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The best postal boxes to use for delivery

The best postal boxes to use for delivery

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

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

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

 The best postal boxes to use for delivery

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

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

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

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

Brown book boxes with adhesive strips and red tear strip

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

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

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

Postal packaging for returns

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

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

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

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

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

RAJAPRINT - RAJA Packaging bustom and bespoke boxes

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

What to use long cardboard boxes for

Long cardboard boxes are ideal for rolled goods

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

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

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

Benefits of flat boxes for postage

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

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

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

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

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

Reasons to use foam lined postal boxes

Foam lined postal boxes are used for many reasons

Foam lined postal boxes are used for many reasons

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

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

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

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

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

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

For additional advice on the best postal boxes, our Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

 

 

 

Spotlight on: 3M Scotch Tape

When was sellotape invented and what year did Richard Drew invent scotch tape? In 1930 the young engineer Richard Drew invented the first ever Scotch Cellulose Tape which offered an attractive, moisture-proof way for grocers and bakers to securely seal their packages. Sellotape though is a British brand, the non-brand version is otherwise known as cellotape.

Over the next 80 years Scotch became a leading brand for tape and adhesives.  From introducing the first heavy-duty countertop tape dispenser in 1932, to the launch of invisible write-on Magic™ Tape in 1961, through to the release of the hand-held Pop-Up Tape Dispenser in 1997, their focus has always been on resourcefulness and ingenuity.  Today Scotch 3M Tape offer more than 400 different types of tape for packaging, crafting and sealing.

After selecting the right box for your items, using the correct packaging tape to seal it is paramount to ensure it arrives safely.  At RAJA we’re dedicated to offering our customers the best choice of high quality packaging supplies which is why we’ve stocked Scotch 3M Tapes for our customers for many years.

In this post we’ll be focusing on the full range of Scotch 3M Tapes that we offer, giving you an overview of each tape and what it’s best used for so you can ensure you are using the right packaging tape for your parcels.

3M™ adhesive tapes - 3M Scotch Tape

Our range of 3M Scotch Tapes

At RAJA we stock 11 different types of 3M Scotch tape that are all suited for use in packaging RAJA and shipping, each with their own unique properties for a wide range of packaging applications.

Some may ask, can you use Scotch tape on packages? Well yes, you can use Scotch tape on your packages –  all Scotch 3M Tapes feature a number at the end, a simple and easy way to ensure you’re getting the exact tape you need. Tape thickness is measured in microns, the higher the number, the thicker the tape.  We stock a range of suitable dispensers for most of the range, making it easier, faster and safer to apply tape to surfaces.

The tapes that we stock are:

  • Polypropylene Tape 371
  • Industrial Polypropylene Tape 3759
  • Vinyl Packaging Tape
  • Heavy Duty Vinyl Tape
  • Cross Weave Filament Tape 8959
  • Low Noise Polypropylene Tape 309
  • Double Sided Vinyl Tape
  • Adhesive Transfer Tape
  • Machine Tape 371
  • Masking tape 101E and 301E (not advised for packaging parcels)

Types of Tape: Polypropylene Tape 371

One of our most popular tape types of tape from Scotch 3M is the Polypropylene cellophane tape, which offers excellent value for money as a general-purpose packing tape which is ideal for light and medium parcels.

At 28-microns in thickness, it features a good level of tensile and tear strength combined with strong shock resistance.  It’s best used for parcels of up to 20Kg in weight and is light and easy to apply, instantly sticking to all paper and board.

It’s available in a range of colours to best suit your packages; clear, buff (brown), or white and is eco-friendly – it doesn’t use any solvents in its adhesive, unlike many other tapes available.

Polypropylene Tape 371

This tape is perfect as a great all-rounder in the warehouse and as with all packaging tape, is easier, faster and safer to apply from a pistol grip dispenser.

Industrial Polypropylene 3759

If you need a general-purpose packaging tape that’s slightly more robust, then Industrial Polypropylene Tape at 35 microns is ideal.   Offering a stronger hold and greater thickness than 371, it’s recommended for parcels up to 40Kg in weight and is available in a choice of clear of buff. It will give your parcels a strong long-term hold with resistance to splitting if they are handled roughly or subject to the shock from impact.

Industrial Polypropylene 3759

Vinyl Packaging Tape

Vinyl tape is particularly suitable if you need a tape with a long shelf life as it resists turning brittle with age.  It’s got great resistance to moisture, chemicals and works well in all temperatures including deep freeze conditions.  It’s perfectly suited if your parcels are going to be subject to a varied environment or stored for long periods of time.

At 35 microns it provides a good level of strength for medium box sealing tasks, can be teared by hand, is low noise and made from a PVC backing combined with a solvent-based natural rubber adhesive.

Vinyl Packaging Tape

Heavy Duty Vinyl Packaging Tape 60

For heavy duty applications that need an extra strength Scotch 3M Heavy Duty Vinyl Tape will give you a strong, long lasting bond.  Designed for the toughest applications, this 60 micron tape is one of the thickest and strongest that we offer.  It’s ideal for at sealing very heavy duty cartons, boxes, pallets and packages, sticking with an ultra-strong solvent-based natural rubber adhesive.

This tape is also ultra-resistant to chemicals, moisture, temperature and humidity changes including deep freeze conditions, making it one of the most resilient and hardworking tapes that you can buy.

Despite its resistance it’s easy to work with and even tearable by hand – though as with all packaging tapes we recommend using it with a pistol grip dispenser for a fast, safe and efficient application.

Heavy Duty Vinyl Packaging Tape 60

Cross Weave Filament Tape 8959

When you need an extremely tough, industrial quality hold, 3M Scotch Cross Weave Filament Tape is the tape for the task.  At an impressive 145 microns, cross weave possesses an extremely high tensile strength due to its reinforcement with glass fibre filaments in two directions.  It’s where it gets its ‘cross weave’ name.

Featuring a powerful adhesive, it will instantly stick to all paper and board surfaces providing a long lasting, secure hold on your parcels and packages.

