Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Key Differences Between Shipping And Moving Tape

You may be thinking that all tape is made the same as long as it's sticky enough to keep the corrugated carton shut. Although carton sealing tape's main purpose is to adhere to and seal the carton, there are actually several differences between shipping and moving tape. These differences are important to understand, so you can choose the carton sealing tape that will work best for your packaging and shipping application.

Moving Tape 

When packing for storage or a big move, be sure to reach for moving tape. You want to seal your cartons with a tape that is:
  • ✔ tamper evident
  • ✔ easy to remove from the carton
  • ✔ able to withstand hot and dusty environments
These qualities will ensure that even when moved to several sites, your belongings will be safe yet easily accessible when needed. Some tapes can’t withstand the elements during the moving process and may lose adhesion and result in ruined or damaged belongings. So choose carefully! An effective moving tape should keep your cartons closed until they arrive at your destination.

Shipping Tape 

Shipping tape needs to have all the qualities of moving tape and more. It needs to be:
  • ✔ tamper evident
  • ✔ able to withstand hot and dusty environments
  • ✔ able to withstand the rigors of transportation and the shipping process
  • ✔ easy to apply, especially for companies with a high shipping volume
  • ✔ branded and professional looking throughout the entire delivery process

When customers purchase items for home or business delivery, they expect those products to arrive at their door with the carton intact and looking professional. The shipping tape must provide a secure bond with a tamper-evident seal. You want a tape that is challenging to remove from the carton, which helps prevent theft. When researching the most effective shipping tape, companies need to consider their application and decide what attributes are most important.

Our Recommendation: 
Water-Activated Tape 

To make the decision process easy and to ensure that you have a fail-proof solution, we recommend using water-activated tape, or WAT, for your moving and shipping needs. This type of tape is an ideal choice for both moving and shipping purposes.

Also known as paper tape or gummed tape, WAT is made primarily of white or natural color Kraft paper tape and starch-based adhesive. It is available as plain paper tape or it can be purchased with reinforced fiberglass fibers.

When the tape’s adhesive is activated with water, it penetrates the carton material and the tape forms a permanent bond with the corrugated carton.

Non-reinforced water-activated tape provides a strong, tamper evident seal. However, it is easy to remove, making this perfect for moving situations.

Reinforced water-activated tape has the same characteristics as the non-reinforced Kraft paper tape, but the fiberglass reinforcement makes it extremely strong and appropriate for the rigors of shipping. Reinforced water-activated is ideal for shipping heavy and bulky items, when extra carton strength is often needed.

For shipping, pre-printed gummed paper tape can be used to display a business logo or branded message, enhancing the customer delight and professionalism of the shipment.

Grab a Sample! 

Want to see for yourself how water activated tape can work for your moving or shipping needs? Request a free sample of our carton-sealing tape below.
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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Mongolian Yurts and the Innovative Use of House Wrap

What is a Yurt?

A yurt (also called a ger) is a type of circular lattice-walled tent. It can be a permanent or temporary structure for living, working, and playing. Yurts have been the primary dwelling for people of Central Asia, especially Mongolian nomads, for thousands of years.

The Mongolian people created yurts to fit all of their belongings. Their yurts could be assembled or disassembled in a couple of hours and only took a few animals to carry the entire family home. These yurts were wind resistant and easy to heat due to their circular shape. This was an important feature when living in a cold, dry climate with no trees to hold back the wind. Today, more than half of Mongolians live in [yurts], including about 61% in the capital of Ulaanbaatar and 90% of the rural population.

Having a Traditional Mongolian Yurt Outside of Mongolia

Yurt in Swiss Alps - by Groovy Yurts with NovaWrap House Wrap

As yurts have grown in popularity outside of Mongolia, they needed to be adapted and modernized. One company known around the world for their traditional Mongolian yurts is Groovy Yurts, based in Alexandria, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 2003, Groovy Yurts creates beautiful handmade structures using unique construction materials that help the yurts naturally breathe.

One of these materials is IPG's NovaWrap™ Aspire™ House Wrap. Although a material not traditionally found in yurts, Aspire house wrap provides moisture-resistance, breathability, and wind protection for the traditional elements of the yurt, such as wool and wood. For thousands of years, the Mongolians fine-tuned their yurts for their climate. Groovy Yurts' innovations allow their yurts to last as long as possible in many different climates around the world.

Yurt in North Dakota, USA - by Groovy Yurts with NovaWrap House Wrap

Yurt in Iceland - by Groovy Yurts with NovaWrap House Wrap

What Are the Components of a Traditional Yurt?

