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Pack it and Ship it: 4 Most Common Types of Product Packaging Supplies


There are many different choices for packaging when it comes to shipping products and goods to the marketplace. Good product packaging protects the quality, appearance, and even the freshness of products during the process of transporting them to retail outlets.

The type of packaging supplies to choose depends on the product beings shipped and the level of protection they will require from weather, dust or debris. Whatever you choose will have to be sturdy enough to handle some rough handling on the way to its final destination.

The materials that are used to create packing supplies are come in a wide variety and range from plastics to cardboard to paper, plastic and foam. Some products are shipped in glass or metal containers as well.

Some products use different types of packaging at various stages. Fresh fruit for example might start with a wooden basket that they are picked in and then being larger containers like barrels or cardboard containers before being shrunk or stretch wrapped and placed on flats or pallets for shipping.

Here are some of the most common types of product packaging supplies:

1. Plastics

Plastics and all polyethylene and all its variations and options has proven to be one of the most popular packaging materials for all sorts of products. Its advantages are that is lightweight which makes it cheaper for shipper and that it can be molded into almost any shape imaginable. This flexibility helps make it impact resistant and therefore much valued to protect products in the shipping system. Plastic and its derivatives is easily decorated and labelled and is heat sealable which keeps freshness in and dirt and debris out. About the only downside is that some plastic products contain some additives that might contaminate some products.

2. Paper and paperboard products

Paper is another commonly used packaging supply product because it is relatively cheap, holds its shape well and can be easily labelled or decorated. Commercial paper packaging usually comes from cellulose fibre that is made from pulped wood, but can also be made from other sources such as cotton, straw, sisal and hemp. One of the best things about paper products as packaging supplies is that they are completely recyclable. Thicker paper is called paperboard and how it is made affects its performance as a packaging product. Paper can also be laminated to increase its strength and it can be gloss or matt finished or embossed. The most common packaging supplies made from paper products include cartons, labels, leaflets, tubes, corrugated cases, rigid boxes and pulp packs.

3. Metals

Metals that are used in packaging include tin-plate and aluminium. They are used primarily for food and drink cans, aerosol cans, tubes, drums and some hinged lid boxes for candy, chocolates or biscuits. Most canned food comes in tin-plate but sometimes steel can be part of the coating. Aluminum is most often seen in soda or beer cans but it can also be found in closures, trays, tubs and tubes. Metal is a great packaging material because it is strong and rigid and resistant to gas, moisture and pressure. It can be sterilized and safe to ship dangerous liquids and gases.

4. Glass

Glass used in packaging materials is made from silica, sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate. Then other compounds are added to give it colour, sparkle or heat shock. The positives of using glass to ship materials and products are that it is stable and not subject to wilting or melting. It provides a great barrier to keep our moisture and debris. It can come in any shape o size that a shipper desires and it is transparent so everyone can see what’s inside before they buy the product. Glass can break sometimes and that can be a problem so it may require some additional protection or padding on the route to market.