It’s perfect for reinforcing cartons and containers that need extra support, giving additional tear and burst resistance to packages.  It can also be used for larger shipments, strapping up heavy goods or securing export consignments

As with most tapes a pistol grip tape dispenser makes application easy. It can simply be pulled over the surface to tape up any seal or join easily, quickly cutting with its sharp cutting blade and built in brake for automatic control.

Cross Weave Filament Tape 8959

Low Noise Polypropylene Tape 309

Where noise is a problem in your packaging operation or if you’re working in a small, confined space Low Noise Tape can be an excellent replacement for general packaging tape to make your working environment more comfortable for staff or customers.

Low noise tape is exactly that – it’s been engineered to make much less noise when being pulled from the roll, making it more comfortable to work with in small or busy spaces.

At 28 microns in thickness it’s suitable for light and medium applications, with good split and tear resistance and the same high quality sticking application you would expect from Scotch 3M Tapes for paper, board, and fibreboard surfaces.

Finally, this tape is well suited to long-term storage in cold and damp environments, in a temperature range of 4-26 degrees centigrade. It won’t spoil or degrade meaning you can always ensure you’re well stocked even if your warehouse suffers from high humidity or a large range of temperatures.

Low Noise Polypropylene Tape 309

Double Sided Tape

If you need to stick materials other than paper or card, such as glass, metal, wood, fabric or plastic, Double Sided Tape is perfect for the job, giving a clean stick with no mess.

This white PVC double sided tape offers a strong a secure bond on both sides, protected by a glossy paper backing that simply peels off to use.  The adhesive is a high tack acrylic which has strong a resistance to high temperatures and UV light.

Suitable for sticking a wide range of materials it excels for use in retail, for things such as point-of-sale displays, indoor and outdoor signs, fixing plastic extrusions, badges or nameplates.  This versatile tape comes in two widths, a thinner 25mm and a wider 50mm for larger applications.

Double Sided Tape

Transfer Tape

When you need to apply glue and stick directly to surfaces but don’t want to use double sided tape then Transfer Tape is what you need.  This is ‘glue on a roll’ and is perfect for sticking a whole range of materials, from paper to plastics, textiles to leather, even wood or glass.

It’s a versatile tape that can be used on everything from framing pictures, boards and posters to small product assembly or graphics and art projects.  It’s designed for almost any art application where you need two surfaces to firmly bond but where double sided tape isn’t suitable.

Fast to dry, as it’s a tape it means you can get your glue perfectly lined up for an accurate stick and is manufactured with a paper backing and a strong and permanent acrylic adhesive.

For simple, quick and clean application Scotch 3M offer a lightweight but strong pistol grip tape dispenser which applies the tape in one simple motion and removes the paper liner at the same time.  It also features a transparent body, so it’s easy to see how much tape you’ve got left.

Transfer Tape

Machine Tape

If you’re using carton sealing machines to close and seal your packages (such as 3M-Matic™ Case Sealers) then you’ll need a tape to go with them that’s strong and quick to grip. Scotch 3M Machine Tape is designed specifically for these machines to seal packages instantly and effectively.  Flexible and split resistant, it’s made from bi-axially orientated polypropylene film that retains its strength even when stretched.

It’s suitable for all carton sealing machines and at 28 microns in thickness it can securely seal packages up to 20Kg in weight, with a tensile strength of over 45N (on steel, this is reduced to 40N).  It comes in a clear finish for white cardboard boxes or coloured cartons, and is supplied on large rolls 990mm in size.   For a standard A4 carton, one roll should be enough to seal in excess of 1,500 boxes.

Machine Tape

Masking Tape

The final tape that we offer is not a packaging tape but is perfect for creative projects or DIY work.  101E and 301E general masking tape is easily tearable by hand and sticks firmly to most metal and plastic surfaces for masking out areas for spray painting or precision decorating.

It’s write on surface also means it’s suitable for bundling, sealing or labelling, and it can easily be removed after use without leaving any residue, markings or damaging to surfaces.  Made from a soft crepe paper with a rubber adhesive it’s also resistant to water or solvents. For more choice, go to our masking tape range.

Masking Tape

If you’re not sure what packaging tape you need, or are looking for advice on selecting and purchasing tape, dispensers or other sealing supplies for your business, then please get in touch with our Packaging Experts.  Call us free on 0800 542 44 28 or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.

Why use bubble wrap rolls when shipping items?

Bubble wrap: fun to pop, but essential for the packaging and shipping of items from tiny pieces of jewellery in bubble bags right up to wrapping up furniture, pictures and even industrial parts.

Bubble wrap rolls

Bubble wrap is an ideal lightweight way to protect goods in transit, shipping and storage. Being on a roll, can be cut to size and used in any dimensions to wrap pretty much any shape or sized item. It can also be used to fill in the voids in boxes, to protect electronics from static and moisture and can be used to line envelopes.

In short there is pretty much no packaging operation that bubble wrap can’t be used in. Here we find out why bubble wrap is so vital and how to choose the best bubble wrap solution for your business.

Why use bubble wrap rolls when shipping items?

Bubble wrap is one of the easiest ways to protect delicate items when storing or shipping them – sticking it on a roll makes it simple. You can just pull and tear off the exact amount you need.

Bubble wrap is one of the most effective forms of protective packaging – not just because it is fun to pop, but because it offers an unprecedented degree of protection, being both shock absorbing and abrasion resistant. It is also lightweight and extremely flexible.

It not only offers great protection, but also flexibility – both physically and in how adaptable it is. It can be wrapped around items, regardless of their size and to some extent their shape. If you get it on rolls then you can cut and tear it to size to fit around all manner of items as you need it.

It is also lightweight and so can be used to give maximum protection, without adding unduly to shipping costs.

That’s why a Bubble wrap roll is a very popular highly-effective kind of packaging for ecommerce. By simply tearing off the amount you need means that you can use just the right amount, making it economical as well as protective.

Bubble wrap rolls offer bubble wrap in a range of sizes, both in terms of how big the roll is and how big the bubbles on that roll are. This can help make sure that you offer the most effective level of protection for the goods you are packing.

What size rolls of bubble wrap should I use?