Toono: Also known as the crown, is the central part of the roof. It is a ring where the rafters are attached. The crown was traditionally left open to allow air to circulate and to allow a chimney. The pattern of the toono can be specific to a family and was passed down through generations. (photo courtesy Groovy Yurts)

Lattice Sections: Also known as Khana. Traditionally made of willow, birch, or poplar, but now often made of Douglas Fir or other wood local to the construction. Today, the lattice is often one continuous, collapsible piece. (photo courtesy Groovy Yurts)

Straight wooden rafters (huns): Traditionally held in place by a tension band of cloth or rope. Traditional Mongolian yurts often have horse-hair ropes to hold the rafters in place. (photo courtesy Groovy Yurts)

Columns (bagana): These sometimes support the heavy crown. According to legend, the two center columns are male and female, equal size, facing one another, holding up the toono. (photo courtesy Groovy Yurts)

Covers: Traditionally made of wool from the tribe’s animals, but more recently also made out of cotton or other materials. (photo courtesy Groovy Yurts)

Heavy wood door: Traditionally seen as a status symbol and placed to the South. The door usually has the traditional 'endless knot' design. (photo courtesy Groovy Yurts)

Sacred Symbols Throughout 
(photos courtesy Groovy Yurts)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

How to Ship Bicycles: Keep These Tips in Mind

Summer has arrived and the weather is right for a bike ride. Consequently, bicycle retailers are seeing an increase in orders. That’s the good news. However, shipping bicycles poses some unique challenges.

For example, bikes are fairly expensive and easy to steal, which makes them a favorite target of thieves. They are also oddly shaped and subject to damage. These factors and others make it important that they be properly packaged. Unfortunately, as the number of orders that retailers are handling climbs, it is not uncommon for packers to start taking shortcuts.
And, the challenges are magnified for businesses that are new to shipping bikes. They want to do it right, but like all companies, want to save money where they can.

Safety & Security: What’s at Stake When Shipping Bicycles and Bike Parts?

It is important for businesses to carefully consider how they ship bicycles and bike parts. Why? There are a number of reasons. One is that many bike components — wheel spokes, shift mechanisms, etc. — are subject to damage in transit. Another, as noted above, is that bikes are attractive to thieves, and those in poorly sealed packages that make it easy for criminals to “tear and go” are even more so.

Want to know more about the benefits of water-activated packaging tape? Check out this guide:

Also, if damage or theft occurs, a company can lose more than just the cost of the bicycle. Unhappy customers may be quick to share their displeasure through social media, which can do long-term damage to a business’s reputation.  

3 Ways to Protect Your Bike Shipments

Here are three proven tactics for helping ensure that the bicycles you ship reach their destination safely and damage-free:
  1. Use a strong shipping carton and proper padding. Corrugated cardboard containers work well for most shipments. Inside, ample bubble wrap or an eco-friendly alternative can ensure the bike doesn’t shift during shipping.
  2. Use the right packing tape. Water-activated tape (WAT) creates an extremely strong seal, is effective with just one strip, and shows signs of tampering, which makes thieves think twice. Plus, WAT can be branded, which makes for a better overall buyer experience. Like Amazon’s logo tape, it can create a powerful sense of anticipation and excitement in the recipient.
  3. Understand your options with shipping insurance. By one estimate, 30 percent of Americans say they have experienced package theft, and it is reasonable to expect that number to grow as the trend toward online shopping continues. Consequently, every business should look into shipping insurance. Other smart strategies include taking advantage of package tracking options and requiring a signature upon delivery.

The True Cost of Shipping a Bike

While it may cost a little more to ship a bicycle the right way, the cost of failing to do so can be much higher. You can help control the “right way” cost by making it fast and efficient for packers to prepare a bike for shipment. For example, if you use WAT, you should be sure that you are using the right dispenser for your needs. (Use our flowchart to help with your decision.) You should also take steps to maximize packing station safety and efficiency.
Finding the right carrier for your shipments is crucial as well. Bulk shipping through a major carrier may be the best option in some cases, while working with a niche carrier may make more sense in others.

Once You Get Rolling with Your Bike Shipping Practices...

The great thing about the time and effort you put into updating your bicycle shipping practices is that those processes will continue to pay dividends for years to come. Interested in learning more about water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products to meet your shipping needs? Contact us today!

