How to take back control of your packaging supply in 2021

Deemed the new ‘beige gold’, cardboard supply is still very much in high demand as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the dramatic increase in online shopping has led to this over the past 12 months.

According to The IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, the UK’s eCommerce sector achieved the highest online sales growth in 13 years. Total online retail sales growth was up 36% in 2020, so it’s not surprising the devastating effects this has had on businesses nationwide.

Struggling to cope with cardboard material supply, many online retailers have experienced a delay in their deliveries, which in turn has been impactful on their customer satisfaction. Even the big retailers, Asda, Lidl and the Co-op started to feel the pinch early on last year, as many consumers were asking why their egg packaging was replaced with plastic packaging. This was an early warning of what was to come for the world of packaging…

Before the pandemic, businesses were relatively responsible when it came to recycling. Packaging would be quickly returned into the recycling system, but now the industry tackles the problem of relying on individuals to recycle properly.

“What we’ve found is people tend to store product boxes in their garages or simply in their homes without realising the detrimental effects this is having on cardboard supply,” says Stephen Rector, Managing Director at Ribble Packaging.

Less recyclable cardboard is being returned into the system and paper manufacturers are struggling to create the supply to meet demand. Paper has become scarce, and some corrugated manufacturers are having to ration their supply and let customers down.

So how can you future-proof your packaging supply chain in a volatile market?

By implementing a Right Size packaging solution.

Fit-to-product boxes can help by considerably cutting the amount of cardboard you use. By only using the right size box, it means you only have to purchase one type of packaging material such as Fanfold, removing the need to order multiple styles and sizes.

This flexible on-demand right size packaging solution is guaranteed to save you up to 25% in packaging costs and is a much more sustainable solution, as it removes the need to purchase additional void fillers; a win, win.

To find out more about Ribble Right Size, please click here or get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss your options.

 

Packaging for Lighting – Right Size has you covered

Packaging for Lighting, from Pendants to Florescent Luminaires; Right Size has you covered.

If you’re a lighting manufacturer or supplier, you already know that lights come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention the fragility of some designs. When it comes to packaging, especially for eCommerce stockists, your products need to fit properly in your packaging of choice with good protection to get your product to your customer safely without any breakage or damages.

Recently, packaging companies have experienced a national cardboard shortage “due to a combination of the pandemic and Brexit” says Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI). With this in mind, companies have been stockpiling materials leading to many retailers suffering the consequences of not having packaging readily available when they need it.

With all the varieties of lighting out there, sourcing packaging is not an easy task. As a business, you need to have the right box there ready to go as soon as your product has been assembled to avoid any breakages. So, as a manufacturer or supplier, you have two options. You either have to have a warehouse with unlimited space for all the different box shapes and sizes, or you choose a much more efficient way of operating…let us introduce you to Right Size Packaging.

On-demand packaging; a perfect fit every time

With Right Size Packaging, you can create boxes that are the exact dimensions and style you need for all your products. You never have to worry about being without the materials you need to run your business because you have packaging on demand.

It’s flexible, easy and efficient

Take back control of your packaging supply by switching to Fanfold, a greener packaging solution. Rather than conventional boxes, you can easily source just one product and eliminate the need to buy multiple different styles and sizes of boxes.

Create an environmentally sustainable packaging process, eliminate plastic packaging

Every business should make a conscious effort to reduce their impact on the environment. But if you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution for your packaging processes, then fanfold, coupled with Right Size Packaging could be for you.

Not only that, a Fanfold solution can actually make you more money

How? Whilst reducing your packaging cost by around 30%, this packaging solution also frees up your packaging inventory, regaining vital space to use for more stock – increasing your sales opportunities.

 

Still not convinced? Hear from Dextra Group PLC just how much Right Size Packaging has helped their business operations. As the UK’s largest privately-owned lighting manufacturer they can tell you honestly, so you don’t just have to take our word for it…

 

If you would like to find out more about any of our packaging solutions, please get in touch.

