Written by: Tarah Mills
Keeping your products stored securely and shipped safely to your clients is critical to your bottom line. Whether you’re sending out collectibles or fine china, it needs to get to the client in one piece for your business to succeed.
Even if what you’re shipping is of a stock size, boxes can get dropped by any handler and even by the client once the package arrives. For the best protection, make sure that
- the box is the right size for the product
- the product is thoroughly wrapped in padding
- the wrapping material is not too tight
It’s also a good idea to package extremely fragile items with some bridging material. For example, thin layers of cardboard can build an air gap around the product to allow airflow around the plastic packaging. This gap can also lessen the chance that the piece will suffer a hit against a hard surface if the box is dropped or tipped. You want to be able to gently rattle the box and feel no shifting of the product.
If the items you’re shipping will have to be on the road for a while or to go into an airplane, it may be subjected to a wide variety of temperature changes. These temperature changes can cause moisture to build up and may lead to mold or mildew. Make sure to include silica beads to absorb any moisture that builds up in the packaging.
If the item you’re shipping is extremely valuable, it’s a good idea to work with an organization such as White Glove Delivery Services that provides it’s own level of security. Your clients probably wouldn’t want their item left on the porch for pickup at a later date. To that same end, your package should not be sitting, unattended, on a dock somewhere along the way. If you must work with a standard shipping company, make sure to add as much insurance as necessary to cover your cost.
Consider Custom Crating
For some businesses, there is no way to standardize packaging. If you’re shipping out pieces of art that are all unique, it’s a good idea to have access to a custom crating company that can help you manage large, heavy pieces. Custom crating is about more than weight. Even if you need to use a forklift to ship one of your pieces, the goal of custom crating is to provide a stable and supportive platform for every inch of the piece during transport.
Custom crating can include an elevated base for airflow and lifting access, framing around any fragile extensions, and cushioning for the entire piece in the event of a tip or bump. During the crate construction, you may also be able to request a tipping indicator to make sure that the package hasn’t been stored improperly during transport.
Depending on where the item you’re shipping is headed, you may want some help getting through international hubs. This assistance is particularly crucial if there’s a risk the container may be opened during inspections. You want a skilled professional who can guide inspectors to the points that need review and you want to know that the object has been properly secured again after the inspection step is over. Finally, you can be certain that all paperwork has been properly stamped to reduce challenges for your client at a later date.
The Installation Step
With the right packaging company, you can even be sure that the item you’re shipping will be properly unboxed, inspected and installed when it gets to the intended destination. Your shipping company can also help you coordinate delivery with your client for the best results for all concerned. Upon delivery, the shipping company can send you images of the package upon arrival, the unboxing process and any damages noted before the installation occurs.
What you sell has to get there in one piece and be a source of delight to your customer. Careful packaging, tracking, delivery and unboxing are key to getting your most fragile products shipped and successfully delivered to every client.