Wednesday, December 18, 2019

What to Look for in a Water-Activated Tape Dispenser

There is plenty of scientific evidence and real-life experience in shipping departments proving that water-activated tape is an excellent choice for fast, efficient, and effective sealing of cartons. 
Also called gummed tape, kraft paper tape, and brown paper tape,  water-activated tape (WAT) produces a strong, secure, one-strip seal. When you’ve decided on water-activated tape, your next consideration is which type of WAT dispenser to use.  
For many shipping departments, nothing less than Better Packages water-activated tape dispensers will do. They are durably engineered, user friendly, and reliable. But which model is right for your business? This blog post will help you decide.


Picking Your Water-Activated Tape Dispenser: Manual vs. Electric

The first decision to make in choosing between Better Packages water-activated tape dispensers is whether you want a manual or electric model. A number of factors affect this choice, including:
  • ✔ Efficiency. An electric model enables shipping teams to work faster.
  • ✔ Options. An electric model has more functionality than a manual.  
  • ✔ Maintenance. A manual model is simpler and therefore requires less maintenance.
  • ✔ Electricity at the packaging station. Obviously, there must be a power source in your packaging station in order for you to use an electric water-activated tape dispenser.
Once you’ve considered these attributes, you can start to look into the features of manual or electric tape dispensers as appropriate.

Manual Water-Activated Tape Dispensers — The Better Pack 333 Series

If you decide to go with manual tape dispensers, your decision is somewhat easier. We offer two manual models: 333 Plus and 333 Plus w/Top Heater. Some of the characteristics of the 333 Series include:
  • ✔ 15 preset tape lengths measured in inches on a dial
  • ✔ Top heater warms the water that coats the tape, making the adhesive stickier (Note: While the action for dispensing tape is manual, the top heater model does require electricity to heat the water.)
  • ✔ Great for sealing between 1 and 100 cartons per day/per 8-hour shift
  • ✔ 333 Plus is ideal for workstations without access to electricity
  • ✔ The portability of the 333 Plus works well when there is a need to move the tape dispenser between locations

Electric Water-Activated Tape Dispensers — The Better Pack 555e Series

The Better Pack 555e Series has many features and functions that help shipping departments work efficiently and effectively, including:
  • ✔ Available in 7 models with varying keypad increments, measurement types, and voltages to suit country-specific needs and requirements
  • ✔ Better Pack 555eS and Better Pack 555eSA are calibrated in inches with 115V (US) versions
  • ✔ Better Pack 555eSA has highest level of automation available from the Better Pack dispenser family including automatic tape dispensing mode and microprocessor-based control system that can be interfaced with PCs, printers, shipping systems, and foot pedals 
  • ✔ Unique safety features:
    • ‣ Thermal cutoff prevents motor from overheating after extensive use
    • ‣ Safety interlock switch disables cutting blade when front cover is open
    • ‣ Materials like flame-retardant plastic, steel side frames, high grade solenoid link, and zinc-plated stainless-steel parts
  • ✔ Ideal for applications like:
    • ‣ High-volume, fast-paced shipping environment
    • ‣ Packing and sealing more than 100 cartons per day/per 8-hour shift

Electric Water-Activated Tape Dispensers — The Better Pack 755e Series

The 755e Series offers excellent functionality and flexibility, including:
  • ✔ Better Pack 755eS Series and Better Pack 755eSA Series both have a low profile for workspaces with limited height and accommodate 4” wide tape (other dispensers use up to 3” wide tape)
  • ✔ 755e series does dispense tape at a slower rate than 555e— 32”/second compared to 555e 45”/second 
  • ✔ 755eS series has a smooth-touch, easy-to-use, color-coded keypad with 20 preset tape lengths
  • ✔ Better Pack 755eSA has tremendous operational flexibility, including several operating modes like 1-2-2 (for the H-Pattern), random length button, and delay control, all of which allow operator to adapt to variable carton sealing needs with simple turn of a dial
  • ✔ Both models are ideal for:
    • ‣ High-volume, fast paced shipping
    • ‣ Random carton packing of heavy and bulky items
    • ‣ Limited workspace height (dispenser has a low profile)
    • ‣ Cartons being packed and sealed that require 4” wide tape