The packaging process that is over 99% plastic free

Internet Fusion Group, a leading lifestyle e-commerce retailer with brands such as Surfdome and Country Attire, have created a sustainable packaging process that is over 99% plastic free. Investments in two Quadient CVP-500 automated packaging machines and switching to Corrugated Fanfold material from Ribble Packaging, have aided with their pursuit of an environmentally sustainable right size packaging process.

To highlight the full extent of their achievements, Internet Fusion have released a report investigating the environmental effects of paper-based packaging versus plastic packaging products. The report explores the full manufacturing process of both paper and plastic packaging, through to the recyclability and long-term environmental effects once a package has reached its destination. Head of Sustainability at Internet Fusion Adam Hall said” Our customers are tired of plastic pollution, and we are tired of the justifications being put forward for continued plastic production in the middle of a marine plastic crisis. When you dig a little deeper these arguments simply don’t stack up, so we felt it was time to share the decision-making process that has led us to our packaging being over 99% plastic free. Our customers choose us because of our environmental efforts and in turn we choose Ribble for the same reasons – it’s partnerships such as these that can shift a whole industry towards a more sustainable future”.

Right Size packaging specialists Ribble Packaging supply Internet Fusion with over 75% of their packaging material in the form of Corrugated Fanfold board, a versatile fully recycled and recyclable cardboard product that feeds many of the leading automated packaging systems in the UK.

Stephen Rector, Managing Director of Ribble Packaging, commented on Internet Fusion’s success: “It is fantastic to see that Ribble products are helping our customers in creating more environmentally sustainable packaging processes. We also see the need to improve our in-house operations to make them more sustainable.”

Earlier this year, Ribble embarked on a project to make their operations carbon neutral. “We understand the need to focus on the effects our manufacturing process has on the environment, this has led to us embarking on a carbon neutral project that will see us embrace new sustainable technologies and practices. Our products allow customers to create a more sustainable packaging process, but we can enhance these benefits by offering a carbon neutral manufacturing process as well.”

Top 10 benefits of switching to Right Size Packaging in 2021

Want to find a way to keep your customers happy this year, well it’s time to look at how you can be more sustainable…

Firstly, why do small things come in such big packages in the first place? Protection! As noted by many eCommerce companies, retailers over the years have chosen to package items with unfavourable amount of padding and air to prevent items from getting damaged in transit. But this is no longer an issue thanks to smarter packaging options that meet the needs of the growing number of environmentally conscious customers.

With Right Sized Packaging, you can benefit from:

  1. Improved Packaging Protection

Rest assured each product/item is snug and secure, reducing any chance of breakages during delivery and increasing customer satisfaction.

  1. A perfect size box for all your orders

Over the years, more and more people are conscious about their decisions that affect the environment and climate change, i.e. waste. Keep your customers happy by reminding them you are conscious too.

  1. Reduction in packaging costs

Packaging can be costly but utilising the right sized packaging for your products, means you only use the amount you need. Keeping the cost of materials down as you won’t need to order as much!

  1. Reduction in vehicle utilisation

With smaller packaging boxes, you’ll be able to fit so much more on your delivery vans when transporting your product to the end-user. Reducing journeys and cutting cost, not to mention lowering your carbon emissions!

  1. Elimination of plastic packaging

Plastic packaging can take hundreds of years, if not thousands to biodegrade! Switching to a cardboard packaging material saves landfill sites from being overloaded with waste packaging.

  1. Less labour intensive

With a quicker packaging process, Ribble Right Size saves time and cuts down the process, keeping pressure off your warehouse staff.

  1. Reduced admin

With fewer materials used, you won’t need to order as much. Plus you only have to order 1 product (Fanfold) from 1 supplier, rather than multiple sizes and styles of boxes.

  1. Eliminating all void fill packaging

Making you more efficient and improving profit margin as you’ll be using less packaging.

  1. More Warehouse Space

More room for those great products of yours and less floor space wasted on excessive packaging!

  1. Flexibility to make the right box on demand

No more worry about whether you have the right size box or the right style, Ribble Right Size is fully flexible, so you’re covered for everything.

 

Interested to hear more about Right Size Packaging? Get in touch and we’d be more than happy to talk you through the process of switching and getting you on board to be more sustainable in 2021.

How you can save 25% on your packaging; Guaranteed.

