Tag Archives: delivery

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

 

Ensuring your safe delivery

An estimated 500,000 letters are lost in the post each week in the UK. Of these, 400,000 never arrive, and 100,000 will be over two weeks late. If you’re sending anything important, it’s therefore vital you make sure it’s protected.

Royal Mail

The most common way to protect your post is to acquire a certificate of postage. This practice has been standard for powersellers of websites like eBay for many years, with proof of postage compulsory when defending a claim for a lost parcel. As a seller, lacking proof of postage means you are responsible for any resulting refunds. Depending on the item sold, this could be very expensive. If, on the other hand, you have proof of postage, then you can claim compensation from the Post Office.

Proof of postage is not without its faults however, and many experts would now recommend proof of delivery instead. We talked to Chris a.k.a Mountie, co-founder and editor of Tamebay, about the advantages of proof of delivery:

“Proof of postage is pretty worthless to both consumers and retailers; although often asked for, it can be confused with proof of delivery, a much more valuable service. It’s the retailers responsibility to get their item to their customer and all proof of postage can be used for is a claim against a courier if the item doesn’t arrive.

Proof of delivery however has many more uses and is generally something consumers like; not so much that they need to be told that their item has arrived, but more that they can track their purchase along its journey and know when to expect it. However times are changing and some retailers are falling behind the curve.

Royal Mail is due to add bar codes to all parcels within the UK later this year. This will enable them to scan at the point of delivery and raises the question, ‘do retailers actually need a signature for proof of delivery or is a scan at the door step acceptable?’ Of course sometimes, due to the item value, you may require a signature. Typically when receiving a high value item, a signature is customary and many payment providers, including the best known in the UK – PayPal, insist on proof of delivery including a signature.

Collection points

There are new services coming to the market which make signature on delivery even less neccessary. Services such as locker locations (e.g. InPost.co.uk), home delivery bins (e.g. Pelipod.com) or click and collect locations (e.g. Doddle.it) all create debate. If the item is to be delivered to a convenient location for collection (and often this will be a consumer driven choice which even the retailer may be unaware of), insisting on a signature from the recipient may cause complications in the delivery process whereas a scan would work perfectly.

From a personal perspective, I remember a customer calling to enquire as to the whereabouts of a rather expensive item of computer equipment sold on eBay. Fortunately, by using a tracked delivery I could tell them the exact time and date it was delivered to their company. The response was interesting; “Oh, I actually purchased two of these and yours was the second one I bought, it must be the first one that hasn’t arrived!” Without proof of delivery I’d have probably had to foot the bill and that’s why I always use proof of delivery when selling any relatively valuable item on eBay in particular, or online in general.”

We also talked to professional designer Thom Milson, who made the mistake of having no proof of delivery:

“I once sent some work to the Ukraine – just before the issues with Russia really escalated – and I had made sure that I had proof of postage, as sending prints to Europe can cost quite a fair whack. A few weeks had passed and I hadn’t heard anything from the customer, so I threw out the proof of postage receipt to declutter my work space a bit, assuming they had received the package okay (I’d sent it first class). It was a day or two later that I received an email claiming the parcel hadn’t arrived. I suddenly had no proof of postage or delivery to back up my claim and I had to refund the customer in full.

It’s vital to get proof of delivery instead of proof of postage, especially if it’s expensive. With proof of delivery you know for sure whether they have received their parcel, and have the proof to back yourself up if they claim otherwise”

How the different courier services compare

Depending on who you are posting with, the process involved for proof of delivery will vary slightly. We have worked up a useful delivery service comparison table which you can use to see the most frequently-used parcel carriers and their proof of delivery policies – as well as how to claim compensation if your parcel goes missing.

Proving your delivery

 Extra Information – Value of item protected

Yodel protect the item with £20 additional compensation available. There is a calculator on their site here.

Extra information – How to claim

With Yodel & Parcel Force, its best practice to send them pictures of the package before it was sent. To make a claim with Parcel Force, you’ll need to download a claim form from their website here. When sending the claim forms back, make sure you include proof of the items value, such as a receipt. It also helps if you have pictures of the parcel before it is sent as proof of proper packing.

To make a claim via Royal Mail you must ask the Post Office for a P58 form. This form must be accompanied by the original proof of postage and, once posted, can take 6 to 8 weeks to be processed.

To claim via Yodel you’ll need to visit their contact us page which can be found here.

Claiming with DPD is quite a thorough process – full details of which can be found here.

