Category Archives: Packaging Products & Materials

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

 

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.

Spotlight on: Envelopes and Mailing Bags

If you’re a regular visitor to the Rajapack blog then you’ll know that recently we’ve been focusing on new developments in packaging; product launches, the latest technology, and new packaging processes that are all making packaging more efficient and eco-friendly.

This week, we’ve decided to go back to basics with a focus on one of the oldest and widely used packaging items in history – Envelopes!

all-envelope-types

Enve-what?

One of the most common packaging items in the world, envelopes protect their contents in the post, ensuring they reach their recipient safely and securely.

Though envelopes can be dated back to around 3500BC, the first commercial envelope-making machine was not developed until 1845.  It was then another 50 years before pre-gummed envelopes were produced commercially.

Envelopes have continued to evolve over time as our needs have changed drastically – they now need to protect much more than just paper letters or documents! There are now hundreds of types of envelope available for all kinds of uses, offering benefits such as protection from water, bumps and shocks.

At Rajapack we stock over 30 different types of envelope, available in hundreds of sizes.  We’re going to run through the four main types below, what benefits they offer and what they should be used for.

 

Bubble Envelopes & Jiffy Bags

These padded envelopes offer the most cost-effective protection what’s inside.  They usually feature strong padding around the inside edges (layers of fibre, air filled bubbles or foam) for extra protection against damage in the post.

Any impact will be absorbed and cushioned by the thick outer layer, ensuring the contents stays safe and secure in transit. As padded envelopes have continued to evolve, they have become more lightweight, meaning a lower cost of postage, while maintaining a strong level of protection.

jiffy-and-bubble-envelopes

Jiffy bags are an envelope make that you’ve probably heard of before, being one of the most widely recognised brands of envelopes in the UK.  Named after the Jiffy Packaging Company who launched the product in 1964, they still manufacture them at the same site to this day.  They’ve been designed to be puncture resistant and come in two styles; the bubble bags contain air retention bubble wrap for longer protection, whilst the padded Jiffy bags have a lining of fibres that expand with use.

We find that padded envelopes and mailers are best when you need extra protection for your items in the post.  They are most commonly used for smaller products (an A4 envelope or less), but larger padded envelopes are available; heavy duty bubble envelopes go up to 52cm x 66cm in size, great for when you need to post large, flat items securely.

Bubble envelopes and Jiffy bags are suitable for packaging many different types of items, including jewellery, books and brochures, right through to items such as CDs, DVDs, and clothing.  Whether you choose Jiffy bags, bubble envelopes or padded mail bags, every one is designed to be lightweight to protect your products while keeping postage costs down.

 

Cardboard Envelopes & Mailers

These rigid envelopes are designed to ensure that the contents of your envelope won’t bend out of shape in the post.

card-backed-envelopes

The stiff cardboard construction forms a rigid frame around the envelope, offering a solid layer of protection for small, flat products.  And because they’re made of card, they’re generally very light and cost effective to mail (though be sure to check the size dimensions of the envelope).  These envelopes are ideal for packaging things like calendars and booklets, or important documents such as contracts or certificates.

For larger, thicker items such as books, brochures, CDs, or DVDs, carton envelopes (or panel wrap cardboard mailers) are perfect. They’re designed to fully enclose these thicker items, and are available with an adjustable spine, so you can put any thickness of book in them and they’ll seal securely.  To minimise postage costs, they’re exceptionally lightweight too – we currently offer the lightest cardboard mailers in Europe!

 

Plastic Mailing Bags

These items provide sealed protection for their contents and are very popular with online retailers and mail order companies.  Whilst being very thin, small and lightweight, they provide waterproof protection and are perfect for sensitive items as well as soft goods, such as textiles and clothing.

plastic mailers

Quick and easy to use, they all come with a tamper-poof peel and seal strip for security, ensuring that once they’ve been sealed they can’t be opened and resealed without ripping the bag.

Plastic mailing bags also present a unique option that other envelopes don’t – they are available completely see through!  For companies mailing catalogues or other documents that need an added layer of protection, clear mailing bags mean no extra effort required to re-print or re-label envelopes.

Plastic mailing bags can also double up as waterproof protection for other packages – easily fitting around a box, bag, or smaller envelope that need an added layer of polythene protection.

 

Office Envelopes

Finally, the most common type of envelope and probably the one you’ve used the most – the office envelope.   Made of paper and usually coloured white or manilla, these envelopes are used by almost every business, every day, for posting documents & letters.

office-envelopes

Office envelopes have size standards that have been adopted internationally under ISO 216, meaning that most countries use the same sizes of office envelopes.  A law on the standardisation of page sizes dates back to 1798 in France, making it easier for companies to do business internationally.

