FIRST OF ALL USE CARDBOARD BOXES!
For almost 200 years the cardboard boxes have become the main packaging way for products, merchandise and courier or post consignments.
All large courier companies in the world require the use of cardboard boxes (simple, double-layered or multi-ply) as compulsory, especially in international shipments, as well as the use of specific materials for packaging and sealing (adhesive tape, bubble wrap, polystyrene packaging chips or fitments like corner pieces, etc., stretch foil, antistatic polyethylene foam rolls, self-adhesive labels, markings like “FRAGILE!”, “GLASS, HANDLE WITH CARE!”, package orientation through arrows, as “UP”, or “THIS END UP”, etc.) depending on the specificity and fragility of the content.
Civilized courier services, especially for international shipments, are done in cardboard boxes and EASTLINES demands this, much more secure and efficient packaging means, to its clients.
USE CARDBOARD BOXES FOR YOUR CONSIGNMENTS!
o better content protection – cardboard boxes, particularly those from double-layered cardboard, maintain their shape and protect the interior much better, especially for fragile products. Use cardboard boxes, mainly for sweets, cosmetics, food products, toys, electronics, household objects and white goods, etc. They are better protected and are not constricted, crushed, flattened or damaged. Hand bags and raffia bags do not offer any protection to the fragile content.
o better sealing – cardboard boxes can be easily and completely sealed with adhesive tape. Damaged seal or opened boxes can be easily seen and claimed. Hand or shoulder bags, raffia bags, suitcases are mostly closing up with zippers and can suffer damages, the zippers or pockets can be opened and do not offer the specific safety of a well-sealed package.
o labelling – cardboard boxes allow a better labelling with the details of the receiver as well as with the different identification elements of the consignments, with bars at different transporters. The shoulder bags and hand bags, raffia bags, the suitcases through their external textile material do not ensure a good and secure labelling and require additional wrapping operations. Lack of labels on the parcels can lead to delivery interruption, delays, wrong routing or even the loss of parcels.
o a better handling and stacking – cardboard boxes, by their parallelepiped nature and the specific flat surfaces allow a much more easier handling, both by hand and with specific equipment (trolley, pallets, sorting belt, etc.), as well as a better stacking depending on the weight and the fragility of the content (the stack level in the warehouse or lorries). The boxes will be stacked much easily in the warehouse or in the lorries and thus the fragile boxes can always be positioned on top of the stack for a much better protection. The shoulder bags, the raffia bags and the suitcases roll over, slip, suffer shape distortions and cannot be stacked, thus the protection of a fragile content becomes impossible, especially if the parcel is large and heavy and cannot be placed on top of the stack. The fragile content of this kind of shipments will be compressed, crushed, damaged in the stack of at handling.
LET’S FORGET ABOUT RAFFIA BAGS!
Already a “traditional” packaging way within our community in Great Britain and rather more specific to the third world countries, the raffia bag has become almost compulsory when sending something at home, both because of its very small price and because the phenomenon is encouraged by different occasional and unprofessional transporters, who, thus can better use the small space from their cars (utility vans, trailers, etc.). These cars are much better filled with heavy raffia bags and, therefore, their income is higher, especially when the off the books payment is approximated, per bag, and the client is used to fill a large raffia bag with all he has without thinking at the consequences.
And thus here we are today, when many of our clients have come to believe that it’s completely normal and adequate to send their goods all together in a 90 kg raffia bag, in which you can find a TV set wrapped in a blanket, clothes, sweets and probably a borer too…
If you don’t want to send you parcels under these conditions with “Nea’ Georgica”, (“Mister George”) with his van, who collects from the bus station and delivers on the bypass “in front of Peco”, we must all understand that the preparation of your shipments require more attention and effort from you, our client.