*Extra information – Additional notes

  • DHL prohibit some items; a full list can be found here.
  • Hermes will not pay compensation for some items. See a list here.
  • Parcel Force will not pay compensation for some items. See a list here.
  • Yodel will not pay compensation for some items. See a list here.

Just to rubber stamp what we’re saying…

Proof of delivery is a must these days – especially if you run a business. However, what’s on offer, and which courier would be best for you, all depend on what you are posting. Most commonly posted parcels will be fine with Royal Mail; however they will only protect an item up to the value of £34 –unless you pay for extra services. Larger or more valuable items may be better sent with a private courier who offers a higher level of cover. These companies often offer larger levels of cover and compensation, but they can also cost a little extra. Whichever you choose, it’s important to be properly covered.

Happy Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day!

Today is Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day. On this day, we celebrate some of the more silly and ludicrous packaging that has been delivered over the last 12 months.

Examples of preposterous packaging might include:

  • Over-packaging; when small items such as batteries are delivered in containers suitable for larger items such as desktop computers. They usually require a lot of bubble wrap of loose fill to secure the contents
  • Packaging with the wrong name on
  • Needless packaging; when products are wrapped but don’t need to be
  • Packaging with too much protection
  • Packaging with unusual translations from different languages.

Bad packaging can be funny to some, but for businesses who receive or deliver items in packaging that is completely inappropriate, it can be a strain on costs and customer relationships.

We’ve taken a look at some of the most preposterous packaging that might affect the relationship you have with your customers, and some ways to prevent these from happening:

Excessive Packaging

One of the most popular examples of preposterous packaging is when items are delivered in a box or container that is far too big for the product inside.

Excessive Packaging

Using excessive protective packaging (such as bubble wrap or loose fill) can often mean that a business is not being environmentally-responsible. There are different definitions of what exactly constitutes environmentally-friendly packaging, but one common theme across government and industry guidelines is that manufacturers should use no more than the minimum amount of packaging required to safely transport the goods inside.

Over-packaging can also be expensive for businesses, as using more materials than needed means spending more than is needed on packaging.

Ordering the right size box and correct amount of protection is easy, and there are simple tools available online that can help, such as Rajapack’s Box Selector.

Incorrect Branding

Effective packaging must properly convey what the box contains. In order for customers to trust a company they are buying from it is crucial that they get what they expected when they open and use the product.

Incorrect Branding

Packaging is a great way of strengthening the brand and separating your product from the others on the shelf.

If the majority of the packaging you use is transit, this may not be a big issue for you. A lot of transit packaging is single colour (such as brown or white cardboard) with little in the way of description on it. Using materials such as custom packaging tape can help to strengthen your brand and customer communication.

Unnecessary packaging

A good example of unnecessary packaging is when items are packaged individually, when they could have been grouped together. Avoiding this mistake reassures customers that your business considers the environmental impact of packaging and helps save you money.

Needless Packaging

It may be the case that bananas stay fresher for longer if they are individually wrapped, but businesses must be mindful that customers are more aware of their responsibilities to the environment. This can play a large role in who they choose to do business with; blatant over-packaging like this can be harmful to a company’s green reputation.

Packaging that is not user friendly

As well as protecting and securing the contents, packaging has to be user friendly, such as having no  jagged or sharp edges, and with clear  labels or handling instructions (such as ‘this way up’).Packaging is also not user friendly if the customer has difficulty getting to the products inside. A great example of this is when scissors are packed in Blister packs which require scissors to open.

Blister Packs

Customers want to buy from a company again if they are satisfied with both the product and the service they receive. Their experience of the product starts from the moment they receive the package, so it’s vital that they have a good experience when opening their product.

 Packaging that makes sense

Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day started out as a light-hearted look at some of the more ill-conceived packaging that customers receive. On a serious note though, customers do take note of the quality of packaging they receive, and this can affect future buying decisions around who they do business with. Packaging effects the decision regarding repeat purchase.

At Rajapack, we offer expert advice to our customers on the correct type of packaging they use to make sure that their packaging is fit for purpose.

Fit for purpose might include factors such as the size of container, strength of material and environmental impact of the packaging among others.

Packaging that is fit for purpose will save money, time and the environment, which will result in happy employees as well as customers. If you have any great examples of Particularly Preposterous Packaging, drop them in the comments box below!

 

The lessons we can learn from food packaging

Whether it be primary, secondary or transit packaging, there are some top tips that help businesses better market their products and strengthen their brand. One industry that is very good at this, is the food packaging industry.