The sizes that are used are all scaled to each other, making use and manufacture easier internationally.  A C1 is twice the size of a C2, a C2 is twice the size of a C3 etc.  Here’s a full list of all the size dimensions – the most common type for businesses is DL size.

They’re available with a window in the front, meaning that your letters can slip straight in with the postal details on – no need to duplicate this on the envelope if the address is the letter itself.

Peel and seal or self seal options are available, both speeding up the process of sealing and sending.  Peel and seal typically have a longer shelf life as the gum is protected by a layer of paper.

Though there are standard sizes and colours, the quality of office envelopes can’t be guaranteed simply because they are so popular.  Usually coming pre-gummed, the thickness, quality of the paper, finish, and adhesive on the seal can all vary greatly.

Cheaper, thinner envelopes can suffer from print see-through, and no business wants their correspondence on show – especially when you’re sending private and confidential documents.  Ensure your envelopes don’t suffer from this oversight and insist on high quality envelopes to ensure you give your customers a great impression – they’ll be opening them after all!

 

Sealing Up

At Rajapack, envelopes continue to be one of our best selling products – we ship over 7 million a year to businesses of all types across the UK!

If you’re looking for envelopes for your items, if you currently have a supplier and are looking to cut costs, or are simply after some packaging advice, then please do get in touch; give us a call on 0800 542 44 28 or send us an email.  We have experienced packaging experts on hand, ready to help and advise you in any way they can.

Spotlight on Rajaprint: Custom Printed Tape

It’s been over a year since we launched Rajaprint, our online packaging tool for customers to create their own bespoke printed packaging.  We’ve chosen to feature it in this post as we’re offering some unmissable discounts on orders, with full details below.

Custom tape has been so popular that we’ve decided to revisit what makes custom packaging so important, and find out exactly how much custom tape we have printed!

custom-tape

Custom packaging can increase profits

Over the past few years, we’ve seen custom packaging become more popular as many businesses are looking to every avenue to maximise the customer experience.  Personalisation and customisation have always played an important role in this, but it’s only recently that we have seen this extend so far into the world of packaging.

We saw more evidence of this first hand at the Internet Retailing Expo in April, where many business owners we spoke to were looking for ways to give their products added stand out.  It’s also a topic we’ve covered on the blog before, looking in detail at how custom packaging can increase profits for businesses.

Giving customers more control over their packaging

Last year we developed Rajaprint Tape following feedback from customers that custom packaging was going to be the next packaging must have for many.   It can provide many benefits to SME businesses, who don’t want the large expense of specialised branding campaigns.

Rajaprint gives customers complete control over their customisation, allowing them to tailor it exactly how they want.  Just some of the features include:

  • 11 different types of tape, with over 124 different options
  • A wide range of tape materials including Vinyl, Polypropylene, Cross Woven, & Low Noise
  • A simple 3 step process, all completed online
  • Quick turnaround time, typically 2 weeks from sign off to delivery

So just how popular is Rajaprint custom tape?

In short, very! We’ve worked out that the amount of custom tape we’ve printed for our customers, and it’s staggering, take a look at some of our fun facts below.  In just over 12 months:

  • We’ve printed over 1,500 miles of custom tape – that’s enough to stretch from Land’s End in Cornwall to John of Groats in the Highlands and back again!
  • We’ve printed over 300 different bespoke tape designs through Rajaprint for our customers in just over a year, and many have returned for repeat orders.
  • Our most popular type of tape has been standard vinyl tape, it’s ideal for many applications. Polypropylene has been a close second, followed by low noise (perfect for packaging in libraries!)
  • The most popular colour has been white – lots of our customers use white tape for added stand out on their traditional brown packaging.
  • Company information and logos has accounted for over 75% of our custom prints! Business details, branding and straplines on packaging tape can all help to enhance the experience for the recipient.

Rajaprint has gone from strength to strength since we launched, it’s why we extended it to include Rajaprint bags last year – so many customers are looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd with tailored packaging.

custom-tape-and-bags

Custom printed packaging at unbeatable prices

Right now, we’re offering up to 40% off orders with free tape customisation in one or two colour print (with orders over 360 rolls).  For those repeat orders, we’re also offering free artwork, so if you’re looking for a bit of extra impact and personality from your packaging, then please get in touch today, we’d love to help.

 

A Guide to Packaging Machines

We’ve just got back from exhibiting at the Internet Retailing Expo, where packaging machines were a hot topic.  Many businesses we spoke to could see real benefits from automating their packaging processes; speeding up their productivity, saving money on materials, and reducing their impact on the environment.

