Packaging and Moving Materials
Internal and External
Packaging materials should always be selected according to the content that they are going to contain or protect. Factors to consider when deciding on external packaging include the size and weight of the shipment and the strength and stability of the packaging. Internal packaging material should be selected according to their cushioning ability and how fragile or dangerous goods are. Listed below are some of the main packaging materials available on the market as well as their main uses:
External packaging materials
Boxes the most widely used type of packaging material available in a variety of sizes, materials and thicknesses. Wooden and double-layered corrugated cardboard boxes are especially suitable for heavy items, sharp items and fragile items.
Containers and cases available in custom sizes and shapes. Especially suitable for important documents, liquids and delicate equipment such as computer screens and audiovisual equipment.
Tape used to seal the edges and corners of boxes and containers. Strong, plastic adhesive tape and fiber reinforced paper tape are most suitable for shipping purposes. Household tape such as cellophane tape, paper tape and masking tape should never be used.
Plastic shrinking and stretch films: used to join several boxes together in a tight package and protect boxes and containers from the elements. Address and information labels should always be applied to boxes and containers before shrinking and stretch films are placed over boxes.
Strapping available in a wide variety of materials ranging from polyester to metal. Used to reinforce boxes and containers and prevent them from losing shape during shipment.
Internal packaging materials
Bubble wrap one of the most economical and lightweight forms of internal packaging available. Consists of plastic pockets filled with air that provide protection from vibration, shock and scratching. Make sure that items are wrapped in multiple layers and place well away from the edges and corners of boxes and containers.
Loose cushioning polystyrene chips, biodegradable flakes and crumpled newspaper can all be used to cushion objects. Make sure that boxes are sufficiently filled with cushioning to prevent goods shifting during transport.
Foam sheets and spray foam sheets can be custom made to fit snugly around objects, while foam spray can be sprayed into boxes once objects have been packaged to fill any voids and provide protection. Make sure that layers are thick enough to prevent goods from touching the sides or corners of containers and boxes.
Corrugated inserts and sheets usually constructed from double-layered cardboard or plastic, these inserts strengthen boxes from the inside, prevent crumpling and cushion goods.
Air bags used to fill empty spaces in boxes and prevent goods from shifting around during transit. Not suitable for sharp, hazardous or fragile objects or storage in heated or refrigerated containers.