Choosing the right filler material to protect your shipment

Filler material

Are you about to ship a package? You evidently want it to arrive at its destination on time and in one piece. When it comes to the latter, packaging is crucial (especially if you’re shipping fragile items). Getting the outer packaging right is one thing, but it doesn’t end there. This article tells you all about choosing the right filler material for your shipment.

Before you start filling …

When packing a shipment, always keep in mind that the packaging should be able to absorb potential shocks. Start by determining the right dimensions. Will you be using a box? Don’t pick one that is too large, because then your package may dent. Reversely, the box shouldn’t be too small either, as this increases the risk of tearing. Make sure all items fit neatly into the box while leaving a bit of room for filler material.

Protective filler material

It is recommended to leave at least 5 cm between the outer and the inner packaging. The space in between should be filled with protective filler material such as:

  • bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam or Styrofoam chips
  • crumpled paper (e.g. old newspapers)

In other words, finding the right filler material for your shipment needn’t be complicated. In most cases, an old newspaper will do just fine. If you’re in need of larger amounts of filler material, you can always contact a paper dealer.

Never ship items loose

So how much filler material is enough? Simple: if the items inside the packaging can no longer move around, you’ve done a great job packing your shipment. Evidently, you still need to be able to seal the box without filler material bulging out.

A few more tips to pack your shipment efficiently:

  • Fragile items should be packed in protective packaging material (e.g. Styrofoam) on all sides.
  • Use dividers (partitions) when sending multiple fragile items in one package.
  • Always protect data and media discs with a thick layer of foam on all sides.
  • Wrap sharp edges and protrusions with an extra layer of cloth, paper or foam sheet.
  • Valuables should always be packed in extra sturdy boxes.
  • It’s always a good idea to use a sticker to indicate that a shipment is fragile. However, a sticker can never substitute for sturdy packaging!