We answered so many questions about machines that we’ve decided to put together this guide, to give you an introduction to packaging machines, what they can offer, and the types of machines available.

all-packaging-machines

A stretch wrap machine, Mini Pack’r, a strapping machine and a Fillpak TT

We’ve split out the contents below, so you can easily jump straight into any section.

Why automate your packaging processes?

Cushioning products, bagging, strapping boxes or wrapping pallets are all processes that can be made faster, cheaper and more efficient by packaging machines.

Just some of the benefits that machines can bring include:

  • Speeding up your packaging and warehouse processes, increasing efficiency.
  • Reducing the amount of materials used and waste produced, cutting costs.
  • Freeing up space in your warehouse, for more stock or to increase productivity.
  • Helping to reduce the impact of your business on the environment.
  • Giving your business more control over your packaging, improving flexibility.

If you are packaging more than 10 packages per day, then it’s likely that a packaging machine could save your business time and money.  Many machines are available to rent too, so there are no large, upfront costs to worry about.

If you’re packaging a very low number of items though, or wrapping specialist products, then an automated packaging machines might not be right for you, or something manual like a Fillpak M could be an option.  Our experts are always happy to help, and if you’re unsure whether machines could make a difference to your business, contact us today.

How can packaging machines help?

A large number of packaging processes can be automated, including wrapping, strapping, sealing and cushioning.  At Rajapack we categorise packaging machines into three different types, by the function that they perform:

In this guide we’ve explained what each type does, how it can be used, and what it can be used for, to help you see if a machine could be right for you.

Protective Packaging Machines

Ensuring your goods arrive at their destination safely and in one piece is essential to any successful business.   To protect loose items during shipping, paper or air void fill is perfect for cushioning and protection.

products protected by void fill

Air cushion & paper void fill being used to protect items.

Protective packaging machines produce void fill quickly and easily, as and when it’s needed, rather than purchasing it pre-made (such as loose fill, shredded tissue paper or bubble wrap).

The packaging materials that feed into the machines (such as plastic or paper) can be ordered in economical rolls, which means less shipping cost to your business and more storage space for you.

Air Cushion Machines

These compact little machines produce cushions of air for insulating and protecting your items.  Simply load a roll of bags onto the spindle, select your cushion settings, and you can instantly produce void fill on demand when you need it.

Machines such as the Mini Pak’r have a tiny footprint (H33cm x W36cm x D28cm) or the Opus Mini (H28cm x W30cm x D28cm) and can be used almost anywhere.  Simple to use, they can produce cushions fast and efficiently and are perfect for small to medium packaging operations.

For larger businesses, machines such as the Fill-Air Rocket™ Machine are easily able to cope with high volumes of air cushions, and give you more control over the sizes of you can produce, from tiny 2cm ones, to large air cushions as wide as 18cm.

air-cushion-machines

The Mini Pak’r Void Fill Machine & Opus Air Cushion System

Paper Void Fill Systems

Paper void fill machines offer another cost effective, eco-friendly way to create void fill.  Studies have shown that consumers prefer to receive paper packaging materials in their parcels for environmental reasons.  The machines take reams of paper in, and deliver strong, crimpled paper which can be used to wrap, cushion, block, or brace packages securely.

These machines are ideal for high volume operations (up to 1.4 metres of paper void per second) and though larger than the air cushion systems, they offer greater flexibility.   If you package over 50 products a day, they are almost guaranteed to save you time and money, and typically cut down materials use by 30% within the first 3 months.

More advanced models include features such as remote controls, foot pedals, and paper length programming.  The PadPak range is suitable for the blocking and bursting your products.

paper-void-fill-machines

A Fillpak M manual system, PadPak Junior, and the more advanced PadPak Senior for high speed packaging lines.

Paper void fill machines are available in a number of different sizes to suit a range of budgets and demands.

The lower cost models such as the Fillpak M are suited for small volume operations.  They dispense paper manually through a funnel, giving you complete control over the amount of packaging needed.  For moderate volume operations, machines like the Padpak Junior are well suited for lines packaging at least 30 items per day.

Fully automated, high volume machines such as the PadPak Senior are perfect for fast packaging lines and are able to flow paper through continually.  Paper lengths can be pre-programmed to ensure that the right amount of void fill is always dispensed.

 

Our Guide to Void Fill Machines

Our packaging machine experts at RajaSystem have developed a quick and easy online guide to see whether a void fill machine could be right for you.

We’ve selected the best paper, air, and foam void fill solutions that we have to offer and built them into this helpful guide.

void-fill-machines-guide

Simply answer a few questions about how many parcels you pack and how you protect them, and our system will determine the most suitable void fill machines for you.

