Fragile items are defined as those products which may have a high value and which are easily breakable or can easily be damaged during transportation. But if you have fragile items that you absolutely need to ship over, whether for business or personal reasons, you need to ensure that you get the packaging just right. If you’re wondering why we’re placing such a strong emphasis on packaging fragile items and how you should go about doing so, this blog post is for you.
The importance of packaging in logistics
It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving house or you’re shipping fragile items to your customers as part of your business operations. The importance of packaging in logistics cannot be understated. Why is this the case? Well, there are several reasons.
On the personal side, you’ve spent money on your valuables or perhaps they are important heirlooms from members of your family. They therefore not only have a sentimental value but a monetary value, too.
On the business side, you have two major reasons to ensure the adequate packaging of your fragile items. The first is that no customer wants to receive a broken vase or other fragile item during their unboxing experience. The second reason is that you don’t want your valuable stock to be damaged and incur losses for your business.
With this in mind, it’s also important to consider what is the best packing material for shipping.
What is the best packing material for shipping?
Although there is no single best packing material for shipping, and there are several options you can choose from, there are some important guidelines that we’ll cover below as to how to go about packing your fragile items. But first, let’s take a look at what the main types of packing materials are and what their pros and cons are.
1. Packing paper
Packing paper is great for fragile items because it is thick and can nicely wrap around the oddest of shapes. In addition, it is biodegradable, making it a much-used packing material by experts and novices. It’s worth considering that some people use newspapers as opposed to packing paper but this is not advisable for two reasons. Firstly, newspaper paper is much thinner than the thicker packing paper and secondly, newspaper ink can bleed into your items, leaving marks on them that will be removed with difficulty. Perhaps the best part of packing paper is that it is affordable and you can find it practically anywhere. And when it comes to fragile items, you need to make sure that you use generous amounts of it to wrap the product and even to create tight balls of paper to fill in the remaining space in the box so that your items do not shift or move around while in transit.
2. Trash bags
We are all quite familiar with trash bags and apart from their general use, they can also be used in packing fragile materials. This can be done in two ways: one, to place the fragile item within the trash bag, especially if it contains a liquid that may be spillable. And two, to use trash bag balls to fill up the space in your box to ensure that the item doesn’t move around. And when the final item arrives at its destination, these trash bags can be reused again, making them an affordable and versatile packing option.
Using clothing to wrap your fragile items, especially if it’s not for business purposes, is another great but unconventional idea. If you are moving house, for example, you’ll not only be able to move your clothes but also the fragile item that the clothes have wrapped. It’s another affordable way of saving on packing costs. All that you need to do is wrap the fragile item in a couple of t-shirts or other apparel items and then stack them properly in a sturdy box to ensure limited movement. Just make sure that if the fragile item you are packing with clothes bleeds, that you perhaps stick to packing paper instead to avoid damaging your clothing.
4. Bubble wrap
Above, we covered some of the more common and also unusual ways of packing fragile items. But now we come to the granddaddy of all packing materials for fragile items: bubble wrap. Whether you have mirrors, pictures or crockery, you can use bubble wrap to surround each item separately. On the downside though, you will need to supplement the bubble-wrapped package with other materials to ensure that they do not move while in transit. Examples of these materials include packing peanuts or packing paper to fill in gaps within the boxes. In addition to this con, bubble wrap is often not reusable and it can be more expensive. Therefore, consider using it for the most fragile items you’re sending and using packing paper instead.
5. Shredded paper
Shredded paper is also referred to as crinkle paper and much like packing paper, it is another eco-friendly packing alternative. It is extremely light and will not make your package heavier than necessary. What’s also nice about this packing material is that you can make it yourself by shredding old newspapers and magazines, making it an affordable and recyclable option. However, it is best used in conjunction with other packing materials.
6. Packing peanuts
Although they can cause real frustration when dealing with the aftermath of unboxing a package, packing peanuts are the top contender for filling every nook and cranny of your box, thereby keeping your fragile items protected. What’s also great about them is that they absorb moisture and humidity from the air and this makes them great for items that are made of metal such as electronics. Alternatively, items that are easily scratched can also be protected with packing peanuts.
7. Plastic stretch wrap
Although more often used for heavier and bulkier items, plastic wrap can also be used for fragile items much in the same way as clothing. It’s great for keeping smaller items intact and free from movement. However, it is best used together with other packing materials such as packing peanuts to avoid opening a box of broken items.
Based on the above, it is clear that there is no single best material for packaging for fragile items. Your packaging will also depend on whether you are sending a package to a customer, to yourself or someone else. However, all things considered, if you want a professional appearance for packing fragile items and a professional unboxing experience, you’ll want to combine packing paper, bubble wrap and packing peanuts together to give a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you place “Fragile” stickers on the box so that the shipment handlers know what and how to proceed with transporting it.
How do we choose the right packaging materials?
There are no right packaging materials for fragile items. However, there are common considerations you should bear in mind as you proceed to pack your fragile items. These include:
- The size of the products
- The weight of the products
- The shape of the products
- How much protection they need to get to their destination undamaged.
Even if international parcel shipping is not your forte, you can always count on our helpful and friendly team at DRG Solutions to help you with any international courier services from Barcelona. As specialists in shipping with extensive global experience and reach, we can advise you on anything from the best packing materials for your fragile items to the best option for sending your package abroad. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for any help. We are more than happy to help you!