Check out our new guide below to ensure that your business is using the proper shipping and packaging tape for your needs. 
Packaging Tape Online Guide

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, June 10, 2019

2 Key Questions to Consider When Deciding Between Pressure-Sensitive And Water-Activated Packaging Tape

WAT = 1 strip of tape (top & bottom). PST = Multiple strips of tape (top & bottom)

Many companies are making the switch from plastic, pressure-sensitive tape (PST) to water-activated packaging tape (WAT) to obtain a more reliable carton sealing solution. These companies realize that in order to keep the contents of their packages secure, they need a carton seal that can withstand the rigors of the shipping process. This article will discuss how you can gain the upper hand in the shipping game by discussing, in a Q&A format, the reasons why plastic packaging tape falls short in comparison to water-activated tape.

Q: Which Packaging Tape Will Visibly Show If My Package Was Breached?

A:  Water-activated paper tape is tamper-evident. It creates a permanent bond with the corrugated carton, and, as a result, it is readily apparent if anyone tries to remove or break the tape. This makes your products more secure throughout the shipping voyage. Conversely, the inherent "pressure-sensitive" characteristic of PST makes it easy to remove or to gain access to the carton by pushing down on it, without leaving a trace of entry. This clearly makes theft a possible shipping problem.

Q: Our Company Wants to Increase Productivity. Which Packaging Tape Should We Use?

A: Plastic, pressure-sensitive tape (PST) is typically used with a hand-held tape gun. Water-activated packaging tape needs to be used with a water-activated tape dispenser. Dispensers, available in both electric and non-electric varieties, wet and cut the tape, often to a pre-programmed length of the operator’s choosing.
On the plus side, because hand-held tape guns are inexpensive, businesses often have several throughout their facility, making it productive for packers to seal cartons “on-the-fly”. However, you need to look at a few other factors to obtain a more complete view of hand-held tape gun productivity.

Want to know more about the benefits of water-activated packaging tape? Check out this guide:

In an effort to ensure secure carton closure using plastic tape, packers often use 2-3 strips of tape on the carton, diminishing productivity. Another productivity-sapping factor is the challenge of the plastic tape tearing and the hard-to-find starting point of the tape roll. Tape is not only wasted, but the packer has to invest precious time into finding the starting point of the tape, rather than sealing cartons.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the tape guns become heavy and awkward to use in higher volume situations, fatiguing and slowing down the packer. Sometimes this can lead to repetitive motion injury. If a worker develops a repetitive motion injury, the business risks productivity issues, such as worker leave of absence or hiring and training new employees That’s a hefty amount of productivity risk to take on due to a seemingly simple choice of packaging tape!
In contrast, water-activated packaging tape has many positive productivity characteristics. This type of carton sealing tape is dispensed easily and quickly from the water-activated tape dispenser. Only one strip of tape is needed to securely close any side of the carton, enhancing productivity. There is no physical stress that results from using the dispenser, so workers tire less and are able to be more productive than when using a hand-held tape gun for pressure-sensitive tape application.
A downside to consider when choosing WAT for your packages may sound silly but does have the potential for efficiency issues. Water-activated tape can be sticky due to the glue getting on the packer’s hands. Luckily, this can be quickly overcome with a simple solution that can be taught when training employees. Overcome sticky challenges by grabbing the dispensed tape on the sides, laying it on the carton and firmly pressing down to create the tape’s bond.
Bolstering the case for water-activated tape is a recent study that compared carton sealing productivity over an 8-hour work day using water-activated tape versus plastic, pressure sensitive tape. The study demonstrated that carton-sealing productivity is 21% higher using a water-activated tape dispenser and WAT versus a hand-held tape gun with PST. Click here to see the full results of the test. 

Check out the guide below to see if you're losing money on shipping tape and what the best solutions are to help you save some of that money. 
A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions
[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, May 20, 2019

How to Decide on 3 Key Types of Shipping Materials

A company’s shipping practices can have a significant impact on its success. From customer satisfaction to how shipping costs impact your bottom line, there are many factors to consider. This includes your choice of shipping materials.

At a glance, purchasing bulk shipping supplies can appear to be a cost-effective approach, especially if your company has high shipping volumes. However, as many organizations quickly learn, skimping on the way goods are packaged can have negative consequences. Not only are there costs associated with providing refunds or replacing damaged items, there are also the long-term effects of developing a reputation for “cutting corners” on shipping.

While having shipping insurance provides a measure of security in the event that something goes wrong, safeguarding your packages with top-tier shipping materials can be well worth the investment. In particular, the protective packaging, tape, and tape dispensers you use can support better overall results for your business.