When it comes to bubble wrap, size is important – both the size of the bubbles and the size of the rolls. Smaller bubbles are ideal for protecting smaller, more delicate items, while larger bubbles are there for scaling up to protecting larger goods, even industrial parts.

Choose the right bubble type

Choosing the right bubble typerap

Choosing the right sized rolls of bubble wrap is important as it has to match the dimensions of the things you are packing. Large, flat picture frames, for example, will need rolls that are wider than the picture frame to give maximum protection for the minimum amount of wrap.

Large bubble wrap and even bubble wrap blankets, featuring much larger bubbles, are ideal for protecting large items such as furniture or for interleaving between items to offer impact protection.

Large bubble wrap rolls come in widths of up to 1500 mm, allowing for the wrapping and protection of large objects.

Bubble wrap packaging

Smaller bubble wrap can be used to mould around every contour of the items being shipped and, for sensitive electronics, comes with antistatic properties to protect not only from bumps and bangs, but also from damage caused by static.

Small bubble wrap comes on rolls that range from 500mm wide through 750mm and up to 1000mm, allowing for excellent protection and tight packaging of items from the very small right up to things that are quite sizeable, like pictures, computers and more.

Additionally, for the eco-conscious age, small bubble wrap made from at least 15% recycled material is also available, offering the usual degree of protection, as well as helping meet environmental impact demands.

Soft bubble wrap blankets offer an alternative way to wrap. These Jiffy FURNI-soft® bubble wrap blanket that combines bubble wrap with a soft non-abrasive woven polypropylene layer that protects furniture and delicate surfaces from scratches and marks.

Jiffy FURNI-soft® bubble wrap blanket

This furniture wrap bubble blanket is a modern alternative to woollen blankets for antique dealers or furniture retailers looking for durable protection whilst shipping or storing. The bubble blanket has also been designed to absorb excess moisture to protect delicate or high value articles and can be reused.

If you are looking to save space in the warehouse – and need to store a large quantity of bubble wrap – then space saving wrap rolls are also available. These 200m long rolls have interlocking bubbles so that, when rolled up, the bubble warp roll takes up much less space, as shown above.

These offer all the usual benefits of bubble wrap, but also can be stored more easily.

 Other types of protective packaging

Bubble wrap rolls and sheets is just one of the many kinds of protective packaging available for shipping, storage and transport.

Bubble wrap has also found its way into lining bubble envelopes that offer an ideal solution for packaging and posting items, and are ideal for CDs, DVDs, brochures, clothing, jewellery or books and are available in a range of sizes. Easy closure with a self-adhesive peel and seal strip.

Bubble envelopes and bubble bags – even antistatic ones – meanwhile are ideal for the packaging of small goods. These come with self-adhesive strips and are ideal for protecting small electrical items and other fragile items that need to be posted – a boon in the ecommerce era.

Bubble bags are lightweight flap closed pouches made of bubble wrap that offer supreme protection, their small air-filled bubbles provide excellent protection against knocks and bumps to your products while in storage or transit.

Bubble wrap bags have a smooth inside finish which ensures products can slide in and out easily without scratching.


Bubble wrap vs foam packaging

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Foam wrap, made from up to 35% recycled pre-consumer resin, is a light, soft way to package and store goods, especially those that run the risk of being scratched.

The wrap, which comes in rolls to be cut to length or sheets to save time, offers a great way to protect goods that are to be then put into other packaging solutions, such as boxes, preventing bumps and scrapes and protecting from surface damage.

Want to know more about our wide range of bubble wrap rolls?

For additional advice on the best bubble wrap rolls and packaging solutions, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk

What postal tubes are best for mailing?

Receiving an unexpected parcel or your online shopping has allowed us to have some access to the outside world, as we stay safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Making sure that not only what we use to send in the post to our friends and family, or what is shipped to customers – is fit for purpose – but the item remains intact.

Shipping parcels

Here we find out just what postal tubes are and what to use them for.

Postal tubes are great for packing, storing and shipping everything from posters to oversized documents to even engineering parts and anything that is long and thin. They come in a vast variety of shapes and sizes, including triangular ones that can stack.

They offer a safe and secure way to contain things, keeping dust, dirt and moisture out. They even come in clear plastic to show off your items.

What postal tubes are best for mailing?

Not everything fits in nice oblong postal boxes. Documents, maps, posters and even some more three dimensional objects – long thin ones – all need their own neat way of being stored, transported or shipped: and for these items there are postal tubes.

As anyone who has tried to bend the tube inside a roll of tinfoil will know, anything with a circular cross section offers a really strong structure, both laterally and length ways. No wonder that everyone from the Ancient Egyptians on wards used columns and tubular structures for their building supports.

Egyptian columns show the strength in the roundness of tubes

Egyptian columns show the strength in the roundness of tubes (Image: Needpix)

For this reason, postage tubes offer a nice, simple and above all strong way to store and mail a range of delicate items, being made from thick card and with robust and moisture resistant plastic end-caps that not only keep dirty and other things out, but also aid structural integrity.

What can I ship in poster tubes?

The strength and protection that these tubes offer makes them ideal for the storage and shipping of all sorts of things. Their primary use, however, is as poster tubes, which see posters, large format documents or maps tightly wrapped and slotted inside. With the end caps fitted the items are protected from dirt, dust and moisture, as well as from getting torn, bent, folded and all the other things that can happen to posters and other flat paper items.

However, posting tubes aren’t limited to just handling posters. Anything that is also long and narrow, that can withstand being rolled and that fits into the wide range of sizes of tubes available can be posted, shipped or stored in a tube.

Brown cardboard postal tubes

Poster tubes come in a range of size, accounting for both length and different diameters to accommodate a wide variety of posters, documents and more. They also come in a range of thicknesses, from lightweight ones through to tubes made from 3.5mm thick heavy-duty card, which are super sturdy and tough.

It is important to remember when choosing the right tube length that you also allow space for the end-cap, which can take up several centimetres of the tubes length.

Are cardboard tubes safe?

Cardboard tubes are ideal for storage and transport of delicate items such as oversized documents, posters, maps and more. They are also very safe.