We pride ourselves on ensuring our customers are using the most cost effective packaging for their needs, and with the release of this guide we hope to give you another way to do just that.

 

Closure Packaging Machines

Once your products are packed and in a box, that box needs to be properly secured whether it’s going on a pallet for loading or simply being shipped as is.  A closure machine straps or wraps packages to ensure that what’s packed and sealed won’t split open or leak out during delivery.

Closure machines come in two types; Strapping, which is perfect for reinforcing boxes and large loads, and Stretch Film, which tightly wraps around and secures pallets.

strapping-and-stretch-film-wrapped-pallet

Box secured with Strapping & Stretch Film Wrapped Pallet

Strapping Machines

If you’re shipping goods that need extra reinforcement, then you might already use strapping to add another layer of security to your shipments, with something like a hand strapping tool.

Strapping machines automate this process, cutting, wrapping and sealing strapping around packages quickly and efficiently.   A typical machine can wrap and strap a box in under 10 seconds, and fully automatic models work completely hands free via a foot pedal.  A strapping machine ensures that each seal is consistently secured and guaranteed to hold.

semi-and-fully-automatic-strapping-machines

A Semi-Automatic & Automatic Strapping Machine

If you’re manually strapping over 50 packages a day, then it’s likely that the addition of a machine could save you significant time and money.

Stretch Film Machines

If you’re wrapping whole pallets of goods using something like a stretch film dispenser, then a stretch wrap machine might be the solution to speed up your operation.

These machines are able to automatically wrap an entire pallet of goods as soon as it has been dropped onto their base.  The speed at which they do this varies, from entry level machines which are simple to setup and use, to industrial programmable machines, which can be customised to your consignments.

robot-serie-6-stretch-film-robot

Robot Serie 6 – Stretch Film Robot

If you are after more flexibility, then a stretch wrap robot might better suit your needs such as the Robot Serie 6.  Extremely versatile and packed with technology, it is able to wrap just about any size or shape product.  Extra features mean it can easily wrap unstable loads, and improve efficiency by using less stretch film, effectively saving you materials costs.

Stretch film machines are suited to businesses who need to secure and ship large quantities of palletised goods, and are commonly used by larger warehouse operations.  If you’re currently wrapping over 50 pallets per day then a stretch film machine could speed up your wrapping process.

 

Shrink Wrap & Heat Sealer Machines

Shrink wrap and heat sealer machines are designed to package and protect items by sealing them in bags.  They do this by wrapping them in PVC or shrink film, keeping them free from dust and dirt in storage or protecting them from damage during delivery or while on display.

Both systems can produce bags of almost any size; for smaller items such as jewellery or electronics, CDs or books, to larger more awkward items (typically up to 800mm in width).

Being able to produce your own bags offers many benefits; bags of any size can be quickly made to order, and materials can easily be stored on-site so that bags are always on hand when needed, saving time.

Shrink Wrap Machines

Shrink Wrap systems are perfect for packaging or presenting retail products, such as large books, mirrors or pictures, typically up to 800mm wide.  The shrink wrap forms a tight puncture resistant film, protecting items against water and dust.  These systems are ideal for businesses who are looking for a lower cost solution but still seeking a professional result.

The PACKER range of shrink wrap systems are designed for low volume operations.  Coming complete with a sealer, bag dispenser and hot air blower, these systems are all you need to begin professionally bagging your products.

packer-shrink-wrap-system

PACKER complete shrink wrap film system

Heat Sealer Machines

Heat sealers offer a more industrial, high volume solution if you need to seal large quantities of bags quickly and easily.  Small and compact, they can fit into an existing packaging operation and can be mounted on a stand with a foot pedal for hands free operation.

For smaller, low volume businesses that only require bags up to 500mm wide, ‘push to seal’ units are ideal which operate with a built in cutter, saving time when bagging up smaller products.

small-volume-heat-sealer

A Small Volume Heat Sealer

For larger quantities (typically up to 800 bags per 8 hours), we offer industrial sealers such as the Opti-seal Industrial Sealer.  This can seal bags up to 790mm wide and features adjustable sealing and cooling times, for various different films and bags.

industrial-heat-sealer

An Industrial Heat Sealer, able to seal up to 800 bags a day.

Accessories are also available for heat sealers, such as foot pedals and desktop stands, that mean you can customise the machine to your operation.  Spares kits can also be bought which make it easy to maintain and service your machine.

