Tag Archives: shipping

Your guide to choosing the right Strapping

Strapping is an excellent solution for securing shipments during transport or for medium or long-term storage. There are 3 main uses of strapping; to fix to a pallet, to join one parcel to another, and to offer more strength.  It can be used to secure almost anything, from fragile products to bulky loads.

But with so many different types of strapping available, how can you make sure you’re using the right type?  This post will explain exactly how, offering advice and tips on selecting the right strapping for you.

What is strapping?

After a cardboard box has been sealed with tape, even if it is a sturdy cardboard box, strapping can be applied to secure it fully.  It wraps all the way around the parcel, and the join is bonded or welded together to provide a tight, strong seal that can’t easily be broken.

It can easily be applied no matter the package size, on everything from standard size cartons to large export boxes and pallets.  It’s particularly useful when fixing a couple of cartons together – it’s then considered as one parcel so reduces shipping costs.  It’s also ideal for bulky and heavy items, where something stronger than normal packaging tape is needed for a secure fit.

Strapping machines and tools

Strapping can be applied manually using strapping tools or with the use of a strapping machine for a fast and efficient process.  Top tip! If you use a strapping machine no additional tools or seals are required to fasten the strapping, the machine will automatically friction weld the strapping to the seal.

For manual strapping, equipment is required to create tension in the strapping and seal it securely.  For businesses shipping varied products ranging in shape and size, a tensioning tool combined with sealer tool and seal will complete the packing process, and the handy feature of using it vertically means you can reposition yourself for awkward loads.  Combination strapping tools are available which simplify the process combine both a tensioner and sealer into a single tool, to only be used horizontally it makes packing straightforward for securing same-size and shape products, seals are also required.

Hand strapping machines are ideal for a variety of packages; they’re highly versatile for different size and product variations, mobile and can be used vertically and horizontally.

For packaging lines that need to strap large volumes of packages then a strapping machine is highly recommended.  Semi-automatic strapping machines and automatic strapping machines are available, with the high performance automatic machine able to produce up to 65 straps per minute.  They greatly speed up the strapping process by automatically tensioning and sealing the strapping, reducing the time it takes to seal boxes.

How to choose the right strapping for your product

There are several types of strapping available and to get the best results you need to ensure you choose the correct type that offers the benefits needed for your packaging operation.

Here are just a few questions to ask yourself before starting to buy strapping are listed below – these should give you a good idea of the strength and properties of strapping that you’ll need to ensure they support your shipments:

  • What is the application and how do you intend using it?
  • What is the weight, and is it a static or dynamic load?
  • Will the strapped shipments have to withstand any particular weather conditions?
  • Will the strapping be done manually with tools or will it be done automatically with a machine?
  • How far is it going and will long will it be strapped for?

The different kinds of strapping available

We’ve summarised the different types of strapping below, so you can learn the properties and advantages of the different materials, listed in increasing order of resistance.  This should help you make the right decision when buying strapping – and if you’re still not sure, then please do give our team a call on 0800 542 44 28 and we’ll be happy to help.

Polypropylene Strapping

PP or polypropylene strapping is very light and versatile, making it ideal for sealing, reinforcing and securing lighter loads.  With elastic properties, it does not deform or corrode and resists bumps and scrapes making it ideal for use on pallets that will be stored for long periods of time or shipped long distances.

PP or polypropylene strapping

It offers a resistance of up to 250kg and its light, plastic properties make it easy to work with. It can be sealed with self-locking plastic buckles and security seals. Top tip! If you are using a manual, automatic or semi-automatic strapping machine, only polypropylene machine strapping can be used.

Extruded Polyester Strapping

PET or Extruded Polyester Strapping is the strongest type of plastic strapping available, making it ideal for fixing heavier loads and pallets.  Because it’s made from polyester it can be secured very tightly, with a small flex in the material that can be tightened when sealing.

Extruded Polyester Strapping

It has strong resistance to moisture and UV rays which make it ideal for long-term storage where high strength is required for long periods of time.  It offers a resistance of up to 340kg and can be used to replace steel strapping in many situations.   Made from a minimum of 80% recycled materials, it’s more eco-friendly than other strapping materials, and can be sealed using tensioners and sealers.

Extruded polyester strapping kit and dispensers

Steel Strapping

Among the strongest strapping available, steel strapping is tough and perfect for heavy, rigid loads with sharp or rough edges like iron or concrete that won’t compress.  The properties of steel strapping mean that it won’t flex like other materials can do – this is why it’s ideal for solid, bulky loads.  Top tip! Recommended that the person packing wear industrial gloves for protection.