Food packaging is vitally important: not only does it protect food during transportation, but it also helps sell the food. You can have the same two products in two different packages, and if one looks much nicer it is much more likely to sell more.

Food packaging

Food packaging can also help to encourage repeat business, making it easy for customers to find and select your product in a shop. Though take note, it might also deter potential buyers if they don’t feel it’s genuine. This excellent food packaging comparison shows the reality of misleading food packaging, where in many cases the food product looks nothing like what the packaging suggests.

The key to good food packaging is a marriage of several elements such as practicality, attractiveness to customers and the ability to protect the food, amongst others.

We asked some top food packaging experts what they think are the key lessons that we can all learn from their industry:

1) Be honest about the way the your product looks

Stoats food packaging

These designs for Stoats by Leeds based Robot Food feature a window through which the porridge oats can actually be seen. Using a window like this gives the customer an accurate depiction of what the product looks like before they buy; the appearance of the product is actually a factor in the decision to buy the product. If the customer is persuaded by the appearance of the food, they are less likely to be disappointed when the packaging is finally opened.

We sat down with Simon Forster from Robot Food to discuss their work for Stoats:

“For any brand with a limited marketing budget, it’s necessary for the packaging to tell the brand story and promote the product. This was the case for Stoats. Retaining enough from the previous design to make it easy for brand loyalists to understand, we injected a whole load of fun in a way that was true to the Stoats story. The new designs are eclectic, colourful and inviting to all ages. The naive illustration style feels homemade, almost as if the designs were created by the team at Stoats. The packaging has interest and brand tone of voice all over to keep you entertained while eating your breakfast.

It’s important to see the quality of the premixed porridges and the high content of fruit inclusion. The die cut windows show off the product in an engaging way that works with the design to create a morning scene, celebrating occasion. Natural cues are represented in the nature of the loose illustration, with wheat, fruit, birds and sky and further cues come from printing the card on the textured reverse and in the choice of fonts.”

This method of showing the food is recommended for organic products and other high quality luxury foods.

Sausages

2) Create packaging people want to keep

 Coke

Famous packages like the Kikkoman Soy Sauce bottle (designed by Kenji Ekuan) and the Coca-Cola bottle (created by Earl R. Dean) are not only iconic designs, but also collectors’ items within their own right. Both of these designs are often used as small vases for flowers, and the multi-use properties of packaging such as these will often influence a purchase/encourage a sale? Other industries that could adopt this approach include perfumers and shoe makers.

3) Be clear: communicate what the product is in a simple manner

 shopping‘Value’ product packaging design may not be that obviously exciting, but it is undeniably clear in its communication of what’s inside the package. The Tesco Everyday packaging by Rocket Design is clear, concise and effective: a customer quickly knows exactly what they are getting.

Some designs are not so clear, such as this infamous Fabuloso bottle: is it a fruit juice drink or a cleaning product?

Fabuloso

Answer: It’s a cleaning product.

 4) Always think about the environmental impact of your packaging
(because your customers do!)

Bananas

This packaging for bananas in Morrisons went viral – and for good reason too. They really didn’t need to be wrapped in so much plastic and the environmental impact of so much packaging could be enormous in the long run.

When designing food packaging, a designer needs to consider not only how the packaging will be used to transport and sell the product, but what happens to once it’s thrown away. A good starting point is to ask the following questions:

  • Are all of the parts of the packaging necessary?
  • Are there any more environmentally responsible alternatives?
  • Can the packaging be reused in any way?
  • Can all of the packaging be recycled?
  • Can some parts of the packaging be recycled and not others? If so, can these parts be separated easily?

5) Make it practical

Fruit drinks

It’s all well and good when packaging has a unique, eye-catching feature, but it still has to function well. These fruit inspired creations are not only exciting and eye-catching – they function exactly the same way as a normal juice carton:

For food packaging to be most effective, there should be a perfect marriage between aesthetics and use. An interesting looking package may be enough to tempt a customer into an initial purchase, but it’s the functionality that will keep them coming back. A great example of this is Heinz Ketchup bottles; according to ‘The Marketing Blog’, customers consumed 78% more ketchup after the bottle changed size and turned upside down.

ketchup

6) Make it easy to transport

One of the key features of packaging is its ability to be transported. If you cannot transport your product easily and effectively without the packaging being damaged, then you cannot expect to sell many products successfully.

Toblerone

Nothing packs together as easily as a box, but boxes do not always make the most interesting package designs, so if you’re going to use experimental packaging make sure that the way it will be transported is practical and cost-effective.

