Packaging Advice

How to ship your electronics safely

5 mins

Electronic packaging is arguably the most complex among all levels of packaging due to it requiring extensive engineering and skill set to come up with an optimal electronics packaging design.

When shipping electronics, safe shipping is key to have them arrive in good working order. Vibrations and impacts during transport can easily damage the fragile contents, resulting in you having to deal with returns or exchanges.

Great electronics packaging design must consider protection from extreme temperatures, electrostatic discharge, mechanical damage, and high frequency noise emission. In this article, we will be exploring electronics packaging and how you can ensure that your electronics are safely shipped.

1. Choosing the right box for your electronics

Similar to walls surrounding a castle, a cardboard box is the first line of defence to protect your electronics. It goes without saying that it is important to start off by choosing the right box for the electronics you are shipping. Nobody wants to receive electronics that have been crushed or damaged during transit.

So, how can you make sure you have chosen the correct box? It is best to use a brand new, double corrugated box, as even used boxes that appear to be in good condition could have hidden weaknesses. The size is also important to consider as when a box is too large, the product inside could move around and end up damaged, and when it is too small then the electronics may press against the sides of the box and wind up crushed.

At Swiftpak, we have a range of corrugated cardboard options that you could use to keep your electronics safe and well protected. Corrugated cartons are cost-effective, and can often hold a wide variety of weights, protect against moisture, whilst also being a more sustainable choice.

2. Use protective electronics packaging

To further ensure that your electronic goods are not damaged, you should make sure to separate the items. One way of doing this is by wrapping them up individually before placing them into your chosen box. A thick layer of bubble wrap is one of the safest choices, ensuring that all the edges are also covered to prevent chipping or puncturing the box. By covering your electronics in bubble wrap, you will also be keeping them safe from static electricity and excess heat. 

Of course, another way would be through the design of the box itself. Carton boxes can be folded in a way that protects your electronics from breakages.

Once placed in the box, filling the remaining space with Paper Voidfill will help to provide extra padding and prevent your electronics from moving around.

Some protective electronics packaging examples we have at Swiftpak include:

  • Antistatic self-seal bubble bags: stops static charges being produced and includes a self-seal strip for easy and effective sealing.
  • Antistatic bubble wrap: will not produce static charges and prevents static discharge to contents making this bubble wrap the ideal choice for sensitive electronics. It is lightweight and conforms to the shape of your product, reducing postal costs.
  • Metalized bags: provide protection against ESD and perfect for packaging electronic products that are sensitive to static, such as integrated circuits, CD drives, hard drives and more.
  • Film support packs: we provide a variety of film support packs, including LapsnapScreensnap and Quicksnap, in a range of sizes to prevent damage to your products. The film helps to secure electronics in place and provides a protective layer against dirt, dust, and anything that could leave scratches.

When it comes to lithium batteries, make sure they are wrapped separately from other goods inside the box, ideally within an insulating substance like plastic or electric tape. This is because batteries are considered hazardous goods as when damaged they could leak dangerous liquids, cause fires or explosions. By making sure they are well separated you can minimise the risks of such accidents.

3. Securely sealing your electronics packaging

The best method to seal your box secure is by using packaging tape to seal all the seams and flaps on top. It is recommended that the tape results in an ‘H’ shape on the box, though you can also add some extra tape diagonally so that it is more of a union jack shape for extra protection.

The corners of a cardboard box are the weakest, so to make sure these arrive undamaged too, try to use a good packaging tape on the corners as well.

At Swiftpak, we recommend using tamper evident tape as this will help to deter any unauthorized access during delivery. For example, gummed paper tape and reinforced paper tape create a strong bond that cannot be removed without damaging the outer package, making it a great option to protect valuable electronics such as mobile phones, tablets and similar products. To find out more about how packaging design can be used as tamper-evidence, take a look at our electronics packaging design blog.

We would suggest trying out tamper evident cartons as well as these are simple but cleverly designed and can be made to fold into tamper evident boxes. This means that it will be impossible to open without causing damage to the packaging. 

4. Labels for your electronics

When the box is sealed, all that is left to add are any relevant shipping labels. For example, you may want to add labels such as 'fragile' ,‘handle with care’ or ‘this way up’ to your package to ensure the courier knows how the package needs to be handled. It is also best to place the labels in a plastic pouch to protect them from peeling off in bad weather conditions.

Some customers tend to use ‘Tip N Tell indicators’ where once applied to the packaging, the product cannot be tipped without showing evidence of mishandling. It is an internationally recognised device and is ideal for shipping breakable electronics.

Electronics packaging by Swiftpak

At Swiftpak, we have a range of packaging that will help to protect your electronics during transit, from the outer protective corrugated box itself, to contents to fill inside the box to prevent your electronics from moving around. Need more advice on how to safely package your electronics? contact our electronics packaging experts today.