Types and main characteristics of protective packaging

Packaging the product to arrive at the customer’s door intact is key in the e-commerce age. But it can be difficult to understand exactly what you need and which type of protective packaging without exaggerating or compromising the integrity of the merchandise.

Protective packaging products are designed and manufactured to protect merchandise from atmospheric, magnetic, electrostatic, vibration, or shock damage. They can include different boxes or containers, packaging materials, fillers, etc.

The correct selection of products for protective packaging mainly depends on the type of product to be packaged and the environmental conditions from which the product must be protected. The resulting selection factors include product type, the material used, and optional specifications.

What are the materials of the protective packaging?

Different materials can be used to make protective packaging products. These include:

  • Foam: light material resulting from the introduction of gas bubbles into a polymer. A cellular product is formed with good insulation and impact resistance.
  • Cardboard: high base weight and high density. It is produced in several layers on a cylindrical machine.
  • Paper: light material consisting of cellulose pulp.
  • Plastic and Rubber: of synthetic origin, it is used in packaging as films and coatings for products characterized by high fragility, or there are various products and rubber stoppers.

The different types of protective packaging

Protective packaging can be of various types, depending on the product to be packaged:

  • Air cushions or airbags are air packs used to cushion and/or protect fragile products and materials. They are widely used to protect fragile goods such as ceramics and glass objects. The cushions are often made of polypropylene, a material that respects the environment as it is 100% recyclable: this allows to considerably reduce the consumption of raw materials, safeguarding the environment and significantly reducing production costs.
  • Bubble wrap sheets contain rows of inflated air bubbles used to cushion and cover fragile products and materials. It is one of the safest and most economical packaging options available, as it comes in a variety of weights, large bubble wrap, and envelopes of various sizes and rolls.
  • The packaging profiles and corners protect the edges of shelves, tops, tables, marble, mirrors, glass, and any type of corner; they are very easy to assemble and adhere well to the product, thus guaranteeing maximum protection from chipping and impacts.
  • Printed packaging products fit the contour or shape of the transported product or material. This is the case of the packaging made for bottles, candles, and jars, and generally made of corrugated cardboard.
  • The expanded polystyrene chips (also called shavings) fill empty spaces and cushions and absorb shocks and vibrations, preserving the product during transport.
  • Blank fillers are products generally made from corrugated paper materials. It is used to fill the blank and prevent products from colliding with each other during transportation. For this purpose, simple wrapping paper or layers of foam rubber can also be used.

 What does the packaging say about your products?

Every aspect of your packaging, from the box or padded envelope to the protective materials used, conveys a message. On the most basic level, a well-packed box tells your customers that you take the time to carefully ship their orders. Extra customizations can help you build your brand and increase customer loyalty. Click here to get more information about protective packaging.

As your business grows, you may want to improve the quality of your packaging. And, as packaging materials and techniques evolve, you’ll be able to choose from newer, greener, and more eye-catching packaging and filling options.


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