Options for Every Shipping Environment

No matter what you ship and how often you ship it, there is a Better Packages water-activated tape dispenser for you. We’ve only highlighted some of the top-selling models here. The full list of manual and electric dispensers can be found on our website.
Tape Options
Better Packages and IPG, together, work to provide you the Gold Standard in SecureEfficient and Reliable carton closure. For more information about the range of Water Activated Tapes available to you from our parent company IPG, please visit us at or contact your local representative for demonstrations and trials of our complete packaging solutions.
Have questions about our products and how they can help you improve your shipping operations? 
Please contact us at your convenience.

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, December 9, 2019

How to Make Your Shipping Process Highly Efficient

The holidays are here, and with consumer confidence high, experts believe e-commerce companies can expect to be busy. In fact, it is estimated that 60 percent of shoppers will spend more than 50 percent of their holiday dollars online. That’s great news for businesses, but if you oversee the department packaging and shipping those orders, it's sure to be a challenging season.
One of the keys to success when shipping volumes soar is efficiency. Even small improvements in your shipping processes can make a big difference around the holidays. Plus, what is often overlooked is the fact that the shoppers you impress with your quick turnaround time now, are more likely to be customers again in the future. Use the tips below to ensure you and your team are working at peak efficiency.

Efficient Shipping Practices 

Tip #1: Choose durable cartons and good cushioning.

It is never a good idea for e-commerce companies to use flimsy shipping cartons, and that is especially true around the holidays when shippers are under tremendous stress and potentially not handling packages especially carefully. Corrugated cartons hold up well, provide excellent protection for your products, and help prevent the need to send replacements for damaged goods.  
It is also important to choose the right carton size: too small and you increase the risk of items being crushed; too big and items may shift around and break. (Not to mention the added shipping costs associated with using an oversized carton.) After choosing the right box, you want to be sure to use the appropriate amount of a good cushioning material. Newspaper and similar materials will flatten during shipping and provide less protection. Bottom line: a “Fragile” sticker on the carton is not going to protect your product. You have to be sure the package is well-prepared for a bumpy ride!

Tip #2: Get the right shipping tape to ensure cartons are properly sealed.

Water-activated tape (WAT) produces a strong, tamper-evident, single-strip seal. It is easy to apply and creates a permanent bond with the carton surface. When buying tape and other supplies, it is a good idea to buy in bulk. Doing so can help ensure you don’t run out of critical items and may also save you some money.
Using the right shipping materials also sends a positive message about your organization and companies that purchase your products for their clients. Those companies want their holiday business gifts to arrive safely and in professional packaging.

Tip #3: Review your shipping processes from a safety perspective.

Accidents or injuries in your shipping department may be more likely during the holiday rush. Reviewing your processes with that fact in mind can help you protect your shipping team and ensure that product is not damaged during packaging and handling. Water-activated tape helps here as well, since your shipping crew won’t be using tape guns with their sharp blades and high potential for repetitive stress injuries.
One way to keep your team from having to hurry to keep up with rising volumes is to pre-pack common items. If you do, be sure to write a description of the contents and the package weight on the carton surface so you don’t have to pause to make that determination. 

Tip #4: Take steps to deter “press and grab” thefts and the time spent dealing with them. 

Thieves know that packages shipped during the holiday season often have valuable contents. A common practice is to press down on the top of a package until the low-quality shipping tape releases, pull out an item, and allow the carton flaps to spring back into place so that the theft goes undetected initially. 
The deep bond with the carton material created by gummed tape prevents the packaging from opening in this way, making it difficult for thieves to get what they are after. As a result, you spend less time dealing with missing items and preparing replacement shipments.  

Keep Up With the Holiday Rush!

By streamlining your e-commerce shipping processes and using the right packaging materials, you and your team can be highly efficient this holiday season. 
Check out our free guide to determine what type of packaging tape is best for your needs
Plus, we’re always happy to answer your questions. Contact us at your convenience.

