Essential Shipping and Packing Supplies

Containers, Tape and much more

Shipping Supplies

Essential shipping supplies - from packaging boxes to padding & labels. High quality shipping supplies and packaging are essential in any scenario, but even more so if you decide to pack your goods yourself. Outlined below are some of the most important supplies to consider when preparing for a long distance shipment.

Boxes, containers, cartons and crates.

Boxes and containers are quite obviously the most important shipping supplies that you will need to pack your goods. Packaging boxes are available in a variety of sizes, shapes and materials, while containers and crates are usually made out of wood or iron.

Look out for prefabricated shipping crates which in addition to holding a large volume of goods can be knocked down once your shipment has been delivered to its destination. Special cartons and tubes can also be bought for specific items such as documents, books, crockery and linen.


The edges and flaps of all boxes and containers will need to be sealed with thick, highly durable tape. While there are a number of different types of tape available on the market, the best type to use for sealing purposes is vinyl or polypropylene tape that is a minimum of 5cm wide and is both water resistant and pressure sensitive. Make sure you purchase your tape from an official shipping supplies shop, as ordinary masking tape, duct tape and cellophane tape are not suitable for shipping purposes.


Strapping is an ideal way to reinforce boxes once they are fully packed. Shipping supplies shops sell a variety of different types of strapping, ranging from basic to highly durable. Polypropylene straps can withstand the least resistance, while metal straps are stretch proof and can withstand large amounts of pressure. Polyester straps are also highly recommended.

Internal padding

Bubble wrap is one of the most economical, effective and commonly used forms of internal padding available on the market. Other materials that can be used to protect goods include polystyrene packing peanuts, spray foams, air bags, foam and wooden inserts and moisture control sheets.

Labeling products

Ensure that the labels you purchase are large and easily readable. White labels are preferable as they are easier to read and stand out more than colored labels. Most shipping companies will supply you with customized bar-coded labels which contain additional information that can easily be scanned at ports of entry and customs control points.


Palletizing your goods yourself can save you substantial amounts of money. Pallets are skids constructed out of wood, plastic, corrugated iron or heavy duty cardboard that are fitted onto boxes and used to stack them together. You will need to know the dimensions of the boxes that you are planning to use before you order pallets; otherwise they won’t fit and will be of no use whatsoever.



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