Shipping Supplies Shmipping Supplies

I’m sure you will all remember that little play on words where you add ‘shm’ to the beginning of a word as a way to signify it’s total insignificance.  For example, if you wanted to portray that you were not in the least concerned about pop-up quizzes you would say, “Pop up quizzes, shmop-up quizzes.”  Or if you wanted to act like your curfew was just a cute thing that your parents talked about so that you could feel hip like your peers you would say, “Curfew shmerfew.”


I have since learned that this is not the type of attitude I can have about shipping supplies.  I’m sure you are all duly impressed that I have upgraded a bit from the days of middle school, as I hope that you also have, but I’m really being serious when I say that.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: shipping supplies are the face of your company.  They are the first impression someone gets of your business.  This is more than a little trivial add-on.

Here’s the thing: shipping supplies are one of the most important investments you can make when it comes to your small business, and I’m telling you this because I have learned it to be true.  Buying in bulk and going the route of pre-paid postage have saved me so much time and energy.  I have also come to discover a few items that I never thought I would have on hand constantly, but that now I can’t do business without!

  • Gift wrapping. I once heard it said that your product is a gift to the customer, and so it should be treated like one.  Don’t be ashamed of using tissue paper, twine, beautiful colors, and even a spritz of perfume.  People love getting the gifts in the mail, I don’t care who you are: even if they ordered it themselves and know what it’s going to be and when its going to arrive!original_keep_your_mitts_off_gift_wrapSo take the time to go the extra mile and shed some light and love into someone’s life.  One of my friends even includes a small business card that says something witty like, “Your purchase has made my day.  I hope this package brightens yours.”  It’s cheesy, but people like  I swear.
  • The motivating business card is an example of going the extra mile, which also includes including something even more extra.  I once got a book from a seller and they sent me a reusable shopping bag with their logo on it.  I thought that was so cool!  (Especially because I shop at Aldi and I need all the reusable shopping bags I can get my hands on…).
  • For those of you who might be scratching their heads, since I was just talking about all the other stuff that you could and should be adding to your packaging experience, I want to clarify something.  Completely sealing something with packaging tape is not great.  If the customer starts having anxiety just trying to get something out of the box than it’s not good or worth it.  There are plenty of products out there to effectively protect the product without being ridiculous and problematic.

Okay, so I’m taken some time to give you some tips, but now I want to take some time to suggest some materials that you may not have considered but seriously should:

  • A scale. This is not for jumping on and off during the day and lamenting how many pounds you may or may not have lost running around like a mad person.  This is for you if you have decided to go the pre-paid postage route, of which I previously recommended (and still do).  That being said, scales are on the list of shipping supplies for the most serious of shippers.
  • A ruler. Yes, I said a ruler.  For all of you that instantly turn up your nose at this idea, instigated by the gnawing fear deep in your gut as you remember how much algebra made you sick in high-school, stop worrying!  This is just to make sure that the if you are using wrapping paper of any kind that it isn’t in any other shape than a square or a rectangular.  Let’s not make you come across like someone in their cups, if you know what I mean.
  • If you are shipping art, then use the appropriate shipping supplies with which to ship it.  A friend of mine taught me how to use thick poster board and cut it in the size of whatever piece of art I am trying to ship to use as protection on either side, and then roll it up in a flat piece of cardboard.  Bend the sides of the cardboard in, tape securely, and you have a piece of art that could withstand just about anything that the mailing system can, and will, throw at it.

I know that all of this talk about shipping supplies can get really boring, but it’s really important to sweat the small stuff so that everything else can fall into place.  If you start at the very basics, taking care of everything from A-Z and really considering what choices you are making and how they will effect your business, you will find yourself becoming a more and more effective business individual.


Finally, offer a discount every now and then.  I can’t tell you how often I have gone to buy something online and then discovered that shipping costs were way more than I was bargaining for.  And I can’t tell you have many hours I have used to search online for promo codes that offer free shipping, and found them, and used them, and been so very happy in the end that I saved seven dollars.  Customers love free shipping, and not on purchases of over a hundred dollars, either.  Can I just say that one of the most disappointing companies I know as far as shipping costs go is IKEA?  I mean, seriously, IKEA?  Apparently you have to live by the store if you want to actually buy any of their stuff and still keep your house to put it in…

Stretch Film and Why it’s Great

The correct inner packaging of cartons are selected, and usually, they’re enclosed within something.  You need to bring these to the market and make sure that they land safely in warehouses and retailers.  Once they’re assembled, you can get damage-free delivery from this, and measures are taken to secure this. Plastic sheets are an example of this, since they can wrap these snugly to prevent items from shifting, and is good for boxes, parcels, and tubes if you’re worried they may damage during shipment.

