Protective Packaging

Understanding protective packaging: How to minimise damage in transit

5 mins

Every company engaged in product shipping must recognise the sheer importance of proper protective packaging. The risks linked to ineffectively protected products extends far beyond time and financial losses.

According to a recent study, 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after just one bad experience – and in what situation is damage a positive experience?

In this article, we’ll dive further into the importance of protective packaging and provide practical tips on how to minimise damage in transit.

The significance of protective packaging

Protective packaging serves as a shield for products, safeguarding them against potential hazards during transportation. It acts as a buffer, absorbing shocks, and vibrations, as well as protecting against environmental factors.

Protective packaging has three main goals. These goals are to, of course, prevent damage, but also reduce costs and protect your brand’s reputation:

  • a) Damage Prevention: Proper packaging significantly reduces the risk of damage caused by mishandling, collisions, or drops during transit. Protective packaging also acts as a barrier against moisture, dust, and dirt to preserve the items quality, functionality and appearance.
  • b) Cost Reduction: When products are adequately protected, the risk of breakage, scratches, dents, or other forms of damage is greatly reduced. This means that you can avoid the expenses associated with replacing or repairing damaged items, as well as losing out on business from unhappy customers.
  • c) Brand Reputation: Protective packaging also plays a vital role in shaping your brand's reputation. Well-packaged products send a message to customers about your commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. When customers receive products that are securely packaged and arrive in perfect condition, it instils confidence and creates a positive impression. On the other side, inadequate packaging that results in damaged goods can have a detrimental impact on how your brand is perceived.

Understanding protective packaging materials

Knowledge into the various protective packaging materials available is essential for selecting the right solution that can effectively safeguard your products during transit. Let’s explore some of the commonly used protective packaging materials:

  • a) Cardboard: Corrugated cardboard is a versatile and widely used packaging material. It consists of multiple layers of paper, providing strength, durability, and sustainability. Cardboard boxes can be easily customised to fit different product sizes, ensuring a snug fit. The corrugated structure of the cardboard enhances its cushioning properties, absorbing shocks and impacts that may occur during handling and transportation. For heavier items, double-walled or reinforced cardboard boxes offer increased strength and protection.
  • b) Bubble Wrap: Bubble wrap is a popular choice for protecting fragile and delicate items. It consists of small air-filled bubbles that act as cushioning to absorb impacts and vibrations. Fragile products can be wrapped individually with bubble wrap to provide a protective layer around each item. Whilst bubble wrap is extremely effective, businesses have started leaning towards more eco-friendly options such as Honeycomb paper wrap. – a new alternative to bubble wrap, with no compromise on performance.
  • c) Foam: Foam inserts or padding are commonly used to provide additional protection for delicate or sensitive items. Foam can be custom-shaped to fit the contours of the product, ensuring a secure and snug fit. It offers excellent shock absorption properties, reducing the risk of damage caused by impacts or vibrations. Foam padding is particularly useful for products with irregular shapes or fragile components that require extra care during transit.
  • d) Packaging Peanuts: Packaging peanuts are lightweight, foam-based packing materials that are commonly used for cushioning and void filling. They provide excellent protection by surrounding fragile items and filling empty spaces within the package. The peanuts conform to the shape of the product, minimising movement and preventing damage caused by impacts. They are versatile and can be used for a wide range of products, making them a popular choice for shipping fragile or valuable items.
  • e) Air Pillows: Air pillows, also known as inflatable cushions, are an effective solution for protecting goods during transit. They are made from durable plastic film and filled with air using an inflator. Air pillows create a protective barrier around the product, absorbing shocks and vibrations. They are lightweight and versatile, suitable for a variety of packaging applications. Air pillows are reusable and recyclable, making them an environmentally friendly option for packaging and shipping. They can also be deflated to save space when not in use, reducing storage and transportation costs.
  • f) Stretch Wrap: Stretch wrap is widely used for securing multiple items together or wrapping palletised shipments. Stretch wrap is a flexible plastic film that can be stretched and wrapped around products or pallets to hold them tightly in place. It prevents items from separating, shifting, or falling during transportation.

Choosing the right protective packaging material depends on the specific requirements of your product, its fragility, weight, and shape, as well as the anticipated hazards during transportation. By understanding the properties and applications of different packaging materials, informed decisions can be made to ensure effective protection for your products.

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Protective packaging from Swiftpak

When looking to reduce your returns, keep customers happy, and grow as a business, your packaging solution plays a huge role. So why not invest in protective packaging.

At Swiftpak, we design and supply protective packaging solutions using multi-materials for products that need personalised protection. With over 45 years of experience in the industry, we know what it takes to offer maximum protection with minimal use of materials. Our protective packaging solutions are designed to increase delivery performance, save your business money, and reduce the complexities of your packaging operation.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can support your businesses’ packaging needs, get in touch with our expert team at Swiftpak today – we’d love to answer any questions you have.