Packaging for Heavy and Bulky Items

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Shipping and transporting heavy and large products can pose various challenges for businesses created by multiples factors. Choosing the right packaging for heavy and bulky items might seem like a challenge in itself but is very important if you want your items to get to their destination without being damaged.

While it’s important for businesses to find the best packaging for all types of products, larger and heavier items require special attention to ensure that the products are not damaged and that it is safe for the people handling it.

Weight

Items that are very heavy can create challenges for you when you wish to ship them and if you don’t select the right packaging it could fail under the weight, damaging your products and potentially injuring someone.

Size

With larger or irregular shaped items, you may need to look at having bespoke packaging made for your products or consider shipping them as separate parts where you can better protect each item.

 

Metal Shipping Containers

 

Outer Packaging

It’s important to remember that double wall cardboard boxes can safely hold up to 30kg. This means that if your product weights more you will need to consider using triple wall boxes or wooden shipping crates. As well as being able to hold more weight both will add benefits for your products by offering greater levels of protection and structure than standard cardboard boxes, triple wall boxes from the extra wall and shipping crates due to being made from a solid rigid material. If using boxes, ensure that you secure them with an adequate amount of packing tape to make sure that they can hold the weight of the contents and maybe add some strapping to reinforce them further. Wooden crates are the strongest, most durable form of outer packaging for your heavy items and can withstand a great amount of weight and impacts. Another benefit is that they can be constructed, collapsed and reused multiples times helping you spread the initial cost of them over multiple orders. Alternatively, you could try using pallet collars and lids which allow you to construct a crate as you fill it or combined palletised cap and sleeve boxes. When dealing with big and heavy items it’s important to make sure that they are secured in the box or crate and aren’t going to move around. If your items are very heavy, try to avoid shipping multiple items in the same package as it may compromise the outer packaging and they could damage each other if they are resting on each other.

 

Wooden Shipping Crates

 

Inner Packaging

Picking the right packaging for heavy and bulky items doesn’t end when you pick the right cardboard box or shipping crate, some items might not even be able to go into a box or crate, but all will need adequate protection. With more overall surface area to damage, it’s important that you add the right amount of protective packaging. Edge and corner protectors are great at preventing impacts doing damage to vulnerable points on your products especially on items that aren’t able to fit inside boxes or crates such as heavy machinery. Bubble wrap and foam are good at cushioning a wide variety of heavy and bulky items and reducing vibrations and shock whilst polystyrene inserts specifically moulded for your product keep some space between your items and their outer packaging. If you’re shipping items that are metal, you may need to consider adding some corrosion protection like physical barriers (such as polythene packaging) to block any liquids or silica packets to absorb moisture from the air.

Platforms and Handling

All shipments will have times when they are handled, whether, by forklifts, cranes or people, it’s important to ensure that you make it easy to do so. Putting your shipments on a pallet will make it much easier for whoever has to handle it to load, unload and move it as it is optimised to be used with a forklift truck or pallet truck. Making it easier for them to handle your shipment will also mean that they are less likely to become damaged along their journey. There are multiples types of pallets available, from classic wooden pallets, pressed wood pallets and plastic pallets, as well as combinations of pallet and shipping box kits. Make sure that your items are secured to the pallet with adequate strapping to ensure that they are kept securely in place and do not move.

 

When you’re thinking about shipping your large items it’s important to explore the various options available to you to ensure that you find the right solution for your products. This will allow you to determine if they can provide the right amount of protection as well as keeping those handling them safe. If you need some advice on packaging for heavy and bulky items give us a call on 01332 821200 where a member of your team can help you pick the best solutions for you.

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Rick Stanford

Rick has been a salesman in the packaging supplies business for more than thirty years. Now semi-retired, he divides his time between tending his allotment in north Devon, getting depressed at the continuing travails of his home-town football club Macclesfield Town, and sharing his considerable experience and knowledge with the readers of the Davpack blog. Davpack

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