With Christmas just around the corner, the increase of online shopping is likely to go through the roof round about now. As each parcel is delivered, you can expect that customers will get an immediate opinion on the brand and how they value sustainability.

10-15 years ago, people would have probably not given a second thought to an overly wrapped parcel or excessively large packaging box, but now researchers at The Chartered Institute of Marketing have found 88% of shoppers think their items come with excessive wrapping, with children’s toys, mobile phones and cosmetics most likely to come in over-elaborate packaging. It was also found that “8 in 10 would like to see more done by large companies to promote sustainable packaging”.

When companies consider the switch to Right Size packaging, they’re likely already sold on the fact that they know they’ll save on the packaging costs, as there’s so much less packaging to buy in the first place. Along with the obvious advantages that come with having similar values to their consumers; brand loyalty, trust and desire to support positive environmental policies. Often, they don’t even realise all the additional savings they can benefit from…

Think about it, with less packaging you’ll need fewer vehicles on the road as you won’t be taking up as much space in the back of your delivery vans. As well as being kinder to the environment by reducing carbon emissions, you’ll be saving money as well, fewer vehicles, fewer drivers, therefore lower labour costs for your business.

According to The Road Transport Industry report in 2019, “78% of goods are moved by road”, and transportation costs can be a huge part of a company’s overall logistics spending. If it’s possible to reduce this through Right Size packaging, its arguably one of the most beneficial solutions a company can implement due to the ever-rising fuel costs and the impact this can then have on the price of goods to the end-user.

Recently, it’s been estimated that returns can cost retailers up to £20 billion every year, but with Right Size packaging, sales aren’t limited by MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities), and Return Management is improved as the product is less likely to arrive damaged therefore fewer refunds or exchanges. To ensure your business saves money and even profits from logistical changes, bespoke Right Size packaging is essential.

With no additional cost for void fillers and less waste disposal, Right Size packaging is a no brainer for companies that want to adapt and futureproof their business. Get in touch to find out more and we can arrange a quick 15-minute virtual demo. Visit https://ribble-pack.co.uk/right-size for more information.

Ribble’s £3.5 million investment into their future

Recently we have successfully completed a £3.5 million investment project on time, despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. The project, which included a warehouse extension and the installation of various state-of-the-art machinery, started in February and concluded in early September. The investment will allow us to expand our capacity and continue our growth in the future.

Over the past 5 years we have worked hard to create a position as the European market leader for the manufacture and supply of corrugated Fanfold, in addition to pioneering Right Size packaging solutions in the UK. We started this journey to success 8 years ago when we prototyped the very first Fanfold stacker developed by Universal Corrugated B.V. Using this highly automated and ground-breaking technology, we were able to ride the growing wave of the ‘on demand’ culture. It was our desire to continue as the market leaders in this rapidly developing and evolving market that lead to the decision to make this latest investment.

The investment consisted of 4 projects involving a multitude of contractors from all over Europe, all of whom came together with our own Ribble team to coordinate the installations. The teams worked seamlessly together in an environment made all the more challenging by the requirement to comply with our comprehensive Covid risk management plan.

Project 1 – The ‘Airbond’ System

The system, installed by JKSP Services, was an investment on the drying section of the conventional corrugator. It is designed to dry double walled board at higher running speeds, allowing us to increase the line speed of double wall from 170 metres per minute up to 220 metres per minute.

Project 2 – The Unifold

The largest part of the of the investment was The Unifold, the latest generation and fastest fully automated fanfold stacker in Europe. This machine was manufactured by Universal Corrugated B.V, shipped over from the Netherlands and installed and commissioned within a 2 week period. The upgrade will allow us to increase our running speed by 33% from 150 metres per minute to 200 metres per minute, with the capability for higher speeds in the future.

Project 3 – Dedicated Press Track

The press track, dedicated to The Unifold stacker, incorporates a state-of-the-art palletiser, turntable, pallet pusher and conveyorization. All of which will aid the manufacture and delivery of Fanfold to the various Right Size automated packaging systems available across the market.

