The Ultimate Guide to Different Packaging Supplies: Everything You Need to Know

Let's talk about packaging supplies. You've made a sale and now you want to get those goods to the recipient unharmed and protected. If you don't have custom-made packaging, your packaging supplies play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and integrity of your products during transit. In this post, we'll explore various types of packaging supplies you can find from all good packaging suppliers and provide valuable insights into their usage. Whether you're a business owner, an online seller, or simply someone looking to send a package, understanding the right packaging supplies is essential. Let's dive in!

Types of packaging supplies:

When it comes to packaging, there is a wide array of supplies available to suit different needs. These are some of the most common packaging products:

Cardboard boxes

Cardboard boxes are an excellent choice because of their versatility. They can accommodate all sorts of shapes and sizes of items and they are an eco-friendly option as they can be usually recycled. However, when it comes to selecting the right cardboard box and employing effective packing techniques, there are a few key tips to keep in mind.

Firstly, consider the size and dimensions of the items you're packaging. Choose a box that provides enough space for the item without excessive empty space, as this can lead to movement. And if your products are sloshing about inside, that can lead to potential damage during transit. Additionally, consider the strength and durability of the cardboard box, especially if you're shipping delicate or heavy items.

Corrugated boxes

For extra strength, use boxes made from high-quality corrugated cardboard. Corrugated cardboard was actually first invented in 1859 to make top hats stand up – it is strong. The boxes are made from a durable, layered structure of fluted cardboard, providing them with enhanced strength and rigidity. Corrugated boxes offer excellent protection against external impacts and can withstand stacking and compression forces during transportation.

When it comes to packing techniques, start by placing heavier items at the bottom of the box to ensure stability. Use other packaging products such as bubble wrap, air pillows, or foam sheets to provide an extra layer of protection. Fill any remaining void spaces with packing material to prevent your things from shifting around during transport. Then seal the box securely using reliable packaging tape, reinforcing seams if necessary.

Cardboard tubes are also an excellent choice to send paper products like posters, prints or delicate documents. The cylindrical shape makes them extremely strong and rigid, keeping rolled paper contents safe inside and protected from creasing and tearing.

Lastly, the nice thing about cardboard is that it is easy to add your branding if you need to.

Cushioning Materials:

Bubble wrap:

When it comes to wrapping delicate objects, it's good to take extra care to ensure their safe transit. Bubble wrap is an excellent choice for swaddling fragile items. Here are some tips on wrapping delicate objects and using bubble wrap effectively. Firstly, ensure you have an adequate amount of bubble wrap to fully cover the item. Start by placing the item in the centre of a sheet of bubble wrap and wrap it gently, making sure there are no exposed areas. Secure the wrap with packaging tape, ensuring it stays in place.

For extra protection, consider using multiple layers of bubble wrap or adding additional padding, such as foam sheets, around the item. Corners and edges are the most vulnerable to knocks, and rough treatment, so take extra care to see those parts are covered adequately. When you are placing several delicate items together, make sure to wrap each one separately to prevent them from bumping into each other. Fill any void spaces within the box with additional bubble wrap to prevent movement. Remember to label the package as fragile to alert handlers.

Expanding foam:

You can buy foam products that expand within your box to protect the contents. They are very easy to use, just pat them into place and they expand, securing and cushioning delicate items.

Air pillows:

Another good packaging product. Air pillows can be purchased in flat rolls so they are easy to store. They need to be inflated and then wrapped around your contents but, as the name suggests, they provide a pillow of air for your goods to ride on and provide a cushion against knocks.


Scrunched up paper has been used for decades as a void-fill device. It is simple, economic and effective.

Packaging Tape and Sealing Methods

Once your goods are safely tucked away, you want to make sure your package will stay closed for the journey. There are various types of packaging tape available for your different packaging supplies, such as clear tape, heavy-duty brown tape, and paper tape - each with its own benefits and recommended uses.

Clear tape is commonly used for general packaging and provides a clean and transparent seal. Brown heavy-duty tape, also known as packing tape, has very high adhesion and sticks to almost everything and is ideal for sealing heavy boxes. Paper tape is an eco-friendly paper packaging tape. It is still very strong and good for sealing a wide range of cardboard. It also has the benefit of being tearable by hand, so no need for scissors or knives. It can also reveal any attempt to open the package as the tape will be clearly damaged by the process and cannot be resealed.

When it comes to sealing methods, it's important to use the right technique for different purposes. For box sealing, apply tape along the edges and seams of the box, ensuring a secure closure. Reinforce seams by running tape along both the top and bottom flaps. Additionally, use tape to secure labels and documents, preventing them from getting damaged or detached during transit. Proper sealing techniques, combined with high-quality packaging tape, contribute to the overall strength and security of your packages. Take this questionnaire to find out what is the right tape for you.

Protective Wraps:

To add an extra layer of protection, security and strength, you can enclose your box with a protective wrap.

  • Kraft wrapping paper and newsprint paper are strong and lightweight.
  • Shrink wrap is a plastic film that stretches over your package and then can be heated so that it shrinks and tightly secures whatever it is wrapped around without having to use adhesive.
  • Foam sheets have a soft texture and provide light cushioning and surface protection for delicate parcels. It will come in a range of thicknesses, depending on how much protection your parcel needs.

Labels and Marking Tools:

The importance of labelling cannot be overstated, as it provides crucial information for both carriers and recipients. Clear and accurate labels help identify the contents of the package, provide handling instructions, and ensure your parcel gets to the right destination. Ideally, labels should be affixed on the top or one of the larger sides of the box, ensuring they are not obstructed by seams or packaging tape. Placing labels away from corners or edges helps to prevent accidental tearing or damage. You should also consider using shipping label pouches or clear packing tape to protect labels from moisture and wear during transportation. And of course, if the contents are delicate, a big bold FRAGILE sticker will alert handlers and hopefully stop those packages from being thrown to the back of the van.

To ensure your goods arrive in the same condition they started in, follow these steps:

  • Consider product characteristics and proportions
  • Pack heaviest items first
  • Use of appropriate packaging supplies for different items
  • Fill any void spaces to prevent your goods from moving around inside
  • Label and mark packages accurately.

Buy it, wrap it, send it,

We all want our packages to arrive safely at their destination, unharmed and undamaged. Mastering the art of packaging will help you achieve that and make you have happy customers at the other end. When it comes to packing materials, there are lots and lots of choices but by understanding the various types of packaging supplies and their optimal usage, you can improve the safety and efficiency of your shipments. Remember to choose reliable packaging suppliers to source high-quality packaging products. They will have knowledge of all the different packaging supplies on offer and can advise you what are your best options if you are unsure.