Steel strapping

This super-resistant strapping is ideal for very heavy loads of up to 740kg can be sealed securely with or without seals. This industrial strapping can only be used with steel strapping tensioners, sealers and combination tools.

Corded Polyester Strapping

The most resistant of strapping materials, corded polyester strapping is ideal for fixing and sealing delicate or fragile products.  Its light, textile material means it’s easy to work with, it won’t rust, rot or mark surfaces, and is best used manually with tensioners and sealers.

 

Corded polyester strapping

It offers extreme resistance for loads of up to 950kg and is highly resistant to tearing making it ideal for heavy loads.  Also, by dividing it over the length, a knot can be made in the strapping to further increase the security of an item after it’s been sealed.

Corded polyester strapping kit and systerms

If you’d like more information about the strapping we have to offer, manual tools, machines, systems or advice on which strapping is right for your operation, simply get in touch with our team of packaging experts who are on hand to help.

Simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk

Spotlight on: 3M 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.

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 adhesive 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 Rajapack 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.

Our range of 3M Scotch Tapes

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

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)

Polypropylene Tape 371

One of our most popular tape from Scotch 3M is the Polypropylene 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Labelling Packages for Shipping

Using the correct packaging will ensure your parcels are well protected and secured during shipping, but there’s one other important item that you need to include so that it reaches the right destination – a clear and correct address label is essential for any shipment.

Whether you’re shipping parcels up and down the UK or overseas, having the right labels will mean that it’s handled correctly at all stages of its journey; minimising damage, passing through customs smoothly, and reaching its destination on time.

When it comes to labelling your parcels there are a multitude of options available from simple handling instructions, indicators, and hazard warnings to sealed document envelopes.  Below we’ll take you through the main types of packaging labels available and offer some tips on what you’ll need if you’re shipping abroad including how to apply labels to your parcels.

Handling, hazard and documents enclosed labels

Shipping Nationally & Internationally

Depending on your parcel’s final destination there are different types of forms that you’ll need to include to ensure it gets through customs smoothly.

If you’re sending within the UK…

Post as normal – include the destination name and address, and a commercial invoice with details of the order and the sender’s name and address.

If you’re sending within the EU…

It’s just like shipping in the UK as we’re still part of the single market.  There will be no customs charges and no special customs documents are needed.

If you’re sending to the rest of the world…

Then your parcel will pass through customs and you’ll need to include a completed customs form.  There might also be additional import charges to pay based on the information you include on the form.

There are two different forms depending on the value of the items you are sending:

  • Up to £270, you’ll need a Customs Declaration Form CN22 (signed & dated).
  • Over £270, you’ll need a Customs Declaration Form CN23 (fully completed).

You can find the forms you’ll need and more useful information on shipping internationally on the Royal Mail website.

Where Should Labels Be Placed?

Correctly labelled parcels and packages

If you’re including handling instructions on your parcel, such as ‘This way up’ or ‘Handle with care’, then placing these on several sides will ensure that they’re not missed and that it’s clear to everyone who handles your shipment. Finally, avoid placing labels over a seam or closure of your parcel, such as on the top along the sealing tape.   Always position labels on the largest surface of the package you are shipping.  For a small jiffy bag or envelope this will be on the front face of the package. If you’re shipping a box, then the largest side of the box, which is usually the front face.

The Types of Packaging Labels Available

Below, we’ve detailed an overview of the main packaging labels available for your shipment.  Combined with high quality packaging, the correct labelling will ensure your parcel reaches its intended destination in one piece and on time. 

Documents Enclosed Envelopes & Labels

Wherever your parcel is going you must ensure all paperwork is included at every stage of its journey.  A Documents enclosed envelope label will keep all those important details safe and dry during shipping, such as the address details and your customer’s invoice.

Documents Enclosed Envelope Labels

These envelope labels feature a full adhesive backing to stick firmly to parcels and are transparent so that the delivery address can clearly be seen on the front.  Once the paperwork is folded and tucked in, they seal tight so that everything inside is kept safe.  They should be included on every large parcel you ship to your customers, so always ensure you are well stocked with these envelopes.

At Rajapack, they are available in four different sizes from 115mm x 100mm right up to 315m x 225mm for larger parcels.  All feature a clear address window, so the paperwork is visible to everyone that handles your parcel on its journey.

