Different Types of Protective Packaging
Products of all types face a variety of hazards, from bumpy transportation to rough handling, as they make their way off the production line and into the hands of consumers. Broken or damaged products mean lost revenue and wasted time. Protective packaging is a simple way to protect your carefully built and packaged items to ensure they arrive safely on the shelves or at your customers’ doorsteps.
There are a variety of types of protective packaging. The style and material you choose will depend on the size, shape, and fragility of the product you're trying to protect, as well as your budget, the scope of your project or size of the production run, and even your brand image.
Why Use Protective Packaging?
The primary purpose of protective packaging is to ensure products don't get damaged during shipping and handling. If a consumer opens the box and finds the item broken or damaged—an item they carefully picked out, paid for, and waited for—it hurts your reputation as a company. It also costs you money to manage the complaint, replace the broken items, and deal with any backlash from a negative customer experience and, potentially, online review. That's reason enough to package your items carefully, but protective packaging has some secondary advantages, too:
Enhances the Unboxing Experience: Many consumers like to share unboxing photos and videos on social media. Not only does the protective packaging ensure the product itself will be revealed in good condition, it can add anticipation and even delight to both the recipient and the recipient's online audience. If you package your products in a way that encourages this social sharing, you're getting free advertising that could reach hundreds or even millions of people you wouldn't have reached otherwise.
Environmentally Friendly: By using biodegradable or recyclable packaging, you help build trust in your company as you build a reputation for being environmentally and socially responsible. When the package arrives in one piece the first time, you avoid the carbon footprint associated with throwing that one away, producing a new one, and shipping that product again.
What Are the Different Types of Protective Packaging?
There are many ways to use packaging to protect a product. Each has its own advantages:
Lightweight, cost-effective, and reusable, bubble wrap is a popular protective choice for fragile items. It's flexible and easy to use with oddly shaped products, and it does a great job at absorbing impact if the box is dropped or jostled during transit. Consumers delight in bubble wrap, as well: many people enjoy popping the bubbles.
This foam is injected into the box around the product, and as it hardens it forms to the object to provide secure support during transit with the minimum amount of material possible. Because the foam expands to up to 280 times its liquid volume, it's easy to store and ship. Quick and easy to use, Instapak can protect products of all shapes and sizes. Return facilities around the world accept used Instapak for recycling.
Shock Absorbing Foam
These foams are often made of neoprene or polyethylene, but there are also proprietary foams on the market made of specialty materials. These foams are versatile, offering surface protection, moisture resistance, and light cushioning, and they're available in various thicknesses.
Originally, foam peanuts were made of polystyrene. The special shape is designed so they interlock when they're under pressure and shift past each other when they're not. They offer the same reliable protection even after they've been used over and over. Today, there are biodegradable packing peanuts available, as well.
Single Face Corrugated
This is simply two layers of paper, one flat layer that serves as the base, and a second corrugated layer. It's typically used to separate items, or it can be wrapped around bottles for additional protection. Easily recyclable and made from renewable materials, single face corrugated is an economical and environmentally friendly choice for protective packaging.