The Toblerone chocolate bar box was designed to resemble a Swiss mountain range, but is also easily transported and stacked by turning some bars upside down and interlocking them.

 In Summary

A customer’s first impression of your product is usually based on the packaging as it is the first thing they see, and that impression could dictate whether they become repeat customers or even brand advocates.  Ensuring that your packaging is both fit for purpose and effectively designed will encourage repeat sales.

Effective packaging delivers the brand message, builds lasting relationships and gives the customer insight into the contents and quality of the product.  Because the food industry is so competitive, brands have to stand out, whether that is conveyed by the design of their packaging or by showing the quality of the contents inside.

 

Packaging for Weddings abroad

Packaging your wedding goods

With wedding season upon us, many brides-to-be will be finalising seating arrangements and writing their vows. Getting married can be one of life’s most memorable experiences, especially when you add the extra glamour of doing it abroad. But for everything to go as planned, you need to think about how you are going to send your dress, clothes and cake to your destination, or get those precious keepsakes back home again afterwards. At Rajapack, we know a thing or two about packaging, so follow our advice and your cake, flowers and dresses will arrive at the venue in perfect condition.

 How to pack wedding goods for a flight

Flying to your wedding destinationTransporting wedding goods to and from your destination can be tricky if you’re planning on saying “I do” with the sand between your toes. Despite any verbal or written agreement you might get from an airline prior to travel, there is no guarantee that they will accept anything in a garment bag, as it will exceed maximum carry-on dimensions.

To avoid check-in troubles, here’s what to do:

  1. Ensure you have a suitable carry-on suitcase, ideally with a hard-shell case.
  2. Use the right packaging materials: use large sheets of white tissue paper to separate layers in the dress and to fold any suits. Our tissue paper is made from 100% pure wood pulp, is unglazed and acid-free to guarantee no damage to delicate fabrics.
  3. Wrap the whole garment in high quality bubble wrap. We use air-retention technology in our bubble wrap to ensure maximum protection.

Top Tip: If you struggle to fit your dress into your suitcase, take it to a local wedding dress company who will be used to packing dresses. And if you can’t bring a steamer with you for your arrival, hang your dress up in the bathroom and blast the shower to steam up the room – this will naturally remove creases from the dress.

Sarah Cogan from Set Ready Garment Bags advises “After the dress has been packed in either a wedding bag or in another garment bag, it would be wise to place a protective layer of clothes on either side of the bag. If it needs to be folded in half to fit into a suitcase, an added layer of clothes within the fold will keep the dress from getting a major crease line.”

 How to send glass, china or crystal

Sending fragile good abroad

If you have friends or family joining you for your wedding abroad it’s important to package their gifts safely and securely, especially when sending breakable and expensive wedding gifts in the post. With the right packaging products, your gifts will be able to withstand even the most heavy-handed of postmen.

To avoid breakages, take a look at these handy tips:

  1. Wrap it up securely. Use our extra-cushioned bubble wrap and remember to secure it in place using masking tape. If you’re sending more than one item, it’s fine to use the same box, but wrap them up separately to avoid them knocking together.
  2. The box you use is really important, especially if you’re sending something big or heavy. Luckily, our toughest boxes can handle up to 500kg and are built to resist any kind of knocks or abrasions, thanks to the triple wall cardboard.
  3. Place your gift in the centre of the box and pack loose fill or rolled up kraft paper into any spaces to prevent it from moving around in transit.
  4. Seal up the box for extra security and add ‘Fragile’ tape around the parcel.

 How to deliver a wedding cake Sending your wedding cake abroad

The delicate cake is a big part of your wedding and it’s important to make sure that it stays in perfect condition. A squashed or collapsed cake can quickly spell disaster for unhappy brides. Wedding officiant Michael Motylinski of Blue Sky Ceremony, shares his story:

“I was delivering a three-tier cake, which I left in my car. 25 minutes later, when I got the cake from my car I barely made it five feet when the entire cake slid off the cake stand. The air-conditioning in my car had been blowing warm air and the cake and icing had melted.”

If you want to avoid the problems that Michael faced, follow these guidelines:

  1. Carefully consider the temperature to expect on your wedding day. Certain icings last longer at higher temperatures, so plan your cake around this.
  2. Before transporting a wedding cake, make sure it is set on a sturdy fibreboard or plywood base about ½ inch thick. Your cake shop should provide this or you can get your own from online suppliers.
  3. Remove any candles, toppers or decorations and if you have a tiered cake on pillars, it should be unassembled and each tier moved separately.
  4. A white box is generally used for a wedding cake, but standard cake boxes can prove flimsy, so opt for one of our double wall white boxes which come in a variety of sizes, for extra protection with a beautiful finish.