Packaging Tape Download Offer

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, November 18, 2019

Helpful Tips for Ordering Packaging Supplies in Bulk

If you are tasked with ensuring that your packaging and shipping operations run smoothly and without interruption, it is critical that you keep your team supplied with the materials they need to be productive. It is also important that you do what you can to control shipping-related costs. Buying shipping supplies in bulk can help you achieve both your operational and financial goals.
This approach to purchasing also allows you to cut back on the number of “to do” items on your list. Instead of having to purchase more materials weekly or monthly, you might only have to do so quarterly or every six months.


When and Why You Should Look into Buying Shipping Supplies in Bulk

When should you research bulk packaging and shipping supplies? 
Really any time is a good time to do some comparison shopping. Whether you choose to buy supplies at that time or not, you will have the information you need to make an informed decision. 
Being proactive tends to be better than feeling pressured to make a quick choice between purchasing a short-term supply or buying in bulk. Faster decisions may be required in certain situations, such as:
  • ✔ Your existing stock is running low. If you wait until there is an urgent need to replenish your supplies, you are likely to make the smaller purchase that you are familiar with. That quantity will keep your shipping operations going, but you will miss out on the benefits of buying in bulk.
  • ✔ You become unhappy with your existing supplier. If your relationship with your existing provider sours because they raise their prices an unreasonable amount, they start providing subpar service, or some other reason, you may find yourself eager to switch to a new supplier.
  • ✔ You start shipping new products. If your company introduces new products to its line and they will require different shipping materials, it is very helpful to know your options for accommodating this change in your shipping procedures.
  • ✔ Your company is looking to reduce costs. Knowing what your bulk purchasing options are can be key if your company launches a cost-control initiative and looks to you for what your contribution to the effort will be. 

Shipping Supplies You Can Buy in Bulk

There are many types of packaging and shipping supplies that you can buy in large quantities. Four of the items that can deliver the biggest benefit are:
  • ✔ Shipping cartons. Outside of what you pay to carriers, the cost of shipping cartons is probably one of your biggest shipping-related expenses. Getting a discounted rate for buying boxes in bulk can produce significant savings.
  • ✔ Cushioning material. If the items you ship are breakable, you never want to skimp on cushioning like air pillows or paper void fill. Having a good supply can prevent situations where a shipping team member tries to use “just enough” material in each carton in order to make a dwindling supply last a little longer.
  • ✔ Water-activated tape (WAT). The great thing about water-activated tape (also called gummed tape) is that it comes in rolls that don’t take up much room in storage. Consequently, you can purchase a supply that will last for many months and not struggle with where to store it.
  • ✔ Water-activated tape dispensers. Especially if you are making the transition to WAT, buying multiple dispensers to ensure you can accommodate any planned growth in shipping volume, or just temporary surges, is a good idea.

Why Tape May Be Your Most Important Packaging Supply

From cartons to packing peanuts, all the supplies you use are important. Perhaps most important of all, however, is your carton sealing tape. 
WAT delivers a wide range of benefits that you do not get from other types of tape. For example, its strong, one-strip seal makes shipping operations more efficient. The seal is also very weather-resistant, which helps to protect your shipped items. Plus, WAT provides enhanced theft prevention and security by discouraging “press and grab” thefts.  
If you are wondering if your company is using the right type of tape, this resource can help. You can also get a complimentary roll of WAT if you are interested in checking it out. 
Plus, we’re always happy to answer your questions. Contact us at your convenience.

Packaging Tape Download Offer

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, November 11, 2019

How to Use Gummed Tape Most Effectively for Shipping

Gummed paper tape, also called water-activated tape or WAT, provides many advantages over other types of tape, including faster application, a professional one-strip seal, enhanced security, and branding opportunity. If you’ve made the switch to gummed tape, there are best practices that can help you maximize the value of your investment.

Ensure Proper Station Setup

The first step in getting the most from your gummed paper tape is ensuring that your shipping station is equipped and arranged for optimal efficiency, productivity, and safety
If you’ve selected electric water-activated tape dispensers, you’ll need a power source. Proper lighting is also important so that team members can observe the condition of cartons in general and after sealing. 
You’ll also want to ensure your shipping station has enough space for efficient handling of packages. An advantage of sealing packages with WAT is that it doesn’t require the amount of repositioning needed to get the proper angle with a tape gun. So, if your company is short on shipping space, gummed tape can help you use it effectively.

