Friday, March 10, 2017

E-Commerce Packaging Tape Usage

By Ryan Mach, IPG Product Manager, Water-Activated Tape ––  

LxWxH - E-Commerce Packaging Tape Usage
14 inches. This is an important number in e-commerce packaging today. It is the average length of a carton used in e-commerce in North America. The actual number is 14.3 inches (Standard Deviation=6.6).

True, there are organizations that ship nothing but long golf clubs or fishing rods, but you know who you are and you know what size cartons you use. For the rest of us, the answer is neither constant nor clear. Even if you have calculated the average length of your cartons, how do you compare to the industry?

Carton length drives a large number of decisions: corrugate choice, tape consumption, packaging station design, shipping cost, rack sizing, conveyor sizing, label size, etc. Logistics engineers have hundreds of decisions to make in this rapidly growing industry.

How Much Tape Per Carton Is Normal?

14.3 inch tape plus three inch tails (on each side) equals ~20 inch tape for the closure of the top or bottom of a carton. Operators applying pressure-sensitive tape by hand often use two or three strips of tape per top or bottom. Using water-activated tape (gummed tape, Kraft paper tape), you can be sure of single-strip closure. In addition to its efficiency, WAT lends itself well to custom printing/branding, and is considered the most secure way to seal a carton with its tamper-evident seal.

Watch this video comparing pressure-sensitive tape with water-activated tape:

Please feel free to respond with comments or questions below.