For manufacturers, businesses and customers across the globe, void fillers packaging is one of the biggest irritations.
Void fillers packaging can help to protect products and can serve as a vital armour for logistic problems that can affect products such as dropping, shaking, impact, crushing and shock. However, there are many negatives associated with void fillers too.
What is void filler packaging?
Void filler packaging is the added material that is used to fill any empty spaces in packaging to help protect a product. Void filler effectively fills in any gaps in boxes and packaging to help keep the product in its place and to stop it moving. The protection can also help the product during transport.
There are many different types of void fillers packaging, some of the most common materials used for void fill include;
- Cardboard strips
- Board honeycomb
- Polystyrene pieces
- Bubble wrap
- Packing peanuts
The problem with void fillers packaging
One of the main issues with void packaging is the additional expense that it brings. Void filler means that you are using packaging that is too big. Your business is, therefore, paying unnecessary postage or logistics costs to transport empty space. Furthermore, you are not only paying for the privilege of shipping empty space, but you are also paying for the void filler material itself.
Filling packaging with void filler is a task which takes valuable time. In fact, staff could be using the time with wasteful void filler by packing more products into better packaging solutions. With the right packaging, you do not need to fill spaces in boxes and packages. This time spent ensuring that there is adequate filler protecting the product could be spent so much better.
In fact, with the right packaging for your product, you can reduce the packaging and fulfilment time. You can then, therefore, increase your delivery cycles and better utilise staff time for value-adding activities rather than non-value adding activities such as void filling.
3. Space utilisation
Another irritation of void filler is the use of your valuable space on your premises. Often void filler packaging can take up premium warehouse space that could be utilised for storage of products, machinery or other profit-making activities. Often void filler is large and cumbersome, making it difficult to store, especially when it is needed close to hand for packaging on the process line.
Void fillers packaging will significantly lower your green credentials as a business. Using excess cardboard which needs recycling and process or harmful plastic which is often not recycled can be damaging to the environment.
Many consumers will not know how to process void fillers, which means they may not be recycled. Regardless of whether you are using recyclable materials or not, the fact is that you may still be wasting material which is unnecessary and does not showcase a business as being eco-friendly.
How to reduce void filler
1. Choose the right-sized packaging
Instead of choosing a generic box or envelope to pack your products into, consider offering a range of packaging sizes to suit your product needs better. It can be much more efficient to use the right sized packaging rather than a generic box and adding the necessary void fill to reduce the space.
Using box-on-demand techniques which give you the right sized box for every product can be a significant cost-saving investment for your business. Alternatively, taking the time to find a more suitable sized package may be worthwhile.
2. Seal boxes correctly
By sealing products with strong materials such as pressure sensitive tape, you can significantly enhance the strength of the packaging as well as its stability. By sealing products, you help to protect them from harmful conditions such as moisture and odour. Furthermore, it can help with the balance when the product is in transit, assisting the package to maintain its shape and reducing the risk of crushing and compression.
3. Test your packaging
If you feel void fillers are inevitable, then you may still be able to reduce the amount you need. It is worthwhile conducting a range of ‘stress’ tests with your products to see how they fare and therefore work out what is the optimal packaging that you need. It may surprise you to find that your product is just as protected without void filler as it is with it. By checking your products and packaging in a variety of situations, you can then standardise your packaging process which can help you to save money and become more efficient.