Packaging brittle and fragile products can be quite challenging. Glass and ceramics are not only heavy, but they are also brittle. Furthermore, they can also be of irregular shape, making them harder to pack. Unlike ceramics, glass can also hurt if broken. Cleaning up the broken pieces can be quite dangerous too. Hence, here are some handy tips on packaging glass products for easier handling while shipping.
1. Invest in a Good Void Fill
Glass products are often irregular. Some parts may be more fragile than the others. For instance, consider a wine glass. In most modern glasses, the stem is quite brittle and can break easily. Also, the top edges can chip. Good void fill ensures that the glass items do not move around in the packaging and is protected from all sides. Here are some of the most commonly used void fills for packaging glass.
Cell pack: Cell packs are cardboard boxes with cell partitions of cardboard itself. Each cell is perfectly sized for the product so that it does not move around. Styrofoam sheets can also make cell partitions. They keep the box light and compact.
Bubble wrap: Bubble wraps are widely available, are water resistant, flexible and reusable. Bubble wrap wraps the product to create a perfect cushioning. It will prevent the glass item from moving around in the packaging while protecting it from minor falls and bumps.
Paper: A more eco-friendly solution is using paper. Newspapers are the perfect way to protect glass products. Paper can create a denser void fill that will provide better protection. Crinkle paper is perfect for the job. However, using too much can make the entire packaging quite heavy.
Styrofoam: Custom built Styrofoam molds is commonly used for retail packaging. They product optimum protection and support. Products packaged using Styrofoam are stackable since Styrofoam is rigid and won't put pressure on the fragile glass products. Styrofoam sheets are also used during packing and moving.
Corrugated boards: Thick, multi-layer corrugated boards are great void fills too. Spacers made from these corrugated boards create a compact, light and sturdy packaging.
2. Proper Sealing is Extremely Important
Glass can be quite heavy. When packed in cardboard or corrugated boxes, there is always a risk of the glass products falling through the box upon lifting. So, it’s important to seal the box in a way so that there is proper support. Here are some commonly used methods of sealing such heavy boxes.
Carton tape: Carton tape is the most commonly used method to seal such boxes. Wide tapes provide better sealing. Using them handsomely ensures that the box will not tear open because of the weight of the contents
Protection film: Boxes can also be wrapped using a plastic protection film. Protection films are much wider than tapes and they also come with adhesives. This is a great method to waterproof the entire packaging.
Film tape: Just like protection film, film tape can also be used for sealing. Film tape is stretchable and creates a tighter seal.
Foam tape: Foam tape can be both used to seal glassware in the box and even add an extra layer of protection from bumps and drops.
3. Use Proper Packaging Boxes
Using the right boxes is quite crucial for the protection of the items. The box should have appropriate space for containing the items as well as the void fill. Also, it should be strong enough to hold the weight and should have proper labeling. Here are a few things that you need to take into account.
Box size: A box that is too compact will put too much stress on the glass items and may lead to cracks. A box that is too big will require excess void fills. A box that is just the right size will have just enough space for the void fill after the glass items are put in.
Construction material: Boxes made from corrugated boards are commonly used for packaging glass products. Corrugated boards themselves provide a certain degree of padding. However, wooden boxes are used too. They are much more durable and stackable. However, the wooden box should not have protruding nails that can damage the glass.
Box labeling: A box containing glassware or other glass items should carry proper labeling. A simple “Fragile – Handle with Care” label is good enough to let the shippers understand what is in the box.
Things to Remember
So, here is a short recap of all the points that you need to remember while packaging glass.
Seal the bottom properly: Use tape or film handsomely. You can even use packing straps.
Add extra cushioning for fragile parts: Handles of cups, stems of wine glasses, necks of glass bottles are extra fragile. Add extra cushioning for those parts using foam sheets, bubble wrap or just paper.
Stack the items carefully: Be careful when stacking packaging containing glass. If you are using corrugated board boxes, then it is best not to stack the products.
Do not forget the “Handle with Care” Sign: Letting the shippers and movers know that the boxes contain glass items is crucial for their safety. Hence, always put a label even if you have informed them verbally.
Packaging glass is a mindful task. You need to be careful about how well you are protecting the delicate parts. Also, you need to know if you are packing the items in the boxes too tightly or too loosely. Whether the box is strong enough and if the packaging needs waterproofing. There are different void fill options, types of boxes, film, and tape available to choose from depending on your needs.
You might also like to read about Tamper Evident Tapes and how they can be beneficial for additional transit protection.
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