So you started an online store and now you are receiving orders. The question is, what is the best packing material to use?
You want your parcels to be safe. Courier companies do not always have gentle hands.
However, you also would not want to spend too much money. Over packing is costly, and of course, bad for the environment.
Here are some great tips and rule of thumbs to get you started.
Invest in an thermal airway bill printer
This is not really about packing materials, but it does help you during packing. Thermal printers are affordable now, and they truly help you save in the long run.
- You don’t have to waste money on large paper
- You don’t have to buy ink anymore
- It prints faster than any other printer out there
Poly-mailers are a must. Even if you decide to use boxes, poly-mailers are a great way to keep your items sealed and safe from rain and other elements. If your items are sturdy or flexible, all you need is this bag.
There’s even a version of poly-mailers that already include a layer of bubble wrap around it for that extra protection. I wouldn’t, recommend using this for super fragile items, though. One layer of bubble wrap is not very thick.
I think this is a given. Everyone has heard of bubble wrap. Did you know, though, that there are one-layer and 2-layer bubble wrap?
For items that are more fragile, bubble wrap is always a good go-to. Whether it is a figurine, plastic bottles, layers of bubble wrap can always protect your items.
However, when it comes to packing items like glass bottles, you would need maybe four or five layers of bubble wrap. This can get costly, and wasteful.
Air Column / Air Bubbles
When it comes to fragile items and beauty products, we use this. It has many names – Air columns, air bubbles, etc.
These have many variations. There are just straight tubes and ready-made bags. Yes, they are much more expensive – ranging between RM 0.90 – RM 3.00 per piece. In addition, you would need a pump to add air into them.
Still, it’s faster than wrapping 4-5 layers of bubble wrap, less wasteful, and so much more safer. Believe us when we say packing with this material has never given us any problems.
Carton Boxes and Stuffing
Finally, carton boxes will over be the safest method to send your items.
There are, of course, many different types of carton boxes. A-flute, B-flute, F-flute, double wall, single wall.
You can read more about the flutes here. Generally in Malaysia, we use either A-flute or B-flute boxes.
If you can afford it, we also suggest parcel boxes or ‘pizza boxes’. They fold easily and usually have twice the thickness on two sides. You will also end up using less packing tape (which really adds up after a while).
The problem with carton boxes is that they come in so many sizes – which size do you choose?
This is where it gets tricky. What we suggest is to have just 3 sizes – small, medium and large. Get sizes that can fit multiple units of your items. For example, Small fits 2 items, medium could fit 5, and larger may fit 12.
But, what if someone orders 7 units?
This is where box stuffings come in. There are many types of stuffing. You can use shredded paper or our favourite, air bubble fillers!
By adding these into your boxes, you will minimise movement of the content and ensure safer transportation.
The Best Packing Material – Conclusion
There are many different packing materials out there. Whatever it is, make sure you budget enough to pay for all your packing material.
We are lucky. As a fulfilment centre, we are able to purchase packing material in bulk, lowering our overhead costs!.