The professional and trustworthy courier services use collections from you door through local couriers, centralized consignments or distribution from local warehouses, efficient road transport by lorries with a large capacity and volume, delivery anywhere at the door, including in the most remote rural areas, different operations and handling through the logistical chain, loading/unloading, stacking and grouping, distribution, labeling with bar codes and scanning, etc. Due to the complexity of these operations we recommend the use of civilized packaging means, as cardboard boxes, for the international shipments, of the different protection and sealing materials and the avoidance of raffia bags or shoulder bags.
o the dimensions of the package must be according to its content. The boxes that are not fully filled and are half empty can suffer shape distortions, and the boxes overladen can open or press the content to much.
o always use high quality materials. Think about resistance, shock absorption and durability when selecting packaging mean. Use corrugated cardboard boxes with high quality external layer. For the valuable goods, fragile products or those predisposed to damages (brittle or that are easily distorted) you must use a double layer resistant cardboard (double-layered or multi-layered)
o use insulating materials, particularly to stop the content of the packages to move inside the boxes (bubble wrap, air bags, polystyrene chips and fitments, foam, cardboard)
o use belts or straps, if possible, as a good method to seal or ensure boxes, especially if they are very heavy. In case you don’t have this possibility, circle the box in several places, as this multiple layer will stop an accidental opening.
o use resistant adhesive tape, possibly with the inscription “FRAGILE”, if the content is fragile.
o place the fragile goods in the middle of the box, so that they do not touch the edges. The object must be isolated from all parts. After being individually protected with bubble wrap the object is placed at the middle of the box and not at the edge so it’s not damaged in case of accidental impact or because of compression during stacking.
o check the good packaging and sealing of liquids and storage in sealed recipients, wrapped in resistant, light insulating materials (for example, polystyrene foam) and sealed also in plastic bags. Keep in mind that an inadequate package can damage the surrounding objects, not only yours, but also those of other clients.
o seal with adhesive tape the semi liquid, greasy and smelly or fragrant substances then wrap them in a grease resistant bag (thick plastic foil). Specify the complete depletion of oils or fuel from recipients or car parts, ensure that they do not leak and are perfectly sealed.
o seal the powders or fine grains in well-sealed resistant plastic bags, and wrap in rigid wood fibre plates or in wooden boxes well sealed and with no loose spaces at the joints, in order to avoid the streaming.
o use the label with arrow “UP” for materials that are not solid, to indicate the recommendable transportation position and the increased care at overturning.
o use the label “FRAGILE”, visibly posted on all sides of the boxes to signal the fragility of the content, the extra care in handling and stacking. WARNING! The label with “FRAGILE” does not exonerate you of the effort to pack and protect the fragile products. The label does not protect the content of the parcels, but it only points out the fragility of the content when handling.
o wrap the goods in corresponding packaging means. You may find that many goods sold in attractive packages are not well packaged for shipment. Ensure an external additional package that will protect the contents. Do not send the gifts wrapped as if you would give them to the one meant for, in gift wrapping paper, but use external simple boxes in which you can place the gifts wrapped as you wish.
o use the triangular packages and not cylindrical one for plans, maps or rolled drawing
o use resistant plastic or cardboard tubes for long products, that can brake (like the fishing rods)
o wrap the small objects or documents in resistant corresponding envelops (bubble wrap or hard back), recommendable of A4 size and not very small, so they can be easily observed, traceable and large enough to support a visible label. The Paper envelopes are much too easy to tear and can be deteriorated and the content lost. Use large hard back or bubble wrap envelops. Protect the internal documents in a sealed plastic bag against water or deterioration.
o protect the data discs, audio and video cassettes by wrapping each one of them in soft insulating material or antistatic foil.
o when you send sharp edge objects as knives, scissors or sharp edge tools make sure that the edges and tips are completely covered. Resistant cardboard is suitable for this task. The protection material must also be well fastened so as not to accidentally be removed during transit.
o always use the cardboard separators when sending flat, fragile materials (as well as discs, plates, floor tiles, marble, etc.). This protecting layer isolates and stops the friction, takes and dampens the vibrations that can lead to cracks and breaking.
o when a box is reused, all previous labels and stickers must be removed. The certain box must be in good conditions and not very used. If the box has previous addresses or inscriptions on it this may lead to confusion, wrong routing, delays or even the loss of the parcel.