Packing and Shipping Supplies: Protective Packaging

Paper Packaging - Polyair PaperSpace Void Fill
The material used to surround an item within a carton is, of course, critical to ensuring that it arrives undamaged. Inflatable packaging, also known as bubble wrap, provides many benefits, including that it absorbs shock and is lightweight. Inflatable packaging can also be custom printed and color tinted for brand recognition.
Paper packaging is another option. It is an easy-to-use and cost-effective way to fill voids within shipping cartons and provide exceptional cushioning. Plus, it is eco-friendly and 100 percent curbside recyclable.
Yet another popular cushioning material is a product called HexcelWrap. It is an innovative paper-based wrap whose segmented design provides outstanding protection of goods such as glassware, ceramics, and generally anything fragile.  It also provides excellent packing efficiency. It is curbside recyclable and repulpable.
When temperature control is a need, products like Chill-R™ Insulated Packaging are a cold chain (i.e., temperature-controlled supply chain) solution that protects sensitive products. Chill-R is recyclable in collaboration with Goodwill® and cost-effective.

Packing and Shipping Supplies: Tape

Ensuring that shipping cartons stay securely sealed from one end of the shipping stream to the other is essential. Consequently, your choice in tape is very important. Plastic pressure-sensitive tape (PST) is one option and may be appropriate for some uses. However, water-activated tape (WAT) can be a better choice for a number of reasons. This includes preventing theft, which is an issue for many companies.
WAT creates a permanent bond with the surface of a carton and can produce a strong, tamper-evident seal with just one strip. If you are not familiar with WAT, you can learn more in A Guide for Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions.

Packing and Shipping Supplies: Tape Dispensers

IPG Water-Activated Tape and Better Pack Dispenser
A second factor in the sealing of shipping cartons is the type of dispenser you use. Your selection affects everything from safety to productivity. The hand-held tape guns commonly used with PST pose a few different risks. One is the potential for injury from the tape-cutting blade as the device is used. Another is risk of repetitive use injuries that can cause shipping team members to miss work and potentially require treatment.
If WAT is chosen for package sealing, there are two types of dispensers: manual and electric. Both support high productivity and can improve packing station safety. As a result, they can help improve your financial results.
Wondering which type of dispenser is right for your organization? Our tape dispenser selection flowchart can help you make the right choice.

A Ready Resource for Your Packaging Material Decisions

Investing in the right packing materials for shipping has many benefits. There is, of course, much to consider as you make your choice, including a variety of resources like our How to Exceed eCommerce Shipping Expectations guide. If you need guidance from one of our product experts, we’re happy to help! Contact us today.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, May 6, 2019

Intertape Polymer Group has partnered with How2Recycle®

What is How2Recycle?

How2Recycle is a project of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. How2Recycle is a voluntary, standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public.

How2Recycle's goals are to:

✔ Reduce confusion by creating a clear, well-understood, and nationally harmonized label that enables industries to convey to consumers how to recycle a package.
✔ Improve the reliability, completeness, and transparency of recyclability claims.
✔ Provide a labeling system that follows Federal Trade Commission Green Guides.
✔ Increase the availability and quality of recycled material.  See more at:

The labels tell consumers:

✔ How to prepare material for recycling
✔ If the product falls into one of How2Recycle’s four categories – widely recycled, check locally, not yet recycled, or store drop-off
✔ The type of material the product is made of
✔ The specific packaging component that the label is referring to

Intertape Polymer Group and How2Recycle

The following IPG product lines have been approved to use the How2Recycle labeling system. These products are typically not accepted through curbside recycling or community recycling centers. All these products are recyclable at store drop off locations (where applicable) for plastic bags:
  • Polyair Fastpak courier envelopes feature polyethylene with superior tear and puncture resistance. The silver/grey inner layer provides contents privacy and the white outer surface is ideal for high quality printing. Fastpak envelopes are made from 100% polyethylene and are store drop off recyclable.
  • Polyair Xpak bubble mailers combine the tear, weather and puncture resistance of a courier envelope with the cushioning of a Duraliner bubble lined mailer. XPAKs are also made from 100% polyethylene. The white outer surface is ideal for high-quality printing.
  • Polyair Durabubble RP has been engineered to stretch beyond its original size. This unique feature provides Durabubble RP an unmatched ability to be tightly wrapped around the contours of products, regardless of shape and size; protecting edges and sharp corners from damage. Available in both standard and anti-static form, Durabubble RP is highly puncture resistant, and is made with non-slip polyethylene film.
  • IPG’s exclusive high-performance line of Polyair AirSpace™ air pillows are user-friendly and cost-effective void fill packaging material. They can also be printed on for a customized “inside-the-box” solution. Our AirSpace G-Series machines produce air pillows for low- to high-volume e-commerce packaging operations with a small footprint and light weight for portability.