With plastic ends affixed, these tubes are pretty tough when it comes to stacking and shelving, as well as when sent through the post of courier networks – even overseas.

Unlike most plastic end caps, tamper-evident ones are designed to fit flush to the end of the tube and can only be removed by breaking the perforated area around the top of the tube. Once broken, the cap is still intact enough to prevent damage to the contents and to keep them secure, but if someone has tried to open it in transit, it is clear from the damage at the top of the tube.

And to keep all everything super safe, you can even get spare end caps, so that you can keep reusing the tubes even if the ends caps get damaged or lost.

What are the best tubes for posters?

Of course, the main use of packaging tubes is as tubes for posters. Any ecommerce business that sells things like posters or maps or even rare or valuable documents needs to use a postal tube – not just for the post, but also to take things home in from a store.

The best tubes for posters are those that are long enough to accommodate the posters longest length (plus a bit to allow for the end caps) and of a suitable diameter so that means the poster or document being put in isn’t would too tightly, as this can lead to the kind of creasing you are seeking to avoid by using the tube in the process.

Clear plastic postal tubes

To make a real impact with your posters, there are also clear plastic tubes that show off what is inside. Made from lightweight polypropylene, these tubes screw together and are much more water-resistant. They are also great for being reused, so are ideal for storage – especially of special items such as maps.

Brown triangular postal boxes

Packaging tubes don’t have to be round. Triangular section postal tubes are made of thick card and offer an extra level of protection to things like posters and parts. They also have the added advantage that they can be stacked more easily and won’t roll all over the place.

Extra-large sizes of triangular tubes up to 1100mm in length make these long postal boxes ideal for industrial plans or blueprints, or for long or cylindrical parts. Quick to assemble, such postal boxes are constructed by folding along the pre-creased grooves and sealed with a tough self-adhesive strip, with no need for glue or tape.

What can you reuse postal tubes for?

Aside from being really perfect for the shipping and storage of blueprints, posters, documents and even engineering parts, postal tubes also have an excellent ‘second life’. Why not Get crafty and creative with postal tubes!

Want to know more about our wide range of postal and poster tubes?

For additional advice on the best poster and postage tubes, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

 

Types of edge and corner protectors

When it comes to transporting products we all want our goods to arrive in perfect condition. If palletised or stacked, packages can be particularly vulnerable as their square edges and corners are particularly exposed to bruising or crushing. But help is at hand: as part of the wide range of packaging materials available to retailers and shippers are a plethora of edge and corner protectors.

From foam corner protectors to sturdy cardboard edge protectors, there are a vast array of solutions to this problem, both in standard and non-standard size. Here we take a look at what is on offer and how best to use them.

Types of edge and corner protectors

There are a wide range of edge and corner protectors designed to suit the needs of the wide variety of packages stacked and wrapped, palletised and shrink wrapped. Let’s start at the corners, as these are particularly prone to bangs and bashes as boxes are stacked and moved around and loaded against each other for transit purposes.

Foam U profile edge protectorsCorner protectors can be made of either cardboard or foam. Corner foam can be either a simple ‘U’ shape corners protectors or, more elaborately, full corner protectors design to protect in three dimensions, each designed for very specific uses

U shaped foam corner protectors are designed to grip tables, shelving, wooden boards or furniture for added protection during transit or storage. They are strong and absorb small impacts, as well as being temperature resistant between -40 and +100ºC.

3D foam corners, meanwhile, are designed to provide protection and extra support to the corners of boxes and palletised goods. They are simple to pop on the corners and are non-abrasive.

Both these and the ‘U’ shaped foam corner protectors are made from closed cell polyethylene foam, CFC and HFC free. They are also 100% recyclable.

How do edge protectors work?

Edge protectors, meanwhile, have a very different role to play. They are similarly used to protect the edges of boxes and palletised boxes from bumps and bashes, but they can also beused to protect the boxes from the fixings used to hold boxes together and on the pallets themselves.

General purpose edge protectors protect and strengthen stacks of boxes

They are also used to add structure and strength to palletised boxes, especially under shrink and film wrap. Together with the fixings and the wrap, these cardboard or foam edge protectors add structure and stabilise loads, so that not only are the goods protected from knocks and bangs, but won’t collapse under their own weight or puncture the cardboard when being moved.

Also available are edge protectors that are used to help support strapping and fixings. These come in both cardboard and moulded plastic, with the plastic offering able to both protect the package from the force of the strap as well as holding the strap securely in place, preventing potentially dangerous movement of the packages.

White card protectors such as moisture resistant edge protectors, also have their specialist uses. While affording protection to stackable pallet loads and held with fixings, these moisture resistant, poly-coated white paper protectors are ideal for use where the pallets are to be stored in cold and/or damp locations for a period of time, such as in a cold store.

These moisture resistant edge protectors stabilise, protect and reinforce unsteady or variable pallet loads during transport and storage. Keeping their strength in humid conditions they can also be used to add reinforcements to cartons.

How do corner protectors work?

Where edge protectors protect from knocks, fixings and add structure, corner protectors are very specifically designed to protect the corners of items such as tables, worktops, shelves and other ‘flat’ goods that have pronounced and often sharp corners.

Table corner protectors can be either plastic or foam and simply slip over the edges of the corners and prevent bumps. Foam corners grip the surface of the table and protect both the table and those handling it from sharp edges.

One solution for tables, worktops and other furniture corner protection are expanding corner protectors, that can stretch from 20 to 40mm and so can handle non-standard sized items.

Similarly worktop corner protectors are vital to preventing these expensive and often bespoke pieces of wood, stone or metal from getting damaged during routine handling. With worktops costing many hundreds – sometimes thousands – of pounds, preventing them getting bashed or chipped; damage that could write off the whole piece.

Heavy duty pallet racking protectors - corner protectors can also be used for safety

As we have seen, there is also a need for safety corner protectors, where the corner protectors not only protect the goods, but also protect those handling the goods.

While heavy duty pallet racking protectors protect vulnerable pallet racking uprights and end-frames from damage from fork lift trucks, protect corners of buildings and doorways and can be put around machines, more simple foam and plastic protectors popped on the ends of shelves and other goods stop personnel hurting themselves when handling the goods.

