Why correct packaging is essential to the Customer Experience
Selecting packaging materials and having proper labelling is best to avoid damage, delay, or additional costs when sending through a courier network. Parcels can pass through many hands and machines when travelling through a courier network, so it’s essential to package them well to handle this multi-step journey.
From a consumers perspective, it’s not very reassuring to receive an order that isn’t packed well and cause an increase in returns if it arrives damaged or with missing parts. A good packing job will protect your customers’ products during shipping, but it also has the added benefit of ensuring your customer experience is positive when they receive and open their order.
Correctly packing your goods decreases the chances of customers returning the product because they feel like it wasn’t worth their time or money. Well-packed items make customers confident they received the best possible experience with your company when they received their product.
Customers that receive a positive customer experience are more likely to leave a pleasant online review, which will lead to more sales for your business.
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How to package your products
1. Choosing the box
We advise shipping goods in boxes rather than loose or shrink-wrapped.
Placing the retail box within outer packaging or a distinct transport compartment is strongly advised to protect products inside their retail packaging.
Consider strength and durability
When shipping heavy products, use durable boxes constructed of corrugated cardboard with their flaps intact.
Reused boxes can degrade over time. Examine the package for indications of damage, such as creases in the box sides or tears or dents in the box. Ensure that your box is sturdy and intact.
Choose the right sized box
Small boxes with insufficient storage space for their contents have a higher risk of shattering during transit and probably will not offer adequate protection.
Boxes with excessive room or padding are not recommended. They may break if they’re stacked on top of one another. Use a triangular or square tube holder, not a round one, when sending poster tubes.
2. Packing your box
During the various phases of its journey through a transport network, your goods will be handled many times. Using materials suited for inside the box will help keep everything safe and prevent items from shifting about during transit.
There are many suitable types of packaging materials for shipping – bubble wrap, foam peanuts, shredded paper, or the newspaper can all be used as an inner packaging material depending on your product type. It would be best to choose a ‘fit’ for the product, the size, and your box’s weight.
What are the types of packaging materials? Traditional packaging materials that are ideal forms of internal protection include bubble wrap, shredded paper, corrugated cardboard, and polystyrene type material. Although traditional, as long as your item is supported, you may choose to opt for other eco-friendly packaging materials that have a biodegradable element.
How to package your products
Wrap all items individually, and make sure there’s enough packing material between them to avoid damage. Protect sharp edges with both tape and padding. A heavy thing that is not suitably wrapped will move inside the box, damage the packaging, and be non-conveyable.
Use the 5/5 rule
When wrapping delicate items, keep in mind the ‘5/5 Rule.’ 5cm from all four walls, including the base and top of the box; 5cm of cushioning around each item.
3. Seal your box securely
To help keep boxes from falling apart, seal all gaps. All holes should be tightly sealed with at least three strips of packaging tape on both the top and bottom of the box, creating an “H seal.” Ensure there’s enough tape to keep all openings and joints firmly shut.
Wrap carefully with strong tape designed for shipping. The type of packing tape should be at least 4cm wide.
4. Packaging labels for boxes
Label your box correctly by making sure you have put the complete address
Many towns and roads across New Zealand have the same name, making delivery difficult if there isn’t complete address information. Here’s how to label a box for shipping:
- Include a name and phone number of the contact (with the area code for landlines).
- Remember that, to ensure delivery during the day, it’s best to include a physical address where someone will be available.
- In the event that it needs to be returned or the sender contacted, include a complete return address and phone number on the box’s back.
Ensure that the address label is visible
Place the label on top of the box firmly. Ensure that one side of the label is visible and that no openings or corners are concealed by the label. If you’re using strapping, make sure it’s not hiding any part of the important information.
To avoid confusion, remove any old labels and stickers
If you need to apply other packaging labels for boxes, please avoid placing them on the same surface as the address label.
Place a second address label inside the package
If the original label falls off or gets destroyed, you may use this to identify your package.
Use a plastic self-adhesive transparent window pouch
The pouch will keep any loose paperwork that needs to go outside the box.
Other packaging considerations
Keep in mind the maximum dimensions of the service you are using.
For example, at New Zealand Couriers, the maximum dimensions we accept are; 25kg in weight, 1.8 m in length and 0.1m3 in volume.
‘Caution Heavy Item’ stickers should be applied to any item over 20kg for the safety of those handling your parcels.
Dangerous and Prohibited Goods
If you want to send hazardous items, e.g. paints, aerosols and batteries, you must follow the guidelines of the service you are sending with.
Make sure to use specialty stickers such as ‘Fragile’, ‘Heavy’ or ‘This Way Up’ when sending items of that nature. This will aid in safely transporting, handling, and storing your item throughout transit.
With the right packaging for your products, you can provide an outstanding customer experience.
From choosing a box size for your items to packing them correctly, we’ve covered everything! Whether this is something new or looking to refresh on some old habits, now is the time to make sure that your customers receive their purchase in perfect condition.
Download the full New Zealand Couriers Packaging and Labelling Guidelines PDF here.