Buying, Renting, & Maintaining

Buying a packaging machine can usually mean a big initial investment, which can be difficult for small or medium sizes businesses to justify.  It’s why many of our packaging machines are available to rent, with no high up-front costs, though your first step would be to demo a machine before committing further.

Our machines can be rented from as little as £15 per month and include free delivery, installation, and after care support.  This means that you can focus on integrating the machine into your operation, without having to worry about the long term financial commitment.

One final factor to consider when adopting an automatic packaging machine is what happens if they go wrong or need repair?   For your total piece of mind, we can arrange on-site call outs in case of any problems, so you can ensure minimal downtime in your operation if any problems do occur.

Our Expert Opinion

Finally, we caught up our resident machines expert, Chris Sheehan to get his thoughts on the impact packaging machines can make.  Chris has helped his fair share of customers make the transition to a packaging machine and believes:

“The first step for most customers is realising that they actually have a need for a machine. Once this happens, selling the benefits and finding the right machine for a customer’s needs is actually quite straight forward.”

“Investing in a packaging machine isn’t just about saving on the price of using machine consumables and rental of the machine compared to their current protective packaging. Using traditional packaging products can take up more than three times as much space in your warehouse as a roll of film or a block of paper. And we all know that warehousing space is at a premium, so every bit of it counts.”

“The same can be said for packing speed and productivity. Having a machine available to produce void fill, air cushions or bubble on demand at a work station means a reduction in time to pack – meaning orders go out the door quicker. It can also result in a reduction of temporary staff in peak periods of the year.”

To find out more about Packaging Machines and if they might be right for your business, or for a no obligation demonstration, please get in touch with our experts. Call us free on 0800 142 26 46 or email machines@rajapack.co.uk.

Introducing the RajaSafe™ Impact Protect Box

With so many of us shopping online, the need for innovative packaging solutions has never been greater. Under the Sale of Goods Act, products damaged in the post are the responsibility of the seller, not the buyer, which can leave many businesses out of pocket. The bottom line is that inadequate packaging costs your business money. And even if your packaging is up to scratch, unscrupulous, heavy-handed couriers can be unavoidable.

It’s difficult to estimate the number of parcels that are damaged in transit each year. With giant postal sorting warehouses continuously running conveyor belts full of packages, sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and packages can accidentally slip off the line.

As the No 1 in Europe for packaging solutions, Rajapack has been working to solve this problem. So it gives us great pleasure to announce our revolutionary RajaSafe™ Impact Protect system.

Boxes with bounce

RajaSafe bouncebox-banner-april-fools (2)

Our team of technologists have been working on developing and improving this innovative new packaging solution. Corrugated card is combined with isoprene and styrene-butadiene compounds. This creates resilient, pressure absorbing properties which give the boxes a slight bounce on impact.

RajaSafe™ Impact Protect technology is designed to give maximum protection to heavier, bulky items, such as flat-screen televisions, as these can be the hardest to handle. The ‘bounce’ is engineered to be more apparent the heavier the package, as these are generally the items requiring the most protection.

We showcased the new range of RajaSafe™ Impact Protect boxes at the Packaging Innovations 2016 show earlier this year. We carried out demonstrations to show the degree of bounce for each item placed inside the boxes, and we were blown away by your feedback.

“This new technology from Rajapack demonstrates one of the greatest innovations in the packaging industry since the introduction of personalised packaging. As a company we are acutely aware of the need for affordable, contemporary, resilient packaging solutions; RajaSafe™ Impact Protect is the technology this industry has been waiting for.”

– Anabelle Fool, MD, CBB Systems

How it works

At Rajapack, we are committed to creating eco-solutions that can be recycled or in this case reused. The main component of our RajaSafe™ boxes is styrene-butadiene, an artificial rubber compound commonly used by large tyre manufacturers. Heralded for its abrasion resistance, this compound, as well as giving our boxes their boing, adds a resilience that was never before available with cardboard. This means the boxes are sturdy enough to be used long past the lifecycle of an ordinary cardboard box.

We use Solution-SBR, created through an anionic polymerization process, to coat the inner wall of our cardboard boxes.  Using Solution-SBR gives us greater control over the polymer, allowing us to tailor it to our needs. This compound is what gives the boxes their bounce, and offers maximum protection to the items inside.

RajaSafe bouncebox-sales (2)

Rajapack is constantly striving to create a better product for our customers, with RajaSafe™ Impact Protect technology we hope to bring you peace of mind. We will be offering this technology in our postal box range, and are currently working on introducing it to our complete range of cardboard boxes to include more bulky items such as TVs or guitars. When combined with our other innovative packaging solutions, the RajaSafe™ Impact Protect system is guaranteed to be your number one shipping solution.

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!

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