What You Should Use: 4 Popular Types of Packaging Supplies

By Jess Penner

There are many different options to choose from when it comes to shipping products and goods to the marketplace. It’s very important to have good packaging to protect the product quality, appearance, and sometimes freshness during the process of transporting them to stores and retail outlets and into customer’s shopping carts. Which packaging supplies to use will depend on the product beings shipped and the level of protection it will need from the weather or dust or debris. The packaging will have to be sturdy and durable enough to handle both rough roads and rough handling along the way.

The materials used to create packaging supplies are also varied and range from corrugated cardboard to paper, plastic and foam. Some products like fresh fruit and vegetables are packed in a range of materials, starting with the original basket they were picked in to being shrink or stretch wrapped and placed on flats or pallets for shipping. Other items that are manufactured are simply loaded directly onto pallets and then into containers or trucks for direct shipping to suppliers, retailers and customers.

Here are some of the most popular types of packaging supplies to get them to market.

1. Pallets

This has become the number one way to ship most products that are grown or manufactured today. The pallet helps keep any product up and off the ground. That is another level of protection from water and other possible damages. Pallets used to be made almost exclusively from wood, but now you can find a variety of plastic crates that are both reusable and recyclable. Pallets are an economical way to ship large volumes of just about anything and they are easily transferrable from the production floor to a truck or container for fast and efficient shipping.

2. Shrink wrap and film

Shrink wrap and shrink film packaging can be used to provide both a primary and secondary form of protection for your goods or produce. Individual products can be shrink wrapped or large volumes of things like paper can be wrapped together in shrink film. Shrink rank can be, and often is, used to cover a complete pallet of materials to hold them together and make them safer and easier to move to market. Plastic shrink wrap provides protection from the elements as well as from dirt, debris and even the sunlight if that is an issue for a product that needs to be shipped.

3. Vacuum Packaging

If a product like fresh fruit or other perishable good needs a complete seal, then vacuum packaging could be a great option. Vacuum sealing is also a popular choice for dehydrated goods, or foods that need to be compacted like the meals the military uses as rations when they are in the field. One of the main advantages to this type of packaging is that it eliminates oxygen and that keeps out bacteria, mold, and yeast. It will also stay fresh in the freezer longer than food wrapped in other types of packages and vacuum sealing is also perfect for anything that needs to be hermetically sealed like for medical supplies.

4. Preservation packaging

Preservation packaging is kind of a hybrid form of packaging that could include shrink wrapping and vacuum packaging. It might even involve placing materials into glass jars, aluminum cans, egg cartons or milk jugs. They help keep the product fresh as well as safe and protected. Bubble wrap would also fit into the preservation packaging category and this application is used for a variety of products that need to be cushioned and extra-protected on their journey through the shipping process.