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]

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How to Protect Your Business with Shipping Insurance

For e-commerce businesses, lost, stolen, and damaged packages represent a cost that, if not controlled, can cripple a company. How common is it that a shipment doesn’t arrive at its intended destination in good condition? Shipping companies are, of course, reluctant to share these types of stats. But, it’s safe to say that undesirable outcomes occur frequently.

As an example of just one component of “undesirable outcomes,” Shiphawk reports that 2016 research by Fast Company Magazine found that 11 million packages were stolen from porches in the U.S. the prior year. That number should concern e-commerce companies. Fortunately, in many instances, shipping insurance can cover the replacement cost for lost or damaged shipments.
“For #ecommerce businesses, lost, stolen, and damaged packages represent a cost that, if not controlled, can cripple a company.” TWEET THIS

Understanding Shipping Insurance

Insurance in general, and shipping insurance in particular, can be confusing. Unfortunately, that sometimes leads companies to go without it and simply “hope for the best” when they ship their merchandise. However, shipping coverage really isn’t as complicated as it seems. With a brief overview, some research, and then conversations with providers, you can get affordable insurance that protects your business from the financial impact of lost or damaged goods. 

The first thing to understand is that there are two basic options when it comes to shipping insurance: simple “declared value” coverage and “cargo insurance.”
  • ✔ Declared value coverage. The key term here is “declared.” This is the dollar amount you have told the carrier the package is worth as you are giving it to them. That declaration establishes the figure for which the carrier will be liable if two conditions are met. First, loss, damage, or theft must occur while the package is in the shipper’s possession. Second, in order to be reimbursed by the carrier, you must prove that they were negligent in the way they handled your package. This, of course, is difficult since you are not observing them throughout the process.
  • ✔ Cargo insurance. When companies think of “shipping insurance,” typically cargo insurance is what they have in mind. This is insurance in the standard sense. It provides compensation if a package is lost, stolen, or damaged at any point in the delivery process and may include coverage beyond the declared value for other expenses. Plus, you may not be required to prove negligence on the part of the carrier. Cargo insurance can be either “inland transit insurance” (covering shipments only by land transport such as truck or train) or “marine cargo insurance” (covering shipments by any mode including sea, air, truck, and train).
Understanding these differences gives you a good foundation for moving forward with your decision regarding shipping insurance.

Does My Company Need Shipping Insurance?

There are a number of factors to consider in deciding whether your company needs shipping insurance, including:
  • ✔ Legal obligations. If you have a legal agreement with your recipient that you will insure the shipment, then you must provide insurance. That’s stating the obvious, but it is important that you understand your obligations.
  • ✔ Shipment value. If the value of the merchandise in a particular package is fairly low, then insurance may not be necessary. What is “low”? You have to make that determination. But, for example, a company shipping $700 cell phones might understandably see insurance as essential whereas one that ships $10 toys might be comfortable with the risk of loss and choose not to have insurance.
  • ✔ Item type. Some merchandise is more susceptible to damage or more likely to be stolen. Evaluating those risks is important.
  • ✔ Destination. If you are shipping packages locally and to areas where package theft is uncommon, shipping insurance may not be a high priority. However, if you are shipping regionally, nationally, or globally and/or to locations where theft is common, you should certainly consider insurance.
As ShippingEasy points out, there is also a formula for assessing the business case for shipping insurance. Essentially it is the number of shipments lost/damaged/stolen divided by the total number of shipments and multiplied by the average order value to arrive at the average insurance cost per item. Calculating that number can help you look at shipping insurance from a financial perspective.
New Call-to-action

The Importance of Packing Shipments Properly

There are two main reasons it is critical to pack your shipments properly. The first is that doing so can help reduce the risk of damage (in all forms, including poor handling or inclement weather) and theft. You might say that the most affordable insurance is the insurance you don’t need! The second is that adequate packaging may be required in order for your insurance claim to be honored. Some insurance policies will have verbiage saying that shipments must be “properly packaged” in order for reimbursement to be issued.

For both of these reasons, you should always pack your merchandise in sturdy cartons (corrugated cardboard is both strong and lightweight) and take the necessary steps to secure the merchandise inside the box with adequate cushioning or void fill. There are several types of void fill that include foam for surface protection, bubble cushioning to absorb impacts and air pillows to properly fill the voids in the box and prevent unnecessary jolts to the merchandise.
Even more popular these days are paper solutions that accommodate sustainable packaging needs and are usually curbside recyclable. Sealing those cartons with water-activated tape (WAT). WAT creates a powerful, tamper-evident bond with cartons, and can do so with a minimal number of strips. Plus, it can be printed with branding or messaging, making it effective both at sealing packages and branding your company. 

So, the combination of proper packaging and shipping insurance, where appropriate, can help protect your company from the high cost of lost, stolen, and damaged shipments. To learn more about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

Interested in trying a free sample roll of water-activated tape? 
New Call-to-action
[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]