughout the warehouse and offices to reduce energy consumption.  The site also has a solar hot water system and rainwater harvesting to ensure efficient heating and use of water – reducing the impact on the environment and helping reduce operating costs as well.

The site also features charging points for four electric cars – which can easily be expanded further as required.  The company is also encouraging car sharing by allocating 12 car parking spaces specifically for employees to do this – although this will have to be something that comes into play once the COVID-19 lock-down is relaxed enough to allow this to safely happen.

The building’s owner, Prologis, also carbon offsets each building it builds and leases.  This new building has been carbon offset through the protection of 351 acres of rainforest at the Orangerie Bay project in Southern Papua New Guinea through the charity Cool Earth.

Water storage tanks at RAJA UK's new packaging warehouse

The future

All this new space has proved useful during the pandemic, but it was originally conceived for growth – and that growth is very much at the forefront of our plans for 2020 and beyond.

We are looking, over the next five to ten years, to grow the size of the in-stock product range by three or four-times current levels. This will provide customers with an even wider and extensive choice of products, which can also be delivered faster.

One area we are looking to expand is into food packaging. With ecommerce providing a massive boost to online grocery – both among the large players and smaller, independent purveyors of produce – the demand for food grade and protective sanitised packaging has also grown. And we are looking to capitilise upon this.

Sustainable packaging is also going to be a growth area across the board, which we will leverage the new warehouse to tap into.

As we are also part of the wider RAJA Group and, with the investment in this new-build, we have been able to create this bigger and better warehouse.  Cementing our position to become not only more established in the UK, but also to maintain our position as the leading distributor of packaging supplies, business supplies and equipment across Europe.

As digital transformation continues, changing shopping habits can be catered for and new lines can be added as the ecommerce and packaging markets grow and change. And it can all be done from an ultra-modern, ultra-sustainable site.

A guide to crowd control barriers

Barrier - no entry crowd controlThis guide to crowd control barriers outlines the range of barriers available for controlling and directing crowds and pedestrians. Also known as pedestrian barriers, they are designed to help control and channel pedestrians and crowds to keep them safe, or to stop them entering “no-go areas” – usually for their own safety.

If you are looking to help manage the flow of people through a building, a venue or a site – especially during the social distancing currently in operation – choosing the right kind of safety barrier is important.

Here we offer a guide to what is available, the pros and cons of using them and how to make them work for your workplace, venue or demonstration.

A guide to crowd control barriers

Crowd control barriers are there to guide pedestrians and keep them safe. They are as much psychological as physical and there are a range of different kinds of crowd barriers that can be used, depending on what sort of crowd you are dealing with, what challenges or threats pedestrians face and what sorts of barrier you are trying to erect.

Here is a guide to crowd control barriers and their uses.

Heavy duty metal crowd barriersMetal barriers: great for demarcating traffic and pedestrian zones and crowd control – what most people associated with barriers in their mind’s eye – are sturdy, galvanised metal barriers that have a low profile, being almost flat, but with moveable feet that allow stability when in use or ease stacking when not.

These barriers are ideal for crowd control, demarcation of pedestrians from traffic routes, queue control, events and any public gathering. They are also ideal for closing off areas to which you wish to deny access.

Blow moulded Barriers (HDPE) are a lightweight fencing solution for crowd control, managing queues and marking off roadworks and hazardous areas.

Blow-moulded barriers are great for crowd control and high-vis Made from high density polyethylene (HDPE), these barriers are brightly coloured and have reflective strips to make them easy to spot – so they can be used in day and night conditions, as well as indoors and out. Their British Standard red and white warning markings also subliminally say “no entry”.

Connected together using ‘hook and eye’ links, blow moulded barriers are easy and quick to set up and can follow any sort of path, making for an ideal plastic crowd control fence. They are also rust-proof and recyclable.

The 2m long, 1m high barriers have swivel feet for easy stacking when stored.

In a similar vein, plain HDPE crowd barriers offer a lightweight, corrosion resistant alternative that requires no screws or rivets to fix together, making it quick and easy to assemble and put into place, as well as to pack up and put away again when not needed – making it ideal for both temporary crowd and pedestrian control, as well as the semi-permanent crowd control needed around social distancing.

HDPE crowd barriers are a simple, lightweight alternative

For more flexible crowd and pedestrian control, expanding trellis barriers offer an ideal solution. These all-steel barriers are suprisingly portable and can be readily deployed anywhere that needs to be rapidly closed off, or to allow controlled access.

