With the COVID-19 outbreak, people are pushed to shop online. It’s great for business owners that their business is still growing. While shipping companies also benefit from this, there are also downfalls.
According to Route’s data, there is a 19.1% increase of items that were damaged during delivery in 2020. No one wants to receive damaged items. When they do, customers either blame the seller or the courier company for it. And sometimes, they blame both.
Parcels can be damaged due to plenty of reasons. While this is true, you should still take an extra step to ensure the safety of the item before it is delivered. That’s why we have here some parcel packaging tips to prevent damaging the items during delivery.
Why is Packaging Important?
Some customers use a parcel delivery box to protect their packages, especially when no one is at home to receive them. You can easily detect these parcel boxes. Usually, they are installed near the owners’ porches, gateposts, or driveways.
Additionally, these drop boxes are made from steels that are weatherproof. This feature guarantees that the parcels are safe inside. Items can be placed at the top part of the box. Closing the hatch will trigger the parcel to slide down to the cabinet. For extra safety, the cabinet has a safety lock that can only be accessed through a key.
With these delivery boxes, buyers can receive their parcels safely.
But that is to say that every customer doesn’t have a parcel drop box at their homes. When you’re delivering an item, it’s hard to assume you can safely leave the parcel at their doors. Additionally, items for delivery have a long way to go before they get to the customers. You should make sure that there are no damages to the items when they reach the customer.
That’s why good packaging is important. Customers don’t want to receive damaged or incomplete items. When they do, sometimes the courier company takes the blame for it. Bad reviews mean you lose potential clients to avail of your shipping services. Customer satisfaction is a top priority, especially for shipping companies.
Learning how to package the items properly helps in improving the shipping process of the company. It not only makes your customers happy, but it also allows them to continue availing themselves of your services.
What are the Types of Packaging Materials?
Before we discuss parcel packaging tips, it’s important that you know what types of packaging materials are used. Don’t worry, there are only two of them.
Corrugated packaging material is often used for heavy items such as appliances. On the other hand, lightweight items can be put in flyer bags. These bags can only carry products with 4kg of weight and below.
Internal packaging is materials that are used to cushion the items inside the box. They provide additional protection for shock absorption. These materials can include bubble wrap, cardboard, airbags, crumpled paper, styrofoam, and foam pellets.
Parcel Packaging: Tips for Couriers
A courier’s job is not only limited to distributing parcels to their respective buyers. Couriers are also expected to deliver the items undamaged and without delays. Because of this, the packaging of items is an essential part of making deliveries.
In order to prevent damages to the products you will deliver, you should consider these packaging tips. These tips also help you provide high-quality service to your customers.
Consider the Hazards of Delivering the Parcels
Before you wrap the items, you need to consider first the possible scenarios when the parcel is in transit. These hazards are unavoidable. This means that there’s nothing you can do to stop them from happening. What you can do, though, is to prepare for when they happen to prevent damage to the items.
There are numerous factors that can affect the parcels when they are out for delivery. First and foremost, you have to understand that the road is not always smooth. There will be bumps along the way. Because of this, packages tend to collide. And when this happens, punctures, abrasions, and shocks occur.
For this matter, you should make sure that the internal packaging of the parcels is enough to cushion the items.
Another risk is exposure to different temperatures. When the weather is too hot, remember to use shrink packaging material to combat the heat. This kind of packaging material can withstand 30 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
What it does is that when heat is applied to items with shrink packaging, the shrink wrap tightens around the item. This also protects the items from dust and moisture, and some even have UV protection features.
Be Aware of the Items You’re Shipping
It’s important that you are aware of the kind of item you are going to deliver. Some items such as fragile items require extra care to avoid mishandling them. When you’re packing an item for delivery, be sure to keep in mind the size, weight, and value of the product.
The weight of the product determines what type of packaging material will be used. You should use a stronger packaging material when you’re wrapping up heavy products. The strength of the box is usually found on the manufacturer’s stamp.
A double or triple-layered corrugated cardboard box can accommodate heavier items. A polyurethane bag, however, can be used to pack lighter products.
77% of customers said in a 2020 survey that the size of boxes relative to the size of the product is important. This is because they wanted to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. That’s why you should measure the exact size of the item before you put it in their respective box.
You should know if the items you’re shipping are of high value. Usually, these products are identified as fragile. You can check in the special instructions if the client indicated the fragility of the items. Shipping high-value products can be tricky and require extra precaution.
When you’re packing fragile items, you can use two boxes for extra protection. One box would fit the item and another larger box that can fit the first box. Also, don’t forget about the internal packaging to cushion the item. This will prevent the items from shifting inside the box, reducing the risk of damaging the items.
Don’t Forget to Fill Empty Spaces Inside the Parcel
Fillers or internal packaging is an important aspect of parcel packaging. When you don’t have enough filler material in your packaging, your items will shift inside the box. This can cause damage to the items. While this is true, overfilling a box can cause it to burst in the middle of delivery.
Manage the right amount of fillers that you put inside the box. When choosing the size of the box to use for the items, don’t forget about the space for the fillers. You should allocate at least 2 inches (5 – 6 cm) of space for the fillers. The type of fillers you can use include:
-Packing peanuts, and
Separate the Items
Items should be packaged separately. When you put multiple items inside a single package, chances are they will bump into each other, damaging both items. That’s why separating them into multiple packages is the best way to prevent this.
Make Sure to Seal the Parcel Properly
Different types of items need different kinds of seals. For example, boxes can be sealed with 2-inch (5cm) tape. Whereas polyurethane bags have their own adhesive tape to seal light items such as T-shirts.
When you’re using a polyurethane bag, make sure that you have sealed it properly. Sometimes, the tape opens up in the middle of delivery. When this happens, any form of liquid can enter the package and damage the items inside.
On another note, you should avoid using straps and strings. These types of seals can cause compressions, which can damage the product inside the box.
One of the most common sealing methods is the three-strip sealing method or the H taping method. This type of sealing method keeps the flap on the boxes closed during delivery, which prevents goods from accidentally opening.
It is a fairly easy step that only requires applying enough strips of tape to the center and edge seams of the box. Don’t forget that heavier items require extra tape to keep their seams tight.
And, that’s it! The box is secure and ready for transit.
The pandemic may have increased online shoppers, but it also opened up new challenges for shipping companies. One of the challenges is to deliver the packages safely and unharmed. Appropriate packaging is an important part of a courier’s job and should not be taken for granted.
Shipping companies should take the extra mile to overcome these problems. Their main goal, still, is to continue being competitive in the shipping industry despite the recent pandemic.