Foam corner protectors vs cardboard corner protectors

So where do you use foam corner protectors and where do you use cardboard corner protectors? Foam corner protectors are ideal for use where edges aren’t straight, as they are flexible as well as strong. Their ‘spongey’ consistency also makes them ideal for adsorbing small impacts and are good a gripping the surfaces of things that are made from glass, such as pictures, mirrors and glass table tops.

Foam protectors can also be coloured, offering warnings or indications of the nature of the goods being protected – as well as making sure it is clear they have to be removed for use.

Cardboard edge protection, meanwhile, is used for protection but is often more useful for handling pressure points under fixings and strapping, as well as providing additional structure, strength and stability to packages. It too can be coloured or have warnings printed on it, but typically is used in its natural state.

Some other corner protectors

There are a number of other cardboard and foam protectors available for pallets, packages and non-standard shaped goods.

Cardboard pallet corners are ideal for added protection for the corners of square palletised goods in warehouses and during transit. Solid and shockproof these carton protectors are ready to use, just apply to the corners of your product.

L profile cardboard corner protectors ideal for individual boxes

L-shaped cardboard edges are ideal for protecting individual boxes, both from damage and from fixings. They are also ideal for non-standard sized and non-palletised items.

Standard extruded mesh sleeves ideal for really delicate items for the added protection

Often used in conjunction with other protective materials, extruded mesh sleeves are ideal for protecting very delicate objects before they are boxed up. They are strong, flexible, colourful and ideal for glassware.

Self-adhesive blocks prevent movement in boxes

Self-adhesive foam blocks are protective pads that stick to the inside of cartons and protect the contents from movement or damage. Supplied in sheets one surface has a permanent adhesive protected with a peel off backing. The foam pads are pre-scored; just snap them off the sheet.


Bubble vs foam packaging: Do you know the difference?

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Want to know more about our wide range of cardboard and foam edge and corner protectors?

For additional advice on cardboard and foam edge and corner protectors, mesh, blocks and all kinds of fixings, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

Large cardboard boxes vs small cardboard boxes: what are the benefits?

The benefits of getting the right sized box are clear: your goods will fit snuggly in, will be well protected and ready to be stored, transported, posted or archived. Here we take a look at what kinds of cardboard boxes are available in what sizes, how to choose the right ones for storage, postage or archiving and take a look at the benefits of large boxes and small boxes.

Small and big cardboard boxes

Large cardboard boxes vs small cardboard boxes: what are the benefits

The chief benefit large cardboard boxes have over small ones is that you can put many small cardboard boxes inside large boxes, shipping smaller items in bulk and giving the goods therein the protection of, essentially, two boxes.

However, large boxes and small boxes come in a wide variety of not only sizes but also formats and sizes, each designed to offer the perfect storage and/or transport solution based around the goods being shipped.

Naturally, for large and bulky items, you will need a large cardboard box – triple walled cardboard boxes. It’s great if, say, you have engine parts to dispatch.  Similarly, 700mm double-walled boxes are designed to stack on pallets – they are standard Euro sized – and are ideal for the storage or transportation of all those items in smaller boxes.

Small boxes on the other hand have a varied array of uses. These come in a variety of sizes and can have reasonably secure lids – making them ideal for sending items through the post, as well as for packaging, storage and, as we shall see, archiving.

How do you store any item safely in archive boxes?

Storing items safely in archive boxes is a vital part of any business. Even in the digital era, it is essential to keep hold of paperwork pertaining to everything from tax to HR to publications and more – and this specific form of storage requires a specific form of box: the archive box.

Archive boxes are designed to be sized to accommodate the standard kinds of paper used in modern offices and, with their sturdy construction and closable lids are ideal for keeping out moisture, damp, dirt and dust – as well as stopping sunlight damage fading what is written on the paper.

To safely store items in archive boxes, you need to choose a box that fits your needs – so for easy access archive box folders have a closable lid and a finger hole for easy access. They can take A4 pages up to around a ream and are ideal for storage on shelves.

For archiving these box folders – for when they are no longer containing current paperwork that you need ready access to, but which you still need to keep – there are a range of cardboard archive boxes that can hold up to five archive files at a weight of 20kg. These have a closable lid offering great protection and handles for easy storage and retrieval.

Also in the pantheon of archiving boxes are Bankers Box transfer files, which are ideal for accessing information and publications that are needed often. They can be easily labelled and shelved and have easy access for users. Bankers Box transfer files can also be archived, in special Bankers Box two-piece cardboard archive file boxes, which are also ideal for storing lever-arch files, ring binders and foolscap magazines. Remember always label your boxes so that you – and others – knows what is where.

For all other archiving demands – from lose papers, to files to magazine and more – there are Snapcase two-piece cardboard archive boxes, which are designed to allow for maximum storage and easy access. They come with handles and a strong base so are ideal for moving things around and the sturdy lid adds protection. And lids are really important, as we shall see shortly.

What are the best boxes for postage?

Thanks to the growing hunger for buying things online, the cardboard box is most popular, and is the most practical – you can buy specialist boxes for postage. The best boxes for postage have to offer a range of things: they have to offer strength and protection for the goods inside, they have to be durable enough to withstand handling and transit, they have to be tough enough not to come apart when being bumped and they have to provide ample space for labelling for addresses and postage franking.

What are the best boxes for storage

With this in mind, there is quite a choice to be made when looking for a box for postage for your items.

The basic postal box is made from ridged flute corrugated postal board, which offers strength and protection for the goods inside when in transit. They also have an easily closed, locking flap that is secure, as well as neat and smart looking. These boxes offer all that you could hope for in a postal box: strength, durability and a sealed lid.

With the growth of ecommerce, ever more complicated and unusual things are being mailed, so postage boxes also come not just in a range of sizes, but also in a range of formats. For starters there are flat ones, made of the same tough corrugated card, designed for anything flat – and can be a great alternative to mailing bags.

Find the right sized box

Book boxes, meanwhile, are specifically designed for the postage of books, complete with sealable flap and sides to protect the books in transit.