Project 4 – Warehouse & Factory Extension

PLP Construction were contracted to build the warehouse extension which has increased our onsite storage capacity by 18,000 square feet. This significant increase will allow us to store on average an extra 1000 pallets and cope with the newly increased running speeds of the fanfold stacker.

Stephen Rector, the Managing Director of Ribble Packaging, praised his employees and the contractors involved stating “The work done on this project has been immense and the result is, in my opinion, fantastic. The Fanfold and Right Size packaging market has grown significantly over the past few years and show no signs of stopping. We therefore needed to evolve with the market to protect our hard-earned market leading position. This investment will ensure we do exactly that whilst also giving us the ability to strengthen our relationships and partnerships with the leading Right Size packaging machine manufacturers such as Panotec, Quadient and CMC.”

6 Months On – An Operational Success!

Since the completion of our investment project in September last year, the packaging industry has experienced an unprecedented increase in demand as a direct result of Covid-19 and Brexit. Despite the challenges which have arisen for the industry as a whole, Ribble have thrived due to the operational success of the new machinery installed and extra warehouse space. Within four weeks of the investment projects being commissioned Ribble had delivered a 25% increase in productivity, allowing them to absorb the demand and maintain their high service levels. Further productivity improvements are expected to be gained from this investment over the coming months.

In addition to their own operational productivity, Ribble’s Right Size packaging has proven to be an effective solution for their customers, particularly for retailers. Right Size has allowed businesses to regain control and streamline their packaging process despite the ongoing short-term packaging shortage. Stephen Rector commented on the positive impact Right Sizing has on the packaging industry “With the events of 2020 and a greater emphasis on the role of ecommerce within the retail industry, we have seen a rise in demand of Right Size technology that can cope with the ever-changing retail landscape.”

Right Size packaging solutions consist of a packaging machine placed on a customer’s site fed by Fanfold corrugated board (a concertina of continuous cardboard sheet) that allows Right Size solutions to automatically cut the right amount of material needed for a perfect size box for each product being packaged.

With a shift towards greener packaging materials and a worldwide cardboard shortage, many companies have struggled to source the packaging materials they need or are forced to seek less sustainable alternatives. Right Size packaging technology removes excess product packaging by placing each product in the perfect size box – this reduces cardboard consumption overall, typically by 25%. Current Right Size customers are also benefitting from purchasing Fanfold corrugated board rather than conventional carboard boxes. By removing conventional box purchasing and switching to Fanfold, companies only purchase the amount of cardboard they require rather than having surplus boxes due to minimum order quantities dictated by suppliers. All of these benefits lead to Right Size customers reducing their amount of cardboard consumption and relieving pressure on the cardboard supply chain.

Leading The Way With Packaging Innovation

According to the Office of National Statistics, 82% of people in the UK shopped online in 2019 (a rise of 4% against 2018). That’s a lot of goods being shipped, and a lot of packaging being used. And, given how much of that packaging will have been too big for the goods being shipped, it’s a lot of waste and unnecessary cost.

When it comes to unnecessary packaging, waste and cost aren’t the only factors to consider. There is another side too: consumer opinion.  A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Marketing found that 88% of people think their online shopping comes with too much packaging. And, a further 30% said too much packaging puts them off ordering with the same company again. 

Thankfully, for businesses who sell goods online, packaging innovation means tailor-made boxes, produced on demand are now an option available to retailers and manufacturers. A solution that, in the longer-term, can save them time and money while building a loyal customer base. 

What is on demand packaging?

On demand packaging is an innovative packaging solution that allows businesses to produce boxes to the exact size of the goods they’re shipping. State of the art machinery scans goods and cuts corrugated cardboard to the exact size needed. They’re a simple and effective solution to the problem of too much packaging. The results are less waste, less cost, higher levels of customer satisfaction and a smaller environmental footprint.

On demandPackaging innovation with

There are a number of on demand packaging solutions on the market and available in the UK, including:

CMC CartonWrap

CMC’s CartonWrap is an automated packaging system capable of producing 1,000 on demand boxes an hour. Each box fits the exact size and shape of the goods to be shipped. These are made in ‘real-time’ after an order is processed and ready for shipping. 

