When you’re looking to cushion fragile items for shipping, there are a variety of options available that you should consider. However, each of these has its own pros and cons, and should be matched with the types of items you’re looking to package.
Sometimes what you’re shipping will dictate the type of cushioning material—for example, electronics are well-suited for padding with non-static wraps and packing peanuts to minimize electrical charges during shipment. Consider all of the packaging supplies options available when choosing your best packing strategy.
1. Bubble Wrap
Sometimes you need to ship items that are irregularly shaped, or that leave large voids in boxes, and if so, bubble wrap is a strong first line of defense against damage. Usually bubble products are the first layer of protection around the contents of your box, and it allows your items to be securely encased. Bubble wrap is available in a variety of formats—in rolls, with or without perforations, as well as in the form of sheets and pouches. The larger the bubble, the better protection for your fragile items.
There are two types of foam available to protect your valuable items. The first is air foam products that mimic bubble wrap. These foam products are effective due to the air pockets they contain, which helps to cushion against impacts during shipping and handling.
Air foam products are available in rolls, in a variety of widths and lengths. The second type is hard foam corners/edges. Foam corners protect boxes within boxes, securing them snugly inside outer packaging. These products provide protection during transport, as well, they reduce the impact of vibrations during shipping.
3. Loose Fill
Loose fill made from peanut shaped polystyrene is used to cushion box contents from all sides, providing evenly distributed impact resistance and shock absorption. Virgin and recycled options provide the same levels of protection, with anti-static versions limiting static charges when shipping electronics.
Completely biodegradable options made from natural materials eventually disappear without a trace. Convenient gravity dispensers make loose fill options ideal for a wide range of shipping room applications.
4. Kraft Paper
Light, irregularly shaped items are adequately secured with crumpled kraft paper used to fill voids or protect fragile items. Multiple sizes and styles exist, included wax-paper options and even poly coated kraft paper for specialty applications. Materials range from 100% recycled, to combination papers using virgin fibers. Kraft paper is sold in rolls easily installed on horizontal or vertical paper cutters, or in sheets in various sizes and shapes.
Of course, no matter what cushioning material you choose, damage-free shipping begins with the right-sized boxes, so that you aren’t left with much empty space to fill. The ideal cushioning strategy minimizes empty space but doesn’t waste resources with boxes that are larger than necessary. Flexible fill solutions exist for the items you ship most. Bubble, foam and loose fill options work together to provide comprehensive cushioning for your shipping output.