Make the Choice Between Stock and Custom Foam Packaging
Choosing between stock and custom foam packaging for your products? Find out which you should use depending on your specific application from our packaging experts here.
Your product’s fragility is not the only concern when it comes to choosing the right packing materials. Its shape, size, and the type of product are all also factors to keep in mind.
Customers easily become frustrated when they have to deal with product damage or loss and a long replacement process. You can help them avoid this unpleasantness altogether by having the correct packing materials in place for shipping.
If you’re dealing with frequent product damage complaints, it’s time to revamp your packing plan. If you need help deciding on the right solution to keep your specific product safe, consider the questions below to determine whether or not you need custom foam packaging.
Is Your Product Fragile?
First things first — if your product is breakable, there’s no doubt that having a custom foam insert that matches your product’s shape will protect it better than any stock foam supplies. The benefit of custom foam inserts in this situation is that they completely reduce void within a box while fully enveloping your products.
With custom foam inserts, it’s much less likely that your fragile product will somehow fall out of its packing materials and sustain damage during shipping and handling. So for any items that are made from glass, porcelain, marble, or other highly breakable materials, custom foam inserts are definitely the best option for the highest protection.
Is Your Product Irregularly Shaped?
Again, an irregularly-shaped product that has a moderate to high potential of damage during shipping will be better protected by a packing material that matches its shape. Unless an irregularly shaped object is highly durable, it will most likely be better protected by a custom foam insert.
A strangely-shaped product can lead to more void on the inside of its shipping box since most shipping boxes come only in standard sizes and square or rectangular shapes. Custom foam packaging will reduce this void fully, leaving only an indent for your product to rest in. This can help you avoid damage to any parts of the product that stick out or contribute to its irregular shape.
Does Your Product Include Small Parts?
Small pieces can easily be lost or damaged during transport but custom foam inserts can help keep everything in place. Since small parts have a higher risk of falling out of their inner packaging, inserts with indents made for the perfect shape and size of your product’s pieces will protect them better than stock packing materials can.
A package arriving with missing or damaged small pieces for a product that requires assembly is a highly frustrating experience for customers. So even though procuring custom foam packaging upfront might be an investment in time and money, it can save you money through not having to replace parts and not losing customers in the long run. For smaller products, polyethylene foam is the perfect lightweight solution that will keep everything intact without increasing the weight (and cost) of your packaging for shipment.
Is Your Product Larger Than Most?
On the opposite end of the spectrum, larger products will not be easily covered or protected by stock foam packaging, so custom-shaped foam can come in handy for better protection. Large products like appliances, furniture, mirrors, or art are all candidates for custom foam packaging that protects their edges better. Additionally, larger musical, medical, or mechanical equipment will benefit from durable custom foam.
Polyethylene foam is the stronger, closed-cell version of custom foam used for packaging. It’s perfect for larger, heavier cases like the ones mentioned here, and is also easily custom cut like polyurethane.
Are There Any Electrical Components to Your Product?
This is one of the more important considerations, as an Anti-Static foam material will need to be used to dampen electro-static charges, and electrical components are often easily damaged. Due to its aforementioned close-celled structure, polyurethane is often used to protect electrical components during shipping.
Since electrical products often have small pieces that are easily breakable, they combine a number of the considerations discussed above. In order to keep consumers happy and avoid sunk costs, it’s best to have custom foam inserts that keep electrical components static-free and in one place from start to finish of the fulfillment and shipping process.
Do You Need Custom Foam Packaging?
If you answered no to all of these questions, then stock foam packaging supplies should get the job done. Stock foam packaging will work well for not too sensitive or breakable products of a medium size and regular shape. You can check out Jamestown’s stock supplies store for all of your needs here.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’ll save money in the long run and avoid damage better with a custom foam packaging solution. Contact Jamestown today to discuss our Viva Foam division’s capabilities for custom foam packaging.