Businesses around the world use Carton Wrap. This includes Lakeland in the UK. However, the machine is primarily designed for larger enterprises that ship in high volumes. As a result, and due to its size, it doesn’t work as well for smaller businesses or those with limited warehouse space.

Neopost CVP-500

Neopost’s CVP-500 is a smaller machine, though possibly still not ideal for businesses with limited space due to its size. The machine is designed for mid-market businesses and makes up to 500 boxes an hour. Each fits the product it is shipping perfectly.  According to Neopost, the CVP-500 is equivalent to 15 packaging stations and saves businesses up to 20% on cardboard compared to traditional, standardised, packaging.

Ribble Right Size

Panotec’s machinery is available exclusively in the UK through Ribble, a Lancashire based packaging company who have been delivering innovative packaging solutions to its customers for 80 years. Right Size works seamlessly with Ribble’s fanfold cardboard, meaning it saves businesses 25% on cardboard and 100% on void fillers. It also means businesses have consistent access to high-quality materials and don’t have to worry about MOQs.

Unlike Neopost and CMC’s automated packaging machines, Right Size machinery is available in three sizes, meaning there is likely one that works for most businesses. Their smallest model, the Compak 1.4, for example, is only 1.4 metres wide and can produce 600 boxes an hour. There is also the Compak Evo, which produces 720 boxes per hour and the larger Next Mode model produces 840 boxes per hour.

The Benefits of On Demand Packaging

While there is an initial outlay to buying an on demand packaging system, something which may make businesses nervous, the short and long-term benefits make any investment well worthwhile. 

Speed

On demand packaging systems are fast, much faster than packaging by hand. As a result, businesses can be much more responsive to customer demand, fulfilling orders more quickly. It’s worth remembering that, as well as speed, companies should consider volume. As we’ve seen, different machinery can produce different numbers of boxes in an hour. 

It is important that businesses choose equipment that produces boxes at the rate they need them to. It is easy for businesses to over-estimate how many boxes they need. It is worth noting that Amazon’s new automated packaging system, for example, only produces 700 boxes an hour.

Accuracy

Systems like Right Size take the guesswork out of packaging. Businesses can be confident knowing that they will never order packaging that is too big or too small for the goods they want to ship. Plus, because systems produce labels at the same time as boxes, there is less chance of an order shipping to the wrong location. 

Flexibility

Not all products fit nicely into a standard box.  For example, Ribble work with Showcard who produce point of sale and large scale display posters. Both need specific packaging to ensure goods arrive at their destination in excellent condition. This isn’t always possible with ‘one size fits all’ boxes. It is possible with packaging innovation where businesses can size boxes to meet their specific needs.

Costs

Following the initial layout, on demand packaging machines can lead to huge costs savings, including:

Materials

Neopost estimates their CVP-500 saves 20% on conventional packaging. Right Size, meanwhile, can save a business 25% in corrugated cardboard, a significant saving. There is also less need for void filler. This is one of the most expensive parts of packaging because a) it costs money to buy and b) it costs money to transport. With void filler, businesses are basically paying to ship air. With systems such as Right Size, because it uses corrugated cardboard to protect goods, the need for void filler is completely eliminated.

Warehousing

Storing standardised boxes takes up space, resulting in warehouse costs that can be avoided by on demand packaging. An added benefit here is that the less packaging a business has to store, the more space they have to store goods (while not having to increase their square footage).

Errors

Goods picked and packed by hand are more likely to contain errors, leading to customers receive the wrong goods. When this happens, businesses sometimes take it as a loss, estimating it costs more to ship the products back that have the customer keep them. There is, however, a cost for then sending out the correct item. Packaging innovation reduces the risk of errors as it scans goods before packaging; some systems have digital displays that allow staff to match goods to orders. 

Damage

The chances of goods being damaged in transit increases when they are incorrectly packaged. This can be the result of boxes being the wrong size or insufficient void filler. Businesses then have to send replacement goods, which they have to pay for.

Transport

While the goods businesses ship determines their transport costs, most say shipping is their biggest outlay. In fact, some industry experts estimate transportation costs can run as high as 50%. Packaging innovation reduces the size of the packaging, meaning businesses can load more goods into their delivery vans. As a result, shipping goods requires fewer trucks and fewer journeys. This, in turn, reduces running costs and a company’s carbon footprint.

