Protective Shipping Packaging: Types and Purposes

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Adaora Nnene


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In the supply chain industry, goods are constantly moved around the world, crossing the boundaries and borders of different countries. However, for the overall shipping process to be considered successful, the goods must get to their destination in perfect condition without any dent or damage, and this is where protective packaging becomes essential. Most times, when people hear the term "protective packaging," the first thing that comes to mind is bubble wrap, probably because it's the most common protective packaging in use. However, bubble wrap is just one type of protective packaging, as many others come in different shapes and forms.


Protective packaging also protects goods from atmospheric, magnetic, electrostatic, vibration, or shock damage, especially during shipping. Protective packaging protects cargo against conditions that can cause damage to the goods, such as electrical insulation, thermal insulation, fire incidents, moisture, shock, or vibration.


Types of Protective Packaging

The different kinds of protective packaging available are:


  1. Paperfill packaging: This is the most eco-friendly protective packaging and can come in different forms, such as a roll with a manual tear, pre-cut pieces, and pre-crinkled pieces. They are recyclable and compostable void-fill solutions and are easily managed by hand. 


  1. Protective mailers: Protective mailers are mailers with cushions or padding inside. It could be bubble mailers, padded mailers, or cushioned mailers. This padding serves two purposes - it offers some protection and enables the mailer to hold its shape, regardless of what it contains.


  1. Bubble packaging: These are pliable transparent plastic materials for packing fragile items. Regularly spaced, protruding air-filled hemispheres (bubbles) cushion fragile items. Bubble packaging is known for having superior packaging protection and being cost-effective. They come in many different shapes and forms and, in most cases, are known as bubble wrap. 


  1. Air pillows or airbags: Air pillows are inflated air packets used to cushion and secure fragile products and materials. They fill the void in shipping boxes to prevent shifting and provide product cushioning. They may include special valves and inflators to ensure proper inflation.


  1. Foam Packaging: This can come in different types depending on your packaging. There is the EPS foam packaging as well as Instapak foam-in-place packaging. It is made from Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), the same raw material as foam coffee cups. This lightweight void-fill packaging material is a durable, practical, and recyclable protective packaging solution. 


  1. Angle or edge boards: These are channel-like products designed to protect the corners and edges of products and materials during transportation. 


  1. Corner blocks: These are edge boards designed to protect the corners of products and materials during transportation.


  1. Corrugated wrap: This sponge-like paperboard product is used to secure and cushion fragile or delicate products and materials during transportation.


So Why Use Protective Packaging


  1. Protection from physical damage: The primary reason for designing protective packaging is to protect products from physical damage. During the shipping and delivery process, products pass through different conditions and elements that could damage them if they are not packaged delicately. This is especially important for fragile items: glassware, electronics, and other delicate items that can easily break during shipping.


  1. Protection from dust: During shipping and delivery, dust and dirt can accumulate on products, causing damage and reducing the value of the product. With protective packaging, dust will be prevented from entering and damaging the product. 


  1. Protection from moisture damage and mold: During shipping, moisture can cause serious damage to products and even cause mold to grow on them, especially if they are sensitive to water or humidity. Protective packaging absorbs moisture and keeps the product dry. Products can be wrapped in moisture-resistant materials such as polypropylene or foam to prevent moisture from penetrating the packaging.


  1. Promotes brand image: When a product is well protected, it will get to the end users in perfect condition, and this will help form a positive opinion about the brand in the minds of the end users, thereby promoting the company's brand image and product value. Also, high-quality packaging materials and aesthetically pleasing packaging match brand visibility. This is especially vital for companies selling luxury goods or products for special occasions.


  1. Increases customer satisfaction and brand loyalty: When goods get to the clients in perfect condition, they will be happy, satisfied and remain loyal to the brand because they know that what they ordered will get to them the way they ordered it. They may even refer the brand to friends and family.


Proper protective packaging is a crucial part of the supply chain because the goal is to ensure that products get to clients safely and securely. The correct protective packaging of goods can be a determining factor to a  successful shipping. Partner with your supplier to ensure your goods are packaged adequately with suitable protective packaging. 


Work with the team at SARA PROCUREMENT SERVICES LIMITED and get all your goods securely delivered. 


Visit our physical office space at 3 Fatai Irawo Street, Ajao Estate, Airport Road, Lagos, Nigeria, or any of our warehouse touch point locations worldwide to learn more about us and utilize our services. 


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Adaora Nnene


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