English

Packaging 101: How to package products for delivery

Benedict Leong

Products getting damaged during delivery is something nobody should face. But how can package senders make sure this doesn’t happen? Read on to find out more about packaging do’s and don’ts.

Why does packaging matter?

Packaging is one of the most important ways your online store can interact directly with your consumer. For instance, a carefully crafted, personalised unboxing experience could leave quite an impression on whoever is opening the parcel. Just as importantly, good packaging keeps your product safe during its delivery to your consumer’s doorstep by preventing your product bouncing around or getting crushed during transit.

Packing things the right way helps you save money by ensuring that you don’t need to ship a replacement product if the original gets damaged. On that note, it also keeps your store’s reputation intact as it prevents your customers from receiving damaged products or stuff that is ‘dead on arrival (DoA).’

What kind of packaging material would you need?

There is a lot of different packaging material you can use when packaging your products for delivery. This list covers some of the common material you can use but bear in mind that there are more types that can be used.

Outer Packaging:

  • Polyurethane bag (good for light, non-fragile items)

  • Packaging tube

  • Small single-layered cardboard box (for smaller products)

  • Larger double/ triple-layered box (for heavier and larger products)

  • Etc.

Filler material and cushioning material:

  • Packaging tissue paper

  • Packing peanuts

  • Cardboard inserts

  • Crumpled paper

  • Styrofoam inserts

  • Bubble wrap

  • etc.

Sealing Tape:

  • Brown plastic tape (Polypropylene tape)

  • Electrical tape (Vinyl adhesive tape)

  • Duct Tape (Fiber-reinforced paper tape)

The kind of packing material you’ll be using depends on the type of product you’re shipping and its requirements. With that, here are some tips that will keep your products safe and your customers happy:

5 Steps to Good Packaging

In general, packing your goods will follow these steps:

1. Assessing your item’s requirements and choosing the right packing materials

Reused boxes could get easily damaged during delivery

Packages pass through many hands during their journey to the customer – going through first-mile service providers, air freight personnel, customs, and last mile partners just to name a few.

With this in mind, old boxes or boxes that don’t have the strength for the type of product you are shipping could fall apart as personnel haul them from one transportation stage to the next. These packages can also rub against other parcels and boxes during many parts of their journey, creating friction which could damage the package or its contents. All that friction and handling means there is plenty of room for your packaging to weaken and rupture if their material isn’t strong enough.

If you choose low-quality materials for your shipments, these materials could weaken and break during delivery, resulting in ruptures in the box or the product getting damaged during the journey.

To find out which materials you should use, take into account the following factors when choosing how to package your product:

  • The weight of your product- The heavier the product, the stronger the packaging material needs to be. You can check the strength of the box you’ll be using via its manufacturer’s stamp. Heavier items may need double or even triple-layered corrugated cardboard boxes. Lighter items can be packaged in a polyurethane bag

  • Size and shape of your product – If you’re using a box, there needs to be enough space for cushioning material. The item being packaged should not be touching the sides of the box.

  • Value of your product and its fragility – Fragile and/or high-value goods need extra cushioning and protection. Place a fragile label on the box for good measure. If needed, you might want to consider the box-in-box method discussed later in this article.

If you are shipping an item that has no fixed shape and is also non-fragile, like a t-shirt, you can pack it into a polyurethane bag with some packing tissue. If you are packaging larger items that may need more cushioning and needs to be boxed, like cosmetics in fragile containers, our next steps have you covered.

2. Wrap all items separately

If your box contains multiple separate items, bear in mind that they could move around and bump into each other during transit. Wrapping and cushioning your items separately helps you ensure the items won’t move around so much and if they do, won’t result in damage.

Items that could be affected by dirt, water, or wet conditions should be placed in a plastic bag within your package.

3. Cushioning and filling: leave no empty space, but don’t overstuff

Having insufficient filler material in your package causes your products to bounce around inside the box and get damaged along the way. Overfilled boxes, on the other hand, could burst during delivery.

As much as possible, there should be enough filler and cushioning material so the product doesn’t move in the box during transit and has enough cushioning to absorb any bumps the package may get during the delivery.