The Environmental Impact

Perhaps one of the most positive benefits of on demand packaging systems is that they reduce a business’s environmental impact.  This is becoming increasingly important to consumers. The Charted Institute of Marketing survey we mentioned earlier, for example, found:

  • 36% of people surveyed judge a company’s ethics based on their packaging
  • 17% had complained to a company because of excess packaging with their goods
  • 10% were less likely to place an online order because of the amount of packaging a company used
  • 25% were willing to pay more for sustainable packaging; this is something Ribble offer in all their packaging, 100% of which is recyclable.

With packaging innovation and on demand solutions, businesses can honestly tell their customers that they are reducing their:

  • Levels of waste
  • Carbon footprint
  • Use of plastic

At the same time, they are increasing the use of recyclable materials. This should have a positive impact on how they are seen and could increase sales.

Competitive Advantage

Finally, on demand packaging systems offer businesses a competitive edge. They are simple and inexpensive to run, increase productivity and reduce costs. And, because they are innovative and not widely used, they allow businesses to work in ways others in their market can’t. This is incredibly important when profit margins are tight, or markets are crowded. It provides a way for businesses to offer their customers a competitive price and a high level of service. Both of which should lead to increased sales and repeat orders.

Over time, because of the benefits that packaging innovation offers and customer demand for sustainable packaging, there is no doubt that on demand packaging will increase in popularity.  What better time, then, than now, to invest in a state-of-the-art product that could change the way you do business and your customers see you?

The Manufacturer’s Guide To Packaging Paintings And Wall Art

Over the last ten years, the UK has experienced rapid growth in online sales. Clothes and household items aren’t all people are buying. Today, people are buying anything and everything online, including paintings and wall art. 

Some of the most difficult items to pack are paintings and wall art, especially if they are framed. Framed artwork and pictures don’t fit usual packing standards, meaning they need special care and attention when shipping. The frames themselves, for example, are often large yet flimsy. Glass covers a large percentage of paintings, and the artwork itself is at risk of damage from the wrong type of packaging or glass breaking.  

Here we look at how best to package paintings and wall art for shipping. First, though, we’ll look at what to avoid with painting packaging. 

What not to do when packaging paintings and wall art

When packaging paintings and wall art, it’s a good idea to avoid:

  • Using packing materials that can scratch glass or leave marks on the canvas. A perfect example of this is newspaper, which a lot of sites recommended using as additional packaging. Another is parchment paper, which can scratch glass. 
  • Using Styrofoam peanuts as additional packaging. While these might seem a good option, they can break down in transit, especially with heavier frames. These small pieces can lodge between the frame and glass. More environmentally-friendly options, such as corn starch peanuts, also breakdown under pressure. They can also turn to ‘glue’ with moisture, causing damage to paintings. 
  • Shipping loose canvases with their frame. It is much better to roll up the canvas and ship it separately. 

Packaging paintings correctly

While every painting and piece of artwork is different, these steps will help make sure they are packaged correctly.

  1. Place the painting on a flat surface when preparing it for shipping. The surface should be stable and bigger than the painting itself.
  2. Use masking tape to mark an X across any glass frame. This will help keep the glass in place during shipping. It also protects the artwork if the glass breaks in transit. 
  3. Use thick card as a cover where there isn’t a glass frame. The card or cardboard should cover the painting, not the frame. Alternatives to card and cardboard include foam or felt. Avoid bubble wrap touching the artwork directly as this could cause static, which can damage a painting. 
  4. Use bubble wrap to cover the painting and the frame. Use at least two layers, one horizontally and one vertically, which will keep the painting more secure in transit. Secure the bubble wrap with masking tape at the back of the painting, holding it in place. 
  5. Choose the right sized box for the frame being shipped. If it is too large, it could move in transit, damaging the painting. Use additional packaging such as brown paper If there is space once the frame is in the box to avoid it moving in transit.  
  6. For extra-large frames (those more than 30 inches high/wide) use a telescopic box. Telescopic boxes extend to fit the frame. Alternatively, use two boxes or use cardboard cut to the size of the frame. Make sure the cardboard is thick enough to protect the painting in transit.
  7. Once the frame is in the box, lift and move the package to see if it moves in transit. If it does, add additional packaging. 
  8. Seal the edges with packing tape. Use enough tape to make sure the seals won’t open during transit. 
  9. Mark the package FRAGILE. Place labels where they can be easily seen. If needed, use more than one.
  10. Choose the right shipping method. Ideally, this will be a courier, one who specialises in shipping artwork and who understands how to handle fragile packages. If the painting is expensive or an antique, make sure it is properly insured so that if it is damaged the business, and the customer, are protected. 