IPG also offers protective packaging products that are curbside recyclable and have been approved to use the How2Recycle labeling system:

  • Polyair PaperSpace systems offer paper protective packaging solutions that are versatile, cost effective, easy-to-use, and eco-friendly. PaperSpace products can be used for blocking, bracing, cushioning and void fill. PaperSpace products are made with 70-100% post-consumer recycled content and are 100% curbside recyclable!
  • HexcelWrap™ Fragile Wrap is an innovative, patent-pending cushioning material for wrapping glassware, ceramics, cosmetics, electronics and anything fragile. This easy-to-use, protective packaging solution is made of paper and is 100% curbside recyclable.

IPG is proud to partner with How2Recycle to make it easier for consumers to understand how to recycle our products!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

How to Prevent Package Theft with Water-Activated Tape

According to a 451 Research forecast shared by Forbes, worldwide e-commerce sales will approach $6 trillion by 2022. With the number of packages making their way through the distribution stream and onto front porches all across America skyrocketing, the risk of “press and grab” package thefts will likely be rising as well. Fortunately, there is a way to thwart opportunistic thieves.

This type of theft involves criminals taking advantage of poorly adhering shipping tape by pressing down on a carton flap, pulling out an item, and allowing the box to flex back into shape. This typically results in the loss of the item not being detected until long after the thief and/or the package has moved on. Water-activated tape is an effective package theft deterrent that gives press and grab thieves second (and third!) thoughts.

What is Water-Activated Tape?

Water-activated tape (WAT), also known as gummed paper tape, is made of paper with a starch-based adhesive on the back. When moisture is added to WAT by a water-activated tape dispenser and the tape is applied to a shipping carton, the adhesive penetrates the surface and creates a permanent bond by physically welding itself to the paper fibers on the box.
Paper-only water-activated tape is strong, tamper evident tape. However, it is also available with embedded fiber reinforcing filaments that make it exceptionally robust. Plus, its seal is proven to endure even the most challenging of environmental conditions including cold and humid climates.
WAT is also easy to use. A manual or electric water-activated tape dispenser moistens the tape and cuts a strip of the desired length. The packer then lays the strip across a seam, runs a hand over it, and the adhesive does the rest. It takes only one strip of tape on the top and one strip on the bottom to effectively seal and secure the contents of your shipment.

How Water-Activated Tape Reduces Package Theft

Water-activated tape serves as a deterrent to would-be thieves in multiple ways. First, the strong seal it forms with the carton surface makes it virtually impossible for a thief to press their way into the box. They either have to tear off the tape, taking a significant chunk of cardboard with it, or slice the tape. Either way, there is no disguising what they’ve done. The risk of being caught tends to make most criminals choose a “softer” target.
In other instances, thefts are “crimes of opportunity," as a poor seal with another type of packing tape allows a carton’s contents to force its way out when the box is dropped or jostled, and the thief simply grabs and goes. Here again, a strong WAT seal keeps package flaps down and prevents this type of temptation. So, companies considering how to stop package theft should start by considering water-activated tape.
“Water-activated tape is an effective package theft deterrent that gives "press and grab" thieves second thoughts.” TWEET THIS

Other Benefits of Water-Activated Tape

Even as water-activated tape is doing its part to keep package theft statistics low, it is also providing other benefits. For example, most cartons can be sealed with a single strip of tape. This gives packages a clean, professional look that reflects well on your company. Plus, water-activated tape can be printed with your company branding, making it a very visible and effective “moving advertisement” for your products.
Water-activated tape can also be applied very quickly, which increases packing productivity. In addition, because it is adhered by hand, packers are not exposed to the risk of repetitive motion injuries that can occur when using a packing tape gun for an extended period.

When Will Your Next Package Theft Occur?

If your organization is fortunate, you haven’t had to deal with package theft often. However, the reality is that it will affect most e-commerce companies eventually, and the cost of replacing stolen goods and repairing damage to your reputation can be high. Switching to water-activated tape, on the other hand, is very affordable and easy to do.   
To learn more about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]