How Shrink Wrap Can Save Your Business Money

In the past we have highlighted several uses and benefits of the shrink wrap products we offer. One thing we have not broken down is the way shrink wrap can help save you business money. We get calls from companies all the time who are looking for shrink wrap to help reduce their packaging costs.

Many companies use boxes to bundle items together for shipment or retail sales. Many of our clients ship out orders that have multiple packages bundled together. These items can range in size and shape, so they put all of the items in a box or band the items together. Shipping all of the items together in one load helps to reduce shipping costs and allows customers to get all of their orders at once. The issue is that boxes are expensive, especially the bigger boxes.

We are going to use some simple math to show the difference in cost from using corrugated boxes vs. shrink wrap. We always tell customers to bunch the packages together, measure the length from the tallest point down, and then measure the circumference of the all of the packages together.

Stacking the boxes can be useful as well, but bunch them together if you have to. If you stack the boxes on top of each other, measure the circumference of the boxes stacked on top of each other, then the length of the longest box laying down. Out to the right is a great example of two boxes that need to be shipped out together to save on shipping costs.

Measurement for Shrink Bags- The circumference of the boxes stacked together is 40 inches around them and the length of the bottom box laying down is 20 inches. Add 10% to the circumference then divide that number by two. 40×10%=4+40=44/2=22,  Which would be 22. That will be the width of shrink bag you need. The length needed will be the 20 inches of the longest box laying down plus 10%. 20×10%=2+20=22, so 22 inches is the length of the shrink bag needed. For this shipment that weighs less than 40 lbs. a 22×22 inch 100 gauge shrink bag will be needed.

Measurement for Box- We will use the same example of the picture to the right. To measure for a box we need the length, width, and depth. The length is the length of the box laying down which is 20 inches. The width of the box on the bottom is 11 inches. The depth is measured from the top of the two stacked boxes to the bottom, which is 9 and a half inches. A 20x11x10 box will be needed for placing the two products in the box and shipping them together.

Cost Breakdown- To bundle and ship the two example boxes together using a corrugated box would be approximately $1 per 20x11x10 corrugated box. To use a shrink bag to send the same example shipment it will be approximately $.40 per 22×22 shrink bag. Using shrink products costs less than half of what it costs to use a corrugated box.

Another great advantage to using a shrink bag for bundling products together is the fact that shrink bags offer up to a 40% shrink rate. That means you can send out shipments that are smaller than to ones we measured and the shrink wrap will still shrink and conform to the shipment.

Call us if you have any questions, 1-800-441-5090.

How Paper is Characterized

This is the third and final post about different paper types and paper grades. This post is to highlight some characteristics used to classify paper. Be sure to click on the links above to view our previous posts about this subject.

Most paper characteristic methods are established by The American Society for Testing and Materials or the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper industry. These two organizations are and the forefront of establishing methods and characteristics of a variety of paper types. We will only be going over a few characteristics and testing that is used. There is a large variety that is used to classify paper.

Moisture Content- Paper is tested by oven-drying and a value is expressed on an oven-dry basis.

Thickness of Paper- There are a variety of readings that must be used to establish paper thickness. The paper is compressed  repeatedly and measured using a micrometer. After several readings a caliber is assigned to the paper.

Brightness- A common characteristic many people even look for in print paper. Brightness is measured in spectral reflectance. On most print paper the brightness is express from 1-100 with 100 being the brightest paper.

Gloss- Another common characteristic that people buying print paper are aware of. The gloss of paper is measured using specular gloss. The specular gloss method is also used for determining “high” gloss down to “low” gloss.

Opacity- A very important measurement characteristic when printing on paper. Opacity helps to identify if ink will show through on the reverse face when printed on.

Grease Resistance– A great measurement when the paper will be coming into contact with grease. This is a turpentine test used to measure the amount of grease resistance the paper has. Poly coated Kraft paper is a perfect example of paper that would be important to know the amount of grease resistance.

Stiffness– a stiffness test is important for a variety of paperboard types. Maintaining stiffness in paperboard is important for use in a variety of products such as paperboard box displays. This stiffness helps to establish the amount of strength the paper board has. The Clark stiffness test is commonly used for lightweight paperboard testing and the Taber stiffness is often used for heavier paperboard testing.

Tensile Strength- A common measurement to measure the paper strength in tension. Tensile strength is measured using a pendulum instrument to determine the force per width to break a specimen.