Packaging Sizes

Of all of these, getting the right size box is probably the most important step, yet the one most often ignored. There is a temptation for businesses to order boxes in bulk to cut costs and then try and make the frames fit. Using packaging that is too large for the frame, however, is putting the painting at risk, something that should be avoided at all costs. 

Fortunately, there are now lots of options available to ensure you have the right-sized boxes. You can ask a box manufacturer to deliver custom-sized boxes for your products. Alternatively, you can invest in a packaging machine, which will create a box to the right size of each individual product you plan to ship. 

 

Frame Packaging: Get Your Contents Safely to Your Customer

According to recent figures released by the UK government, over 50% of consumers shop online some or all the time. It’s a trend that looks set to continue. For online businesses, this is excellent news, as long as they can attract those consumers and then turn them into loyal customers. 

One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that the products they sell offer value for money. Another is to make sure that these goods arrive at their destination undamaged. For this to happen, a business needs to use the right packaging for their products, especially if those products are fragile. 

There are few things more fragile than frames, whether these contain a piece of art or have a future displaying treasured family photos. Depending on their size and construction, the frames themselves can be thin (making them easily breakable). Plus, the glass itself can shatter if not adequately protected. 

What, though, is the best way to package a frame? Here, we look at the frame packaging steps to take to make sure frames are packaged properly so that they arrive at their destination damage-free.

Supplies

The first thing any business needs to do is to make sure they have the right types of frame packaging for the items they want to ship. This means boxes that are the right size – they need to fit around the frames securely. It also means supplies to package up the frame itself. These include packaging tape, labels, recycled brown packing paper and other eco-friendly packaging options such as cardboard, paper, shredded paper or even popcorn. 

Using The Right Sized Box

While it might be tempting to try and save money by ordering boxes in bulk then making them fit the frame, this isn’t a good idea. Choosing a box that’s too big, for example, and filling it full of additional packaging such as Styrofoam peanuts, can see it shift in transit. As a result, it could end up damaged, meaning a refund or returned order. Furthermore, customers now prioritise green packaging solutions and do not want to see wasteful unrecyclable products such as Styrofoam

It is much better to find boxes that fit the frames, even if this means ordering smaller quantities. The good news here is that are box manufacturers who specialise in boxes designed for shipping frames. Alternatively, you can opt for a Box on Demand service which creates the right-sized box for every item you want to ship. You can also break down an existing box and resize it for the frame if specialist packaging isn’t available. 

Protecting Glass

Most frames include a glass sheet that protects the contents once it’s on the wall. To protect the glass until it’s ready for hanging, use masking tape to place an X across it. This can stop it from moving during shipping. Plus, if it does shatter, it stops it breaking into smaller pieces.

Protecting Artwork

Where artwork isn’t covered by glass it still needs protection from damage. The best way to do this is to use a wrap around the frame and over (but not touching) the art.  Commercial wrapping (often made from paper or plastic) is available for shipping purposes. It may be called pallet wrap. You can also find plastic-alternative wrapping that is usually made from corn starch if you want your packaging to be green.

Additional Packaging

It’s best to use the right size frame packaging. However, if the box isn’t an exact fit, you may need to provide extra protection. Use at least two layers of additional packaging. Wrap one layer around the frame lengthwise and one around the frame width-wise. This means it’s less likely to shift in transit. Something else worth thinking about are corner protectors, which should help hold the frame securely in place.