Provide Effective Training for Your Shipping Team

Water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers are easy to use. However, providing initial training for your shipping team can ensure that they make the transition from hand-held tape guns to WAT efficiently and reach a high level of productivity quickly. 
It’s also a good idea to develop an approved process for getting new employees up to speed and using your preferred shipping processes. This may be more effective than having another employee provide their perspective on the shipping process, as you don’t want any non-standard techniques they may have developed to be taught to new team members.

Ensure Necessary Tools and Supplies are Available

In order to maximize both the productivity of your shipping team and the safety and comfort of team members, it’s important that you provide them with the right tools. 
This starts with selecting the right water-activated tape dispenser for your needs. For example, are you shipping several cartons per day or perhaps dozens or hundreds of cartons? This will affect whether a manual or electric dispenser is best for your operation.
What other tools and supplies does your shipping team need? 
Do you have enough gummed tape on hand? Are there plenty of shipping labels at the station? Do your team members have relief mats to stand on and are supplies stored in a way that minimizes awkward reaching? 
There are many ways to streamline operations and protect your employees.

Use the Right Cartons

Water-activated tape works well with a variety of carton types. However, there are differences between options like standard cardboard and corrugated cardboard when it comes to protecting the contents of a shipping carton. 
Choosing the right type for your requirements is important. In instances where damage prevention is critical, corrugated cardboard sealed with WAT is an approach that delivers many benefits. 
For some items, you might also have the option of using padded mailers. There may be advantages to doing so, but you should carefully compare padded mailers and shipping cartons before you make that decision.  

Getting Big Returns from a Small Investment

In the context of your overall operations, making the switch to gummed paper tape requires a relatively small investment, and it’s one that delivers a significant return. Then, if you take the time to update your packing and shipping processes and set your team up for success, you can greatly amplify those benefits!
Wondering if water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers are right for your organization? 
Get a free copy of A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions and a complimentary roll of WAT to help inform your decision making.
We’re also happy to answer your questions. Contact us at your convenience.

Packaging Tape Download Offer

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, November 4, 2019

4 Key Considerations When Shipping Heavy Automotive Parts

Getting heavy automotive parts to your customers safely and securely can be challenging. From engines to hubcaps to transmissions or wheels, it's important to choose the right shipping materials  that can withstand the weight. In this post, we cover 4 key shipping details to consider to ensure that your car parts and packaging all stay intact during transit. 

1. Make Sure Your Car Parts Are Actually Ready For Shipping

While seemingly obvious, this step may be overlooked when preparing a carton for shipment. For example, automotive parts that hold fluids should be drained completely.
Damage from a fluid leak in your package could cause your shipment to be held up at a shipping terminal. And a late package can truly negatively affect the lifetime value of your customers.
Draining parts of all fluids will save you time and money by reducing product damage and keeping your customers happy with on-time deliveries. 

2. Follow Best Practices for Shipping Car Parts

Here are some basic guidelines to follow when packaging bulky car parts for shipment:
  • ✔ Make sure the product is properly cushioned inside the carton, especially when dealing with fragile components.
  • ✔ In addition to cushioning, padding should be added to all sharp edges to prevent these components from penetrating the box.
  • ✔ To avoid potential damage to smaller items due to movement within the carton, be sure to fill any extra space with material such as air pillows or paper void fill.
  • ✔ UPS recommends in their automotive parts guide, that you "enclose items like plastic moldings and small, loose components in plastic pouches."
  • ✔ Make sure the carton or box that you are using is a good fit for the product being shipped. This will help keep your costs low when shipping.
With the advent of “dimensional weight” shipping, it’s not just the weight of your part that matters. It’s also the size of the part or – more precisely – the size of the package.