Top Tip: If you’re hiring a courier to deliver your cake, your secret weapon is the ingenious Tiltwatch packaging label. You simply stick a Tiltwatch label to the inside of your package and when it arrives, if the label has turned red, you will know that the parcel has been tilted.

With your wedding details planned, the extra spend on packaging and labels may seem unnecessary, but as Liz Coopersmith of Silver Charm Events says: “Many times, it’s worth it. It is better to have and not need, than it is to need and not have.” Carefully consider the intricate details of safe delivery and you can enjoy peace of mind on the day.

Be sure that your wedding goods will arrive safely so all you need to do is get to the altar! 

Answering your Questions from the Edelivery Expo 2015

On the 25th and 26th of March, we were on location at the eDelivery Expo in Birmingham, showcasing our services and products, as well as answering questions from new and existing customers.

Business owners and other exhibition attendees wanted to know what we do that makes our service so expert and specialised, as well as how we can create packaging solutions for different sizes and types of businesses.

Rajapack at eDelivery Expo 2015

We’ve compiled a selection of our answers to our most frequently asked questions from the eDelivery Expo 2015:

Where do Rajapack sit in the packaging market?

As part of the Raja Group we are the no. 1 Packaging Supplier across Europe. We pride ourselves on delivering a high level of service and a quality product to ensure our customers come back to us time and time again.

What makes Rajapack unique vs our competitors?

  • We have the largest range of packaging items in stock and available for next day delivery
  • Next day delivery is available on orders placed before 4.30pm
  • We offer specific packaging advice and support across our entire range from our UK-based sales team.
  • We guarantee consistent product quality across the range, meaning customers can be 100% confident in their purchases every time they order.
  • Long term contracts are available for customers ordering large volumes of products, protecting them from ever changing fluctuations in raw material prices.
  • We run a user friendly website that includes intelligent tools such as Box Selector and Rajaprint to help customers make the right decision.
  • Dedicated account managers make packaging purchases easy and efficient for large volume customers.

What packaging solutions do Rajapack offer for specific requirements?

At Rajapack we understand that our customers have specific needs that may require more bespoke solutions. Despite having 3,500 products in our offering, we realise some customers want us to source products that are not currently in our range or they want their packaging to be personalised with their logo. Our team of packaging specialists work tirelessly to offer a range of bespoke solutions, such as our custom-packaging tape system, Rajaprint, and go the extra mile to meet the demands of our customer base.

What ways can Rajapack offer to increase customers brand recognition?

We have a range of products that can be customised with our customer’s branding and logo to allow their products to stand out from the crowd. An example of this is Rajaprint, one of the more recent additions to the Rajapack website.

What machines do Rajapack offer?

When it comes to protection packaging, we have a range of machines that suit almost all of our customer’s needs. We have paper, air and foam packaging machines. These machines are designed to save you time and money over traditional protective packaging options.

Can Rajapack visit the customer’s site to do a packaging audit?

Our packaging specialists show off their expertise best, when they talk directly over the phone or visit their customers in person. By finding out the specific packaging needs of their customers, our team can work closely with you to audit your requirements and find the right solution for your business.

What bespoke products can Rajapack source?

We offer a range of bespoke packaging products that can be sourced specifically for your company. We can customise cardboard and postal boxes, packaging tape, labels, and a range of bags such as gift, plastic and canvas.

These questions reinforce the trends that we are seeing in the packaging market this year, with personalisation and unique branding being at the forefront of our customer’s requirements. Many customers are looking to create tailored and personalised packaging solutions for their products, allowing them to be easily recognised and remembered.

For highlights of the eDelivery Expo 2015, head to www.edeliveryexpo.com.

Google’s Secret Drone Delivery

Aside from beating Red Bull’s sky dive, Google has also been busy with another innovative competition. Rajapack investigates the technological giant’s new drone system.

Back in January, we asked robotics & technological experts whether they thought that automatic drones were the future of packaging delivery. At this point in time, Amazon’s automatic parcel drone, the Amazon Prime Air, was the main talking point. It has since been revealed that Google had already staked a claim in the drone delivery space, working in secret for two years on their own delivery system, Project Wing.