Perfect for marking out entrances and exits, blocking off hazardous areas to all but those permitted to enter, or for throttling crowd access to, say, a supermarket store, or office, these trellis barriers can extend up to 3.6 or 4m depending on the model. Weighing just 24kg, they can easily be moved into place as needed and slide open and closed as crowd control demands dictate.

Expandable Trellis Barriers

Another alternative are three gate safety barriers. Designed to quickly block-off hazards – though they could too be used for crowd control, protecting staff, or keeping people out of a particular area –  these quick to assemble barriers can be carried by hand and rapidly deployed where needed.

They are also highly reflective and so easy to spot, even in the dark or low-light conditions.

The pros and cons of pedestrian barriers

There are a number pros and cons to using pedestrian barriers. In the socially-distancing world, pedestrian barriers and crowd safety barriers have assumed a new prominence and a new importance.

They are vital to help keep people apart by the government required distance, as well as being essential for helping control the in-flow and out-flow of people from shops, offices, bars, restaurants and any other public spaces.

The pros for using pedestrian barriers and crowd barriers lie in them being a rapidly deployable and flexible – and non-permanent – solution to having to, for now at least, control access to things.

Being able to build a way to channel pedestrians or to keep people apart, as well as – with trellis barriers, for example – the ability to open and close access readily is a distinct advantage.

Another pro is that they are non-permanent, so as needs change, so too can the barrier. For example, as social distancing rules change in the coming months, crowd control barriers can be added or removed as needed.

Barriers are also strong and durable – both plastic and steel versions – although, often their very presence subliminally says a location is closed off, forcing people to follow the path you want.

Pedestrian crowd control

The cons of using pedestrian barriers are that they are non-permanent – which can also be a pro – and that they can need weighting down in windy conditions. They are also great for managing pedestrians and indicating to vehicles where they should and shouldn’t go – they are not suitable as a physical barrier to protect people from cars and lorries.

Crowd control barrier dimensions you need to know

Crowd control barrier dimensions vary depending on the type of barrier being used. Standard heavy duty metal crowd barriers measure 2.5m long and 1.10m high – with infill bars spaced at 12.75mm intervals. This is perfect to keep people at bay, but to also allow them to see where they are going and not form an obstruction.

The spacing of the infill bars also should avoid bags, feet, hands – and even heads – from getting stuck.

Plastic crowd control fencing, meanwhile, comes in 2m by 1m frames, while basic grey crowd control safety barriers come in 2.1m by 1m frames. Both types have hook and eye fixings – with no screws, bolts of rivets – to allow them to be joined together in lines, round bends or to form pens, zig-zag guides or angled fences.

The feet on all barriers swivel through 360-degrees, so that they can be angled to fit where the barriers need to go and to provide maximum stability.

Expanding trellis barriers are 1m high and can expand to either 3.6 or 4m wide depending on the model. As they expand they maintain their height.

Metal vs plastic crowd control barriers

 What are the differences between metal vs plastic crowd control barriers? Metal barriers are offer a tough, corrosion free way to control crowds and are also more suited to places such as building sites where they can offer slightly more resistance to machinery than plastic crowd control fences – albeit they are less likely to be damaged.

Plastic barriers, meanwhile, are more adept at being used to visually signal ‘no entry’ as they can be coloured in distinctive red and white markings as outlined by BS EN 8442.

Plastic barriers are also easier to move around and are better suited to temporary and mobile barriers to entry or crowd control. They are especially good for roadworks and for barring entry on a temporary basis to places such as manholes or liftshafts.

Both galvanised metal and the plastic barriers are suitable for outside use as they all resist corrosion.

How do expanding trellis barriers work?

 Expanding trellis barriers work by using interleaved steel strips – dip painted red and white and reflective – that concertina over one another, allowing the expandable trellis barrier to slide open and shut – up to a length of 3.6 or 4m – without loosing height.

This means that the barrier can effectively be opened and closed as needed to totally block off something to all but those that are allowed to pass. They are ideal for closing off areas such as forecourts, exits and entrances, hazardous areas, forecourts, closing off lifts or stairwells and so on.

They also feature chain hooks to anchor them shut or in place, or to join them to other barriers to make an opening part of a longer barrier.

Want to know more about our wide range of crowd control and pedestrian barriers?

For additional advice on the best crowd control, pedestrian management and expandable trellis barriers, our 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.