If you are looking to post delicate items such as mugs or electronic devices, glass ware or ceramics then you need to choose postal boxes that will offer added protection. This is where foam-lined postal boxes and deluxe crash-proof postal mug boxes come in to play.

Foam lined boxes have a strong cardboard outer layer, but inside is lined with non-abrasive polyurethane foam that will completely surround what is in the box. Giving it excellent protection from the rigours of postage.

Mug boxes, meanwhile, not only have a crash-lock base, but also an inner cardboard fitting that holds the mug in place throughout the postal process with no need for void fill.

If you need a large box for posting then you need to choose a triple walled, corrugated box which provides delicate items with the shockproof, robust protection they need in the post.

One of the downsides of ecommerce is that things sometimes need to be sent back – and quick pack returnable boxes with adhesive strips are ideal for this. They offer easy and fast assembly, simply push the opposite corners towards each other and the base flaps lock together automatically. These strong and secure crash-lock base boxes close with an adhesive strip so there is no need for tape or glue.

The boxes are easy for customers to open and re-seal; simply pull the tear strip to open then secure the box using the second adhesive strip and it is ready to be returned.

Sometimes a postage box needs to be, well, not a box. For flat items such as maps or charts, textiles or prints, or long or cylindrical objects, postage tubes offer a great postage solution – they are strong both laterally and longitudinally and come with a tough plastic end cap that protects the ends and adds strength to the whole tube.

The benefits of cardboard boxes with lids

While end caps are essential to the integral strength of a postal tube, cardboard boxes with lids also offer many benefits for those looking to post, transport and store items. Cardboard boxes with lid features are ideal for storage, postage and transit as the lid protects the items inside from impact, moisture, dust and dirt. It also stops things falling out.

Having a lid on your box also means that you can stack them on top of the other. The lid also provides an ideal canvas in which to write what the contents is or to put an address label or postage franking if it is for posting.


Looking for the best shipping boxes?

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Storing items in extra-large cardboard boxes

Extra large carboard boxes have to be innately strong to support themselves and to handle the kind of heavy loads that you want to store or transport in them. For this reason, extra large cardboard boxes are constructed from triple walled, corrugated card and can handle loads of up to 500 kg – the weight of a small cow.

It is best to pick large cardboard boxes that come in Euro or Chep/UK pallet sizes, as this makes them much easier to store and transport en masse. They are also strong enough to with stand the strapping needed to palletise such boxes, especially if you put strapping protectors on them.

These boxes are the expert’s choice when shipping large goods such as machine parts, domestic appliances, builder’s tools and construction products.

The best shipping boxes to use for certain items

Increasingly in the ecommerce era the packaging is as important as the goods contained therein. Not only does the box in which goods are shipped protect the items in transit, but also can offer part of the experience of receiving the item itself – especially if it is a gift for someone else.

So join us as we take a look at what kinds of shipping boxes and gift boxes there are for everything from everyday objects to special gifts such as books, mugs, pictures and more.

The best shipping boxes to use for certain items

Ecommerce has seen something of a resurgence in the fortunes of the cardboard box. Getting goods ordered online to where they need to go requires the best shipping boxes, which come in all shapes and sizes, to both protect the goods in transit and, increasingly, to offer a nice ‘unboxing’ experience for the recipient.

From book boxes designed to accommodate the latest in publishing, to mug boxes and picture boxes, packaging for shipping is now spoiled for choice. So how do you choose?

What is available runs from simple flat cardboard boxes for everything from magazines to more delicate items such as electronics right through to specialist boxes for things like computers or keyboards through to bespoke packages designed for much more specific purposes.

These boxes come in a range of sizes, but can also be used with packaging materials to further protect the goods and help them fit snuggly in the box.

But the humble cardboard box is more complex than you may imagine. While they come in standard sizes as seen, they also come in a variety of other forms to make packing – and unpacking– goods slightly easier for both the shipper and the customer.

Double wall, flat telescopic cardboard boxes

Telescopic boxes offer flexible ways to package

For example, there are telescopic boxes which feature a main body with a lid that slides over it. This allows for the packaging of items that are of non-standard sizes and shapes, as well as meaning that package and shippers need only minimal different types of boxes for a wide range of goods.

However, these are just the beginning: for specialist products, or to offer a good fit, there are many other boxes to choose from.

What are the different types and sizes of book boxes? 

Book boxes designed to get tomes delivered in mint condition

Amazon started in Jeff Bezos’ garage back in 1994 – at number 5, Bellevue, Washington on 5 July 1994 to be precise – selling books. And today, books remain a large part of what is send through the mail. To protect these valuable and beautiful things there is a growing range of bespoke book boxes that are specially designed to make sure your rom-coms, classics or reference works arrive in mint condition.

The different types of book boxes available are designed around basic book sizes – as well as accommodating CDs, DVDs and box sets – while offering some flexibility as to the thickness of the book or box set.

As well as this there are a range of ways that the boxes can be sealed shut.

Book boxes are cleverly designed one-piece cardboard contraptions that fold beautifully over the book to make it easy to package up and just as easy to undo when it arrives.

Thanks to its clever design, these boxes can adjust in height to accommodate a single book or multiple books, as well as single or multiple CDs or DVDs, boxsets and more.

Brown book boxes

Book boxes can be glued, taped or strapped together

Sealed closed with an adhesive strip, glue, tape or strapping, book boxes are secure and tough for postal or courier transportation, offering shock protection, especially on the corners. And no one wants a book with bent corners, do they?

Brown book boxes with adhesive strips and red tear strip

Self-adhesive tape on book boxes makes them easy to seal

Some book boxes come with their own adhesive tape built in, making it even easier to assemble them around the goods being shipped and stuck down.

What are the best shipping boxes for pictures?

Shipping pictures comes with its own set of challenges and picking the best box for your pictures depends on their size and shape.

Shipping boxes for pictures are another specialist box that again is designed to protect very fragile items. Flat and often self-sealing, these boxes are designed to protect pictures – which feature delicate glass, wooden frames and often delicate paper prints – on the move.