These are only a handful of the paper testing characterizations used to determine paper type and grade. These paper testing methods help manufactures, producers, and consumers become knowledgeable on which products to use for specific applications.

Paperboard Grades

Our last post focused on a variety of paper types and brief descriptions of what each type of paper offers. This post will be focused on the different paperboard grades. Paperboard is a type of paper but generally thicker than printer paper and is commonly used in a variety of packaging applications. We will be focusing on Chipboard, cardboard, and newsboard variations because of their uses in the packaging industry.

Chipboard- Chipboard is made from 100% recycled fiber and is the lowest cost paperboard. Chipboard is not suitable for printing and offers poor folding qualities. Chipboard often contains several blemishes from impurities of using recycled paper. They are commonly used for setup boxes, partitions, backings, flat boards, and other applications where folding and presentation are not critical. There are also different types of chipboard that have their own individual uses.

  1. Bending Chipboard- A slightly better grade of chipboard that is still primarily made of recycled fiber. There is enough quantity of good fibers to allow the chipboard to be bent. Bending chipboard is often used when strength and appearance are not paramount. Bending chipboard cartons are generally the most affordable bending boxes available.
  2. Lined Chipboard- Offers a white face liner that helps to improve the appearance of the board. Still an affordable type of  paperboard, but can be used for retail settings because of the improved appearance.

Newsboard- Newsboard is a low grade board commonly composed of recycled newspaper. Newsboard is often used in a variety of mailers and mailing cartons.

Cardboard- Probably the most common paperboard and used in a variety of applications and industries. Cardboard is a generic term often used to refer to all types of paperboard. In the packaging industry people are commonly referring to corrugated cardboard when they ask for cardboard containers. Corrugated boxes come in thousands of sizes, shapes, and strengths. Corrugated fiber board is made from cellulose fibers. The cellulose fibers are formed into two sheets of paper referred to as liners. These two liners are then glued to a rigid inner medium referred to as fluting. The three pieces combined together create a stronger board then what they would be individually. We just described a singe walled corrugated box. There are also double and triple wall corrugated boxes.

Aside from a stronger box structure, the fluting can also help to provide insulation. The airflow in between the rigid structure of the fluting can help to insulate the contents inside. Corrugated boards and boxes are and incredible material that plays a large role in the world we live in today. We will be offering a variety of posts in the future to explain the benefits and advantages of corrugated boxes.

These are only a couple of paperboard grade that are used in packaging the products in the world we live in. There are several interesting facts and features about paperboard that can be covered in the future.

Box Size & How To Measure

There is often confusion when ordering boxes on the way to measure for them. Many times people have the box faced in the wrong direction when measuring, then the boxes are delivered the size is completely different from what they measured for. Another common mistake is mixing up the numbers when reading the box size. A 14x14x4 box is a completely different size than a 4x14x14 box.

We would like to take the time to point out how we measure for boxes at U.S. Packaging & Wrapping to help ensure people they are ordering the correct box size. To make things more simple we will only talk about three box types and give illustrations on the measurements. There are tens of thousands of box sizes so this is a good starting point.

The three boxes we will be going over are: square boxes, flat boxes, and tall boxes. All of our boxes are measured by          Length x Width x Depth/Height. Depending on how the box is laying, those length can be mistaken which will completely throw off the box size you may be after.

Let’s start with the easiest box type, square boxes. Square boxes are fairly easy to measure for. The flaps should be facing up and the opposite side of the box flaps should be on the floor. Check out the illustration below for reference.

As you can see, the box flaps are facing up and the opposite box flaps are on the floor. Pretty easy and self-explanatory for the square boxes on finding the right box size.

Next, we will take a look at the flat box. Once again pretty easy to measure and find the right box size as long as the box flaps are facing up

Not to bad on figuring out which way is the length, width, and the depth. I believe this illustration was based upon a 9x9x4 box. Which is 9 inches Long, 9 inches wide, and 4 inches deep.

The next illustration is by far the most commonly mistaken type of box that often results in ordering the wrong box size. The tall box, not to be confused with the long box.

People ordering this box often mistakenly think the depth is the length. This illustration was based on a 4x4x15 box, which is totally different from a 15x4x4 box. It is one of the most common mistakes people make when figuring a box size.

When measuring for the proper box size, remember to face the box flap straight up and remember that boxes are measured by Length x Width x Depth/Height and that will help to keep you from ordering the wrong box size. Please feel free to browse our wide selection of boxes. If you need a size that you do not see online, call us at 1-800-441-5090. We carry thousands of box sizes.