Stretch film addresses the shipping tasks, so the best varieties are based on configuration and sizes of orders. Manual stretch film is good for businesses of all sizes, and there are so many different types. Some facilities use automaton benefits with their stretch film machine to get it to the correct capabilities. Whatever shipping and warehousing need you have, if you use stretch film, you can reduce the damage loss and keep the shipping and operations flowing in a smooth manner.

White and black stretch film at white background

Some film is stretch by hand, while others are automated by machines. The best method depends on the volume, the order size, and other factors.  Some cast machine varieties are capable of stretching the film up to 250%, which in turn will provide tightly contained pieces to ship.  Irregularly shaped bundles benefit from the blown machine stretch film, which is puncture resistant and it will perform well under extreme conditions. Films that are clear are good for packing lists and are good for identifying products, but opaque blown film ones are good for concealment.

There is a hand stretched film too which you stretch manually around items using dispensers rather than machines. These are good for uniform loads, and they are good for those that are for varying weights. For example, the 60 gauge film, for example, is good for loads that weight up to 1600 pounds, while the 120-gauge ones are good for up to two tons of goods.

The film used for this is usually anti-static as well as having assorted colors. The colored ones are good for inventory control and allows shippers to get the outer wrap colors they want. For those that are irregularly shaped, they can also use clear blown film or the black variety which will hide the items once they’re wrapped. The corrosion inhibitors are present within the VCI stretch film, which is good for wrapping larger metal parts. There are further accommodating hand stretch film uses too, and you can even get them for dispensers as well, and they sometimes don’t need equipment either.

If you do use this, you may need to convert it for smaller bundles as well. stretched bonding film is good to secure items during transit, and it’s more affordable than strapping and tape, and the colored film type is good for allowing you to identify various aspects as well. Whether you’re shipping pallets that are fully loaded or bundling parcels, you need a stretch film to increase protection.

Why Poly bags Have you Covered

Polyethylene bags are one of the most affordable solutions for packaging for many items. The versatile bags are great for applications amongst many different industries, and they have flexible household uses. Poly bags give protection in unlimited sizes, shapes, and colors, which are great for many products. There are even some styles that address needs, especially for protection during shipping along with storage. The thickness of the bag material gives divers solutions too, and inexpensive options and fortification for this.

So what are the different styles? Well, you should know that all of these are a form of plastic, with low density and linear low density for the materials. There are several styles that exist and are good for applications, and some are custom crafted for contents that are specific. The goal should be a balance between protection and the costs that you’re trying to provide, without compromising the standards for keeping them safe.

First, you’ve got flat poly bags, which are used when you’ve got clear presentations but need affordability. The approach usually highlights the contents on the bag and offers limited protection against grime and damage. If you ship documents and flats, these usually are good for transit.

Then there are curated ones. These are used for irregularly shaped or bulky items that are needed to be filled. They are expanded when they are filled up. Gussets crate the look, and they are good for many packaging needs.

Colored versions of these materials are great if you’re looking to build a branding strategy for your business and to shield the bags from scrutiny and light.  Having these gives an enhancement on merchandise, and this, in turn, will set you apart from those competitors. Clear bags are good because they can give you the chance to put logos and graphics on there.

Finally, there are re-sealable ones which, depending on the items that are shipped, you may want to use this if you’re looking to enhance your shipping room. They are usually in the form of grip-seal closures that will pinch closed and slide alternatives that utilize a plastic slider in order to get it done. it’s a good style if you need it to be closed and opened up frequently.

You can also get other options such as the high tensile strengths that come from this and varieties that offer protection with thinly-walled bags.  They are also crafted for certain items, including garment bags that you can use to shield clothes. There are some great poly bags that can be used for sensitive items such as medical samples, and they usually have writeable sections. There are also poly bags that guard against damage too, such as pallet covers, and bine liners which are good for that purpose.  There are so many different options for bags, but they all have the purpose of protecting your items whenever you need to transport them, so they are worth it if you want to use them.