Check For Movement

Before sealing up the box, it’s a good idea to test the package for shipment. However, once a company has a process for frame packaging that works, this won’t be needed. Close the box and lift it, lay it flat and then turn it over. Then reopen the box to check whether there has been any movement. If there isn’t, it’s good to go. If there is, adjust the packaging to reduce the risk of damage to the frame. 

Final Packaging

Seal frame packaging securely before shipping it (the same as any other packaging). Make sure to close all seams, covering them with packing tape. It’s important to avoid any gaps or openings. Add a label that clearly shows the name and address of the recipient. Include any shipping instructions on the label.  Most important of these is marking the package FRAGILE. Use FRAGILE stickers (rather than writing the word) to look professional. Place them in key locations where they will be easily seen. 

Mirror Packaging: The Alternative For Mirror Manufacturers & Retailers

When it comes to packaging and transporting mirrors, the process has been relatively consistent for many years.

Typically, it begins with bubble wrap, polystyrene packing peanuts and a box with lots of parcel tape. However, customers are now demanding a new and improved packaging option. They are looking for one that is better for the environment, and that limits wastage.

So, what is the alternative for mirror packaging?

Why retailers should look for alternative mirror packaging

  • Eliminate waste

When you are shipping a variety of mirrors, the chances are you are using the same size box for as many products as possible. This means more space on the van when shipping which not only costs your business more but also means there are more vans on the road, causing more emissions. Using custom boxes for each mirror you ship eliminates waste, potentially saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint. 

  • Ease of recycling

90% of people say that they would recycle more if it were easier to do so. Consequently, there is a demand for greener packaging that is easy to recycle. If you are using plastic packaging or other materials that do not biodegrade or are not easy to recycle, then it is time to find alternative mirror packaging that customers can recycle. 

Using custom boxes made from recycled cardboard is an excellent solution as cardboard is readily recycled and is easy to reuse and repurpose into new packaging every time it is recycled. 

  • Improve customer perception

Consumers are looking for companies that offer eco-friendly options and packaging is an essential aspect of this. With unboxing now being a huge trend, you want to ensure your customers get the right impression of your brand from the second they receive your parcel. One of the best ways to make a good impression of your packaging is to keep it minimal, eco-friendly and easy to repurpose or recycle. Customers are short on time, and your packaging needs to be easy to process. 

  • Enhance the shipping process

Packaging items ready for shipping takes time, money and resources. Furthermore, packaging material takes up lots of space, and the process itself can be space consuming. If you want to make the packaging process more seamless and to keep it speedy, it may be time to think about alternative mirror packaging. Solutions such as Ribble Right Size can minimise the space needed for packaging and speed up the process too. 

  • Reduce breakages

If you find that many customers are returning items because they have been broken or damaged, then it is certainly time to rethink the packaging that you are using. Large boxes, even with void filler mean that there is a lot of space for your products to move, which increases the risk of damage. However, by choosing custom boxes that ensure your mirrors fit snugly inside means, there is less movement and hopefully fewer breakages. 

While you may have a higher initial outlay in changing your packaging, it may improve your bottom line in the long run. 

Custom boxes – the alternative for mirror packaging

While cardboard may have been around for centuries, it is still one of the easiest, cost-effective and greenest methods of packaging. Corrugated cardboard helps to provide padding as well, which can reduce breakages. If you use custom boxes, then you know the product and its box are the perfect fit. 

Consequently, you can reduce wastage, excess space, eliminate void fillers and keep your products as safe as possible during transit. What’s more, when the client receives your parcel in its custom box, it is easy for them to recycle the packaging too. 

You can make your custom boxes even green by avoiding bleached boxes and instead focus on using previously recycled card for your packaging. Many corrugated cardboard sellers will now offer a recycled option that can also be recycled again by your customers. This means the lifespan of the cardboard is hugely increased, with the ability to recycle it time and time again. 

If you have small areas of space that you need to fill, then biodegradable void filler of paper cushioning can be an excellent alternative for mirror packaging. While custom boxes may be enough, if you want added security that doesn’t use excess unrecyclable plastic, then these can be useful to have in stock in case there are rare cases where they are needed or perhaps need cushioning between multiple mirrors when you are posting more than one at a time in each box.

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