Eco-friendly documents enclosed labels are also available for businesses that wish to minimise their impact on the environment.  Choose green documents enclosed labels which are made from 60% recycled materials and feature a green message.

For larger operations envelope dispensers are ideal if you’re sending a lot of parcels.  These heavy-duty dispensers use rolls of up to 330 labels and can be secured to a work surface for quick and easy dispensing.

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling instruction labels include clear instructions on a parcel such as ‘Fragile’, ‘This end up’ and ‘Do not bend’.  If your package needs these special instructions, then adding these labels will ensure everyone who encounters your parcel knows how to handle it correctly.Once you’ve included the correct paperwork with your parcel, you should consider adding handling labels to provide clear handling instructions to anyone who will be shipping your parcel.

Handling instruction labels come in 8 different messages:

  • Handle with care
  • Open with care
  • This end up
  • ‘This way up’ arrow image
  • Do not crush
  • Do not bend
  • Documents Enclosed
  • Caution Heavy

Fragile labels are also available for parcels that are delicate and need to be handled very carefully, such as glass or ceramics. 

Hazard Labels

If your parcel includes anything that could be considered hazardous such as flammable gas, flammable liquid, corrosive or toxic chemicals, then hazard labels should be also added.  This helps couriers to ensure that your package is stored and transported safely, and that no accidents could occur because of mishandling.

Highly visible, each hazard label features a pictogram with a hazard statement to clearly state the nature of the package’s contents and how it should be treated.

Labelling consignments with Hazard labels

If you’re not sure if your parcel needs a hazard label, the Health & Safety Executive offer information about the labelling and packaging of hazardous materials, with further advice offered by the European Chemical Agency about when these labels are required. 

Specialist Labels

For items that are sensitive to static electricity, being dropped or handled roughly or being tilted during shipping, there’s a range of labels that can provide protection for sensitive shipments.

Shockwatch and Tiltwatch labels are both indicator labels.  They stick to wooden packing boxes, cardboard or plastic, are resistant to moisture and suitable for exporting overseas.  If your parcel has been tilted or suffered a high impact during shipping then they will let your recipient know immediately on delivery.

Shockwatch labels feature a small glass tube that turns red and stays red if dropped or handled roughly. Tiltwatch labels permanently show red if the product has been tilted over 90 degrees.  Both labels provide an instant way to identify if your parcel has been mishandled during transport, so you can easily identify the responsible party in the event of a complaint.

Specialist labels provide extra protection to sensitive shipments

Finally, for sensitive electronic equipment such as circuit boards, computer equipment or mobile devices, apply an antistatic packaging label on your parcel (combined with antistatic protective bags) to make it clear that your parcel is sensitive to static electricity and must be handled as such. 

Postage Labels

Postage and Printer labels to clearly mark all parcels and packages

If you’re sending smaller packages such as mailing bags, envelopes or bubble mailers you might not need to include a full documents enclosed envelope label.  Simple address labels which detail the recipient’s address and the return address for the sender might be all you need.  A postage label is ideal for use here and can be quickly and easily printed off from a normal inkjet or laserjet printer.

Avery have been printing labels since 1937, and their laser and inkjet labels come in fully perforated sheets made from FSC certified paper with an eco-friendly, water based permanent adhesive for easy application.  They can be printed from practically any computer once you’ve installed their free design & print software, allowing you to set up and save personalised label templates, or generate labels from excel databases such as mailing lists.

Thermal Labels

For convenience, thermal labels are excellent – they lightly burn information directly onto thermal paper for long lasting labels which require no ink, meaning less to spend on printing supplies.

They’re perfect for an office desk or small packaging operation with their small and compact size, but don’t be fooled, these little printers can run off large volumes of labels – up to 71 per minute from the Dymo LabelWriter 450.

Dymo Thermal Printers and Labels

They connect straight to a PC or Mac and come with free printing software so you can quickly get set up.

Printing labels up to 100mm in size means you can use thermal labels for almost anything; from postal addresses, shipping or mailing labels to pricing stickers & product labels, including barcodes and graphics.  Thermal printers offer excellent speed, convenience and simplicity in a small but powerful labelling solution that’s cost effective – the only supplies you’ll need are the thermal labels.

If you’re not sure what packaging labels you need, or are looking for advice on labelling your shipments correctly please get in touch with our Packaging Experts.  Call us free on 0800 542 44 28 or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.