3. Choose Your Shipping Cartons Wisely

Using the appropriate type of carton to ship heavy automotive parts is critical. 
Although corrugated cartons and cardboard boxes tend to look similar, corrugated cartons are more durable. 
Corrugate is comprised of three layers of paper that include an inside liner, an outside liner, and fluting with a ruffled shape, which runs in between the two. 
When formed into boxes, corrugated sheets are ideal for shipping heavy items because they are strong, durable, and easily recycled.
Goods shipped in corrugated cartons are less likely to be damaged in shipment than those shipped in cardboard boxes.

4. Use a Strong, Tamper-Evident Packaging Tape

Maximize the strength and security of your corrugate by using reinforced water-activated tape to seal your carton.
Reinforced water-activated tape contains fiberglass which provides extraordinary strength to the tape, thereby protecting your shipped products.
When activated with water, gummed paper tape penetrates the carton material and the tape forms a permanent bond with the carton and creating a tamper-evident seal.
Water-activated tape fits the bill for a host of automotive and automotive aftermarket companies that want their products to arrive at a customer’s business or home intact.  

Want to know if water activated tape is right for your automotive company? Request a free sample by clicking the image below. 
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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Monday, October 28, 2019

Automotive E-Commerce Growth & The Challenge of Packaging

The online retail market for aftermarket automotive parts and accessories continues to grow at a rapid rate. In fact, according to findings from Hedges & Company, auto parts sales influenced by digital is likely to grow to $152 billion by 2021.
This means that the challenges associated with packaging and shipping automotive parts and supplies need to be addressed quickly and efficiently.

Why Are Buyers Shifting To Purchasing Parts Online?

There are four main benefits of buying aftermarket automobile parts online:
  • ✔ Easy access a wide selection of parts
  • ✔ Cost savings
  • ✔ Ability to price compare
  • ✔ Time savings
Simply put, the convenience of e-commerce and modern shop management systems have made it easier to purchase parts online, compared with traditional, over-the-phone ordering. 
Consumers appreciate the information and price transparency available on online because local garages have often held an unfortunate reputation of being vague in their pricing and pricing methods, as well as in their product descriptions.

Proper Packaging is Key

Online shoppers buying auto parts employ ship-to-store 55% of the time, a 14% increase from the prior year. This is part of a growing trend toward increased convenience and “no-cost, ship-to-store pricing," according to data from V12
For the remaining 45% that opt to have their automotive parts shipped to their home or place of business, there are unique challenges to address.
Aftermarket automotive parts can be anything from replacement windshields to fenders or headlights. Each product requires unique protective packaging to prevent damage during shipment. 
When car enthusiasts make purchases for their vehicles, they expect the parts to arrive in pristine condition — any imperfection is simply unacceptable.
If parts are damaged during transit due to poor packaging, a costly returns process may be initiated by the buyer. 
Depending on the application and final destination, there’s an array of materials and techniques that can be used to create the best packaging solution for your products. 
Some of these solutions include:
  • ✔ Plastic corrugated partitions lined with foam
  • ✔ Heat-sealed bubble pouches
  • ✔ Films to protect against scratching, marring and abrasion
  • ✔ Water-activated tape for a strong, secure seal

Choose Efficient Packaging Methods

When shipping automotive parts, packagers’ top concerns and considerations typically include the speed and flexibility of the carton sealing equipment, and the durability and overall quality of the shipping carton and tape being used.
Ensuring that efficient solutions are in place for your packing stations will help increase productivity, employee happiness, and improve overall time to delivery for each package. 
Water-activated tape and electric tape dispensers are ideal for pick-and-pack operations. The electric dispensers feed and cut the exact length of tape needed to seal assorted sizes of cartons with just the touch of a button. 
Because water-activated tape creates a strong bond with the shipping carton, only one strip of tape is needed to securely seal the carton - increasing packer efficiency
Additionally, when using water-activated tape (also commonly known as gummed paper tape) you have the option to add branding to the tape itself, to further increase brand awareness as your product goes through the delivery process and waits on your customer’s porch.

Better Packages is Here to Help

As you work through the challenges of increasing e-commerce demand for automotive aftermarket parts, we’re here to help. 

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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]