YouTube Clip

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRTNvWcx9Oo

Conceptually, Project Wing seems similar to Amazon’s propeller drone, but on closer inspection it’s the vision behind each concept which sets them apart. Amazon is geared towards customer delivery and has been consistently dedicated to this purpose.  Astro Teller, head of Google X, the division of the company that works on the search giant’s most ambitious projects, told the BBC that it could have major implications for humanitarian emergencies “even just a few of these [drones] being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation.” Such a statement suggests that Google isn’t just considering a commercial product.

How has it progressed?

Much of Project Wing’s testing has been carried out in Australia, where laws around the use of drones are much more relaxed. The vehicle’s performance seems promising. It has already made many successful deliveries to local people, with shipments such as radios, candy bars and dog treats.

With user experience always in mind, Google has focussed on the physical recovery of packages to make the process as smooth as any conventional human delivery service. The risk of customers being harmed by drones has been reduced by using a string delivery mechanism. Packages can be lowered on a line, much like that of a fishing rod, directly to the customer. Meanwhile, the drone hovers above at a safe distance.

Safety in the design of these drones will be instrumental in not only granting them access to US airspace, but also in reducing the need for human involvement and control. Drone-based delivery systems are unlikely to be completely devoid of human control however, as Google plans to continue using human interaction to improve automated software. Such interaction is well-advised, especially in instances of physical errors such as misplaced or trapped packages.

When will it be in action?

It will be a few years before such a drone is ready for commercial use. Both Google and Amazon still face a lengthy challenge of negotiating strict regulations around drone flights, which are concerned with safety and privacy.

Speaking to The Atlantic, Astro Teller says that “it’s going to take conversations with the public and with regulators…I’m cautiously optimistic that everyone wants the same thing.”

How long these conversations will last is uncertain. Before these drones are established in large numbers we will have to be patient in waiting for any friction or resistance against them to be significantly reduced. You can read about any future developments here on the Rajapack blog.

Uber Taxi Set to Shop

Does Amazon have a new business to compete with? With the popular taxi hailing app, Uber branching out, Rajapack takes a look at its new delivery service.

If you hadn’t already heard, Uber is an app-based taxi service originating in San Francisco. The app connects the driver to the passenger, organising taxi hire at the lowest possible cost. It has proved particularly successful amongst Londoners.

 Introducing Uber Essentials

Currently being trialled in Washington DC, the Uber Essentials service offers an inventory list of around one hundred items ranging from sweets to ping pong balls that users can order to their door. The full shopping list can be found on Uber’s official Corner Store. Although it’s a fairly limited stock list right now, a form on Uber’s site allows you to request other products that are missing from the list.

New York Taxi Photo

 New York Taxi by Craig Cloutier

How does it work?

Though it’s just in the planning and trial stages right now, the service is simple to use:

  • ‘Toggle’ your Corner Store option (which will be available Mon-Fri 9am-9pm).
  • Set your delivery location and confirm your address.
  • Meet your driver and place your order.
  • No cash needed. You will only be charged directly to your Uber account.

UberEssentials Picture

What does this mean for the packaging industry?

This is changing delivery and packaging by the day, with companies competing with each other more than ever before due to the growth of ecommerce. Market leaders are catering to the demands for longer opening hours, faster communication and bespoke services, all delivered fast!

For now, the battle between Uber and its competitors is one to watch. eBay offers a same day delivery service that could potentially disrupt Uber’s attempts, for example.  Though Amazon packages its own items itself, both Uber and eBay could be looking to external packaging options and innovations.

Power Sellers – significant sellers on eBay – may also take advantage of Uber’s new service by making sure they’re prepared with shipping materials like envelopes and other mailing items. Access to constant packaging stock would not only improve the seller’s business efficiency, but also the customer’s overall experience.

What’s next?

Not only is Uber offering sweets and games, they have also partnered with Vaccine Finder offering UberHEALTH on a one-day trial in America. Through Uber Health, a registered nurse will come and give taxi users a flu jab for free. By partnering with different companies, Uber has managed to increase its reach whilst dominating ideas for personal delivery service, far beyond just catching a lift.

Although in its early days, Uber is showing a clear head start in its goal of supplying and serving customers in a personal and immediate way. If the initial trial is a success, then waiting up to a week for deliveries will surely become a thing of the past.

Royal Mail small parcel pricing changes: what you need to know

PostboxRoyal Mail recently updated its parcel pricing structure, and with Christmas rapidly approaching it is very important that you know about the changes that have been made.

On October 28th 2013 Royal Mail increased its small parcel size, meaning that many goods can now be sent as a small parcel.

There are now two small parcel categories – a new deeper small parcel format, and the existing wider small parcel format.

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