Wrap it up: How to package unusual items

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Similar in design to book boxes, shipping boxes for pictures are one-piece cardboard constructions that fold over the goods – again with some flexibility as to thickness of the picture frame – that offer excellent shock and scratch protection.

These packing boxes for framed pictures, too, can be self-sealing or can be sealed using tape or strapping to hold them closed until the recipient is ready to open them up.

What are the different types of cardboard gift boxes?

As said, increasingly the packaging in which things are delivered – especially gifts – is all part of the unboxing experience: not least if it is an actual gift ordered by one person and sent to another.

Cardboard gift boxes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, colours and styles to suit a wide range of gift giving.

Jewellery gift boxes

Cardboard jewellery boxes add a touch of class

One of the most obvious gifts that finds itself inside a cardboard gift box is jewellery. Cardboard jewellery boxes offer protection, but with tastefully coloured card and lined with linen and padded packing, these boxes are ideal for not only protecting the items in transit, but presenting them beautifully when they arrive where they are heading.

Luxury magnetic wine gift boxes

Wine is also a gift – and there is a box perfect for that

But not all gifts are jewellery shaped. Wine is also being sent as a gift, along with all manner of other things – and there is wide range of gift boxes to suit all these lovely things.

Pillow gift boxes

Pillow gift boxes for small delicate items

But how do you seal these elegant boxes closed? Tape and strapping may be secure, but could spoil the elegant effect you are going for. To solve this problem, many gift boxes now have magnetic seals built in.

Magnetic gift boxes

Gift boxes come with magnetic seals to avoid using tape and straps

These boxes have a flat magnet on their lid flap and a flat metal plate built into the face of the box, so that when the lid is closed it seals shut with enough force to keep it closed in transit, but not so tight that it can’t be popped open by the lucky recipient.

When is the best time to use a mug box?

Easifold, fast assembly mug postal boxes

While we all like to get jewels, wine or other lovely gifts, there is also a roaring trade in mugs and mug boxes have been specially created to make sure these fragile, ceramic items can be transported safely and securely.

The best time to use a mug box is when trying to ship such a mug. Increasingly, with the commoditisation of printing, people can have also sorts of fun things printed on mugs and this roaring trade has been boosted greatly by ecommerce.

But there is a choice to make when looking at which mug box to use for your product.

Deluxe crash-lock postal mug box

Deluxe crash-tested boxes for mug are also available

Like book boxes and shipping boxes for framed pictures, mug boxes are easy to fold around their prized content and have been specially designed and tested with a double thickness base, triple thickness sides to protect fragile handles and rims, and reinforced corners to defend against knocks in the post.

For extra protection there are other specially designed boxes that features a crash-lock base, as well as an inner cardboard fitting that holds the mug in place obviating the need for void filling packaging material.

 


Gifting etiquette: Exploring Brit’s gift-giving habits

>> Read the survey

 


Want to know more about our wide range of shipping boxes for specific items?

For additional advice on the best shipping boxes for specific items, our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

The difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

Shrink wrap and stretch wrap are both perfect packaging solutions – both are tear resistant, water-proof, dust-proof and help hold bundles of items together for storage, transport and retail. But what are the differences and how can each be used? Let’s find out.

The difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

The difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

Shrink wrap is a staple of the packaging and warehousing industry and, as we have seen in previous blogs, it can be used to cover everything from small goods to helicopters – but it isn’t the only way to cover goods to protect them in transit and storage. There is also stretch wrap. So what’s the difference and what can they be used for?

Both are used to package up separate products to keep them together for transport and storage. Both are made from the same thing – polythene, typically – and both are usually good at protecting the products.

Product Advice Guide - Stretch Film PalletisingThe key difference comes in how the wrapping is done and why. Stretch wrap sees the products wrapped tightly in the wrapping film until everything is secure. The stretch film is stretched to about 300% of its natural size in this process and, when in place, tries to shrink back to its original side – creating a firm hold on the goods.

The same applies with shrink wrap, only it is then heated to 100 to 150ºC and allowed to cool – where it then shrinks even further to form an even tighter fit round the items.

Why would you do this? It is all about what you want to do with the goods. Stretch wrap is generally more for transport, typically, found wrapping boxes and more to keep them together on pallets for transport. While shrink wrap is generally more often used for displaying your product, to contain products in the retail, food and pharmaceuticals businesses to protect goods for sale. You may have well already seen goods pilled high in supermarkets, and items wrapped in boxes on pallets.

What is shrink wrap film?

Shrink wrap film is made from a kind of plastic known as a polyolefin – the most common forms of which are Polythene and PVC. It is a strong, often transparent – although doesn’t have to be, as we shall see – and offers protection to heat, cold, moisture, dust and other contaminants.

When heat shrunk over goods and pallets, it provides a puncture proof and secure way to hold items together for storage and transport and is an ideal way to package things.Continuous shrink wrapContinuous shrink wrap rolls are ideal for wrapping outsized and irregular loads

For pallet loads, the ideal way to deploy the wrap is from a roll that offer a continuous sheet of shrink wrap material that can be wrapped around as many times as needed and round all sorts of irregularly shaped or tall pallet loads. It is also available in extra wide for really big loads.

Shrink wrap roll with perforationsShrink wrap roll with perforations

For more standardised loads, shrink pallet covers on a perforated roll can be torn off, slipped over the load and then heated and shrunk into place. For best results raise the pallet to a position where you have easy access to the underside – then pull the cover down underneath the corners of the pallet.

These are made from 120 micron low density polythene and come in range of sizes. To work out the cover height that you need: Load height + 1/2 width + 140 mm. For example, if your load is 1160 mm high (including the pallet) on a standard 800 x 1200 mm pallet, you need a cover with a minimum height of 1160 + 400 +140 = 1700 mm.

So how do you actually apply the shrink wrap? A shrink wrap machine can be used to both wrap and shrink smaller items. These are ideal for retail products as the clear wrap displays items professionally, and is highly secure and tamper-proof as the film takes the shape of the product.Shrink wrap machines

For larger loads, the equipment needed to do the wrapping involves specialist machines that can spin the pallet and wrap the goods and heating equipment to do the heat shrink.