It is recommendable to:
– individually protect each piece or fragile product with 2-3 layers of bubble wrap for maximum protection
– keep an area of at least 5 cm between the external package and the recipient and the product inside. The space inside must be padded, preferably with air bags or polystyrene chips, but any material will do, from creased newspapers to old clothes, etc.
– use buffer or dampening products. They are available in different types of materials, from “pieces”, “peanuts”, “sheets” to the bubble wrap rolls. Separate insulating materials are usually made from easy materials – used to fill in the corners, keep the objects at the middle of the recipients and ensure shock absorptions and dampening. Many materials usually within a household can also be used – old newspapers, torn clothes, pillow stuffing (not the feathers of course). All these materials are ideal for dampening.
– use bubble wrap. It offers a very good protection against shocks, vibrations and friction and is easy and flexible.
– use separators that ensure shock absorption when packing or storing objects. The most used separators are from corrugated cardboard, plywood or Kraft paper. The corrugated cardboard rolls, cut at the right dimensions are excellent for padding, and it’s a low cost material. It is recommendable that the fragile objects are wrapped in foam rolls or polystyrene fitments, especially for the protection of corners, edges and very sensitive areas.
It is recommendable to:
– use large envelopes; size A4, for documents or small items. The envelopes must be from a resistant material (plastic, paper doubled with bubble wrap, hard back, etc.). Dimensions larger than A4 can also ensure the space necessary for sticking a label.
– use boxes, the most usual packaging means. Variety in shapes and sizes, the different combinations of materials and the number of accessories that make them even more resistant and safe, make the boxes to be the most suitable packaging means for parcels. We do not recommend the use of raffia bags, hand and shoulder bags or suitcases.
– if shipment is made in a wooden box, ensure that all corners are well protected and that the wooden box is not cracked, as it can injure the people who are handling it. The wooden recipients are generally suitable for sending heavy objects, usually on pallets, prepared for being handled with equipment. Sometimes the resistant double-layered cardboard is a more suitable and cost effective alternative to wood.
– use pallets for heavy and sizable products, engines, gearboxes, equipment, and large home-ware. The palletized goods must be well anchored on the wooden support pallet with solid belts so that it will not move from the pallet during handling with tail lifts and they must also be well wrapped with stretch foil in several layers for protection and stabilization.
– use resistant adhesive tapes. All parcels must be sealed to stop loss of contents. A good sealing helps to harden the parcel, but do not forget that any shipment can be opened for inspection by the customs authorities or other legal authorities during the international transit. If this happens, EASTLINES is responsible for resealing your parcels as best as possible. It is recommendable to use adhesive polypropylene or vinyl tapes and not cellophane tapes, which might be cheaper, but are also fragile and are usually used as a stationary product. Other types of tapes can be used, as well as fiber reinforced paper tapes. We do not recommend the use of cords to tie the boxes as the cord can cut the cardboard and damage the content. In case of heavy boxes you can use belts made for packaging and straps.
– use packaging belts. When used correctly and well stretched, the belts are ideal to secure the shipment. Belts that are not stretched well enough are useless, and those too stretched can damage the box.
You can find different types of belts on the market:
– polypropylene belts, which are cheap and easy to use, but the maximum force they will carry without breaking is not very high,
– polyester belts that stretch less than the polypropylene belts at high temperatures, are more resistant and maintain their properties when they become wet.
– the tin belts which can replace steel in many applications due to their low cost and metals belts are more suitable for heavy loads as they do not stretch. We do not recommend using them on wooden boxes.
– use plastic or recycled cardboard edge protectors. When using belts, the edge protectors stop the deterioration of the parcel by uniformly distribute the pressure and tension on the entire edge of the box. The edge protectors are compulsory for sharp edge products or that can be easily damaged (tools, wheel rims, plastic pieces, etc.)
HOW CAN YOU FIND PACKAGING MATERIALS?
In Great Britain you can find packages, boxes and protection and sealing materials in the shops of the companies mentioned below. You can also buy different materials from the post offices or the large supermarkets. It does not hurt to ask around shops, restaurants or warehouses so that you can get free boxes or take a look on the back side of the large commercial complexes where sellers can stack or recycle the cardboard boxes.