The simplest way to determine which packaging supplies are needed in your shipping department is to track each product through the steps taken on its way out the door. By evaluating end line products, you can identify any protective measures needed to keep products intact during shipping, while maintaining accurate inventory records. Shipping department inefficiencies cost money and are easily avoided by stocking useful packaging supplies, properly training your employees, and regularly evaluating your shipping processes. Whether products are assembled in-house or sent out to a reputable fulfillment company such as PackagingQuote.com, this information will help ensure that your shipping department has everything it needs.
Basic Packaging Supplies
The most basic inventory packaging supplies include corrugated boxes, packing tape and packing list envelopes. While these basics protect your products from most potential damage and create a uniform size and shape that is easier to ship, they do not necessarily provide all the necessary protection your products need.
Protective Packaging Supplies
Fragile items, electronics, and oddly-shaped products often require more protection than simply being placed in a box for shipment. Edge protectors, bubble wrap, stretch wrap, foam and shrink wrap are common packaging supplies that stabilize and cushion products during shipment. If special instructions are needed on the outside of a container, shipping labels can be used to tell delivery personnel that a product is hot, needs to be kept upright or should not be stacked or folded. If products are shipped in bulk or sent as components to a fulfillment company, your essential packaging supplies will include pallet bands and strapping materials. Strapping materials are made from steel, polypropylene or polyester, depending upon the strength requirement.
Packaging Supplies & Inventory Management
Inventory management and control are critical to a profitable business. Packing slips and envelopes, tracking numbers and pressure-sensitive inventory control labels work together to help your company maintain an accurate inventory count. These tools also increase efficiency when processing returns and replacements.
Basic Mailroom Packaging Supplies
Every office needs envelopes, mailers, a postage machine or loose postage, a postage scale, adhesives, tape, staplers and rubber bands. Cable ties, twine, colored bins and glue sticks may also be useful. Some shipping projects also require tube mailers, poly bags or desiccants to keep products looking and performing their best.
Proper equipment maintenance and effective personnel training, combined with the right packaging supplies, will improve the efficiency and profitability of your shipping department.