Once wrapped, the packages need to be heated to shrink the wrap. This is done using heat guns. These come in a range of sizes and shapes to suit all budgets and work by burning butane to produces ambient heat. This shrinks the wrap but is gentle enough not to over heat the products therein.


Tip: Do you know how to use a heat gun?

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What is stretch wrap film?

To all intents and purposes, stretch wrap is the same as shrink wrap – only you don’t heat it to shrink it. When wrapped around pallets and products using a stretch wrap machine, the wrap is stretched to some 200 to 300% of its static length. Once applied it then tries to pull itself back into its original dimensions, tightly gripping the products.

There are several kinds of stretch film. Blown stretch film is tear and puncture resistant and is suitable for use in deep freeze storage and comes in six thicknesses and two widths – and can be black or transparent.

There is also cast stretch film, which is clear, tear resistant and will cling to itself and products for secure hold. By sticking only to itself, it prevent products on pallets from moving while in transit. This pallet wrap is very popular in the food industry.

Cast stretch film

Cast stretch wrap sticks to itself and is popular in the food industry

Cast stretch wrap is very versatile. For wrapping consignments weighing less than 500kg use standard 15 or 17 micron film. For consignments weighing up to 700 kg use the stronger 20 micron film. For additional strength and tough conditions use the 30 micron film and to conceal the contents of your pallet use the black cast stretch film.

So how do you put stretch wrap on? Well firstly, it depends on how many pallets or items need  wrapping! For more than 15 pallets a day, use a stretch wrap machine to speed up end of line wrapping. Otherwise stretch-film dispensers or mini stretch film rolls would be more suited.

Looking for more packaging information?

Our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrapping

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

Can I use a heat gun for shrink wrapping?

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

PVC shrink wrap

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

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

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

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIPACK 3000 heat shrink film gun and trolley kit

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

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

Want to know more about heat guns?

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

Posting parcels to your customers

Posting parcels to your customers

For shipping and deliveries within the UK or internationally, businesses can either use the Royal Mail or a courier to send their postal boxes, pallet loads or even items in small mailing bags – if they do not have their own dedicated fleet. For small businesses it is convenient to ‘pop it in the post’, or for larger businesses to arrange shipping and deliveries with couriers.

Unfortunately accidents can happen, if any damages occur during transit it’s likely that the retailer can be found accountable – despite it necessarily not being their fault. It might also mean retailers may have to incur the costs associated with the order.

As far as the customer is concerned, they placed an order from your business and they received a damaged product, regardless of it leaving your warehouse on time, and in tip top condition.

A happy online shopper is one that has received their delivery in the post, and of course, as expected. We are captivated by videos and pictures of unboxing or when a parcel is perfectly packed – who wouldn’t want to share their latest purchase.
Posting parcels to your customers - a happy online shopper

However, if a delivery is delayed or if the parcel is received in poor condition, this would probably result in a very unhappy shopper. And this customer is likely to share their disappointment on social media with a sad or angry Emoji, instead of a smiley cheery face.

In such a competitve market, customers are spoilt for choice and are not afraid to return their orders and look elsewhere.

Whether you have your own fleet of delivery vans, or not, here are some pointers to help you improve the efficiencies of your delivery and to help ensure a happy customer.

#1 Deliver directly to letterboxes

When the size, weight or value of goods permit, use envelopes and mailing bags or postal boxes that can fit through post boxes or letter boxes.  Online retailers can improve efficiency by using letter-box design available packaging suited to products, but also, to reduce costs. This also decreases the number of touchpoints that could go wrong before it safely reaches the customer’s hands.

Benefits to the customer:

  • No missed delivery and redelivery needing scheduled
  • No parcels left in unsecure places or left outside and subjected to adverse weather conditions affected by the weather
  • No misshaped or unpresentable parcels from oversized packaging

Benefits for the retailer:

  • No additional postal costs from using packaging too large for the size of the product
  • No unnecessary or additional void fill needed to protect the product
  • No admin time rescheduling deliveries and drivers redelivering parcels
  • No storage space needed to hold the redeliveries

Royal Mail letter, parcel and postal tubes sizes

Source: Royal Mail

The European standard EN 13724:2002 standardises the size of letter boxes across Europe, this ensures all post within the set dimensions can be successfully posted through customers’ doors. Unfortunately, the UK did not adopt this regulation1 meaning letter box dimensions do slightly vary. Despite this, to increase the deliverability a business must adhere to the strict postal size and weight restrictions letters and parcels from the Royal Mail and the UK standard delivery information from the Post Office, and also, make sure the efficiency and the quality of the packaging is the most suited.

#2 Efficient and quality packaging

You won’t have as much control over the journey and conditions of your deliveries if you use a delivery company. To help the success of your deliveries, some steps can be taken such as understanding how to use packaging labels and hazard labels, informing the carrier how the parcel should be handled or even making sure the parcels are sealed correctly by knowing how to use packaging tape. Even if your business has its own delivery vehicles – you can still benefit by making sure the most effective and appropriate packaging is used.

Efficient and quality packaging

  1. To reduce packaging costs: Insert your measurements into our box finder or bag finder, and the right sized cardboard box or bag will be displayed. Meaning, products will not shift in packaging that’s too big, no extra void fill needed to fill spaces, or damages from the loose-fitting packaging – which will also make the parcel look unpresentable.
  2. Innovative packaging materials: Simplify packing with multi-purpose and versatile packaging materials. Packaging with integrated protection, such as mailing bags with adhesive strips (no tape is required), foam postal boxes, with protective inner foam lining or book boxes, will completely wrap around securing the products.
  3. Custom-made and bespoke packaging: Designed to fit specific products so packaging dimensions can be maximised. Bespoke packaging also reduces the need for additional packaging, as with most bespoke packaging the protection is included into the design – preventing contact with the main outside packaging layer and the product itself.

For advice on your packaging operation, contact our Packaging Specialists on 0800 542 44 28, or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.

1 https://www.safe.co.uk/safezone/2011/09/the-european-standard-for-letter-boxes/