When adding cushioning and filler material to your package, ensure the box has enough room for sufficient cushioning around the delivered item. Use at least 2 inches/ 5 – 6 cm of cushioning. Examples of cushioning include:

  • Foam or cardboard inserts

  • Bubble wrap

  • Airbags

The rest of the box can be filled with filler like packing peanuts, crumpled paper, or styrofoam.

Also bear in mind that if your boxed item is light, your shipment may be charged based on volumetric weight. Try to find a good balance between the size and cushioning needed to deliver your product safely as well as cost considerations.

4. Using the Right Sealing Material

If your package needs a box for delivery, be sure to use appropriate tape with the right width (around 2 inches/ 5 cm). Any of the three that were mentioned in the above list should is suitable.

If you’re packaging light products like T-shirts, you might be using a polyurethane bag with its own adhesive strip. Ensure that you’ve sealed the bag correctly to ensure it doesn’t open up mid-delivery or allow liquid to enter the package

As much as possible, do not to use straps or strings. These could damage your heavier packages or your logistics service provider’s machinery.

5. Sealing your boxes with the H-taping method

H-taping helps keep your boxes’ flaps secure during delivery, so your packages don’t open accidentally on their way to your customers. This can be done by applying sufficient tape to the centre and edge seams. Bear in mind that heavier boxes will need more tape to secure their seams.

Box-in-box Method

The box-in-box method provides more protection for your product and can be useful for fragile or high-value products. Apart from offering additional protection, it can also help if your inner box is a major part of your branding experience and must arrive undamaged. Concealing the branded box in a common-looking outer box also reduces the likelihood of theft as people will find it harder to guess how valuable your package is.

To use this method:

  • Prepare an inner box and an outer box. The outer box should be sufficiently large to allow for enough cushioning for the inner box.

  • Place enough filling material at the base of the outer box before placing the inner box inside.

  • Once that’s done, fill the outer box with more filling material before sealing with the H-taping method.

Appropriately packaging your products is important in cross-border shipping. Remember to choose the right packing materials and packing methods for your product, properly cushion, and seal your products. These practices help prevent damage to your product when shipping and can save you money on replacing damaged goods and ultimately improve your customer experience, leaving you with happy satisfied customers.

While packaging your parcels is one major part of your preparation, labelling is just as important to ensure your parcels arrive at your destination. To find out more, head over to our labelling guide!

171 views

You might also be interested in

Tackling Indonesian Customs Clearance Procedures for eCommerce Merchants
Amanda Lim
Tackling Indonesian Customs Clearance Procedures for eCommerce Merchants

Clearing Indonesian Customs is not as complicated as it seems now that the laws have helped standardise the procedures for B2C shipments. Find out the best practices to clear Indonesian customs!

36
How does Customs Clearance work for B2C Fulfilment?
Hui Shan Tan
How does Customs Clearance work for B2C Fulfilment?

Customs Clearance requires your shipment to gain official permission to enter a country and for the required duties and taxes to be paid. That's the gist of it, but there's more, click here to find out more!

67
What’s Happening in Thailand’s eCommerce Market?
Benedict Leong
What’s Happening in Thailand’s eCommerce Market?

What’s Happening in Thailand’s eCommerce Market? If you’re an eCommerce merchant looking to sell to Thai online shoppers, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the market. “Thai eCommerce gr ...

75
How does Customs Clearance work for B2C Fulfilment?
How does Customs Clearance work for B2C Fulfilment?

Customs Clearance requires your shipment to gain official permission to enter a country and for the required duties and taxes to be paid. That's the gist of it, but there's more, click here to find out more!

Learn More
Who Are the Philippines’ Online Shoppers?
Who Are the Philippines’ Online Shoppers?

Filipino online shoppers have the second-biggest eCommerce basket size in SEA. Read on to find insights like what influences their online shopping and more

Learn More
What’s Driving eCommerce in the Philippines?
What’s Driving eCommerce in the Philippines?

The Philippines' online shopping market shows tremendous potential. Driven by a young, tech-savvy population, find out the trends driving PH's ecommerce

Learn More

Connect with us

Subscribe to our email newsletter and receive the latest news and insights into the world of
eCommerce and logistics in Southeast Asia.

   
Follow us