It is imperative for companies to choose an appropriate packaging material for their goods. There is no standard approach as the exact type and nature of the goods will determine the quintessential attributes of the packaging material. Some goods are sturdier while some are fragile. Some are resistant to wear & tear while some can be easily scraped and dented. Some goods are more valuable and hence need additional protection in transit. Packaging materials must be compared holistically, bearing in mind every minor and major prerequisite. That is the only way to select the best packaging material for a certain type of goods. Here are the common packaging materials in use today.
There are many reasons why plastic is often the default packaging material for several industries. It is an affordable material, plastic comes in a myriad of shapes and sizes so customization is never a challenge and the lightweight material reduces the cost of shipping.
Two hundred years ago, wooden crates were the de facto choice. Wooden crates are still around but most companies prefer cardboard boxes. Cardboard is exponentially cheaper than wood and they are also much lighter. Corrugated fiberboard, which is the primary material used to make boxes today, is strong and stable, quite sleek compared to crates and they are lightweight. Such boxes can have double walls for additional protection.
This is one of the most favorite packaging materials of the day, not just among companies but also among consumers. Almost everyone, kids or adults, has spent some time popping the air bubbles in these wraps. The protection assured by bubble wrap is almost a guarantee. The material is light and doesn’t add much to the weight of the cargo or package, the protection is holistic as the material is wrapped around the item being shipped so there is no threat from any direction and even if the item is dropped from a reasonable height while handling or in transit. If a particular item is extremely fragile and needs more protection, you may simply use more bubble wrap and go for an extra overlap or two. More layers of wrapping will marginally increase the volume or dimensions of the package but there would not be much impact on the weight.
This is another popular packaging material, albeit the extent of application is limited. Shrink wrap is widely used in industries where goods need protection from tampering, for instance compact discs. An item is wrapped and then heat is applied for the wrap to shrink so it fits perfectly. The seal is completely airtight so there is no scope of any moisture seeping in. Shrink wrap is widely used to pack perishable foods, where moisture can be a significant spoilsport.