by Adam Gilbourne
No one likes getting a package in the mail to find the goods inside damaged or, worse, broken. When this happens the temptation is always to blame the postage services (everyone likes blaming their postie) but, no matter how bad the postal service is, just as often the damage will be caused by a poor packaging.
It’s worth taking the time to get the packaging right in order to make your customers happy and, ultimately, save your business money. Customers will demand refunds or replacements for broken or damaged goods, and when that happens you’ve got a choice of either sending out a new copy of the product, or risking the customer’s wrath (and subsequent bad reviews damaging your businesses’ reputation).
The good news is that a well-packed product will be able to survive almost any postal service across the world. There are some simple procedures to follow to ensure that your customer receives what they paid for safely.
The golden rule is: whatever you are packing should be able to withstand a drop of one metre, regardless of if it’s a rigid block of iron or the most delicate of glass goods. If the object breaks under this test, then you should consider improving your packing standards.
The second golden rule is: invest in good quality boxes. It can be tempting to use light, cheap cardboard boxes, but this would be a mistake. Light boxes are cheaper to buy and weigh less (and so are less expensive to send), but don’t offer anywhere near the same protection for their contents. It’s not just shock resistance, either. Thin, cheap cardboard boxes also offer less resistance to water and, as they get damp, can either develop mold, or fall apart mid-transit. We recommend that you use desiccants inside boxes that will be in transit for any significant period of time, regardless of the quality of the carton itself, and that you let products rest in a dry room with air conditioning before packing them – especially if they’re heading to humid areas like the tropics.
Fragile goods are, surprisingly, relatively easy to pack, because the risks they face in transit are obvious. Glass and porcelain doesn’t handle shock well, so all you need to do is give it a nice, soft cushion to sleep on for the trip.
Perishables can be difficult to send. Fruit and the like can be crushed and damaged from impact, just like glass, and equally they are susceptible to mold and rot. So packaging them requires a unique approach.
Imagine buying a poster, art print, photo, or book and opening it to find the material bent, frayed, dog-eared or ripped? There are a couple of things that you can do in packing these objects so your customers don’t have that experience.
It goes without saying that these objects, if not packed properly, can be very dangerous to those who handle the package in transit and also to those who are unpacking the goods. This means that you need to take extra precautions when packing, not just to protect the object but also those who are handling it.
Cartons that are opened during transportation are more at risk of damage. One of the most effective ways to minimise the chance of the carton being opened is to apply nylon bands around it.