Posted on: 28 August 2015Share
When you own a business, you might be more concerned about profit margins and customer counts than you are about the quality of your shipping containers. However, if you care about improving customer service and limiting waste, you should sit down with your cardboard box manufacturer to have a good talk. Here are two things every business owner should ask their cardboard box manufacturer and why:
1: "Will those boxes be able to endure the rigors of transport?"
Nothing is worse than listening to customers complain about damaged products that arrived at their front door. In addition to angering what might have been a loyal customer, damaged products can also sour your company's reputation — potentially obliterating your bottom line. Unfortunately, transport can be tough on shipped items. As products are loaded and unloaded, you have little control over their condition, which is why packaging is so important.
To keep your products safe on the road, take the time to ask your cardboard box manufacturer whether or not your boxes will be able to endure the rigors of transport. Here are a few ratings to keep in mind:
- Edge Crush Test: Wouldn't it be nice to know how high you can stack those pallets without damaging the products inside? Edge crush test ratings are designed with the shipper in mind. This rating, which is expressed as a simple number, shows the number of pounds that can be endured by any given side of the box. For example, if the ECT rating is 40, the side of the corrugated boxes can withstand 40 pounds per square inch before buckling.
- Burst Strength: Unfortunately, stacking isn't the only inherent danger shipping has to offer. If the box is dropped or objects fly into the side, that box could burst open — sending contents all over the back of the truck. Fortunately, some boxes also carry a burst strength, which is also called a mullens test rating. This rating represents the number of pounds per square inch the sidewall of the box can stand without splitting.
Before you meet with your cardboard manufacturer, make sure you know how much your products weigh and how high your shipping department likes to stack pallets. That way, you will be able to find a cardboard box that meets your needs. For example, if your product weighs 5 pounds, and you typically stack pallets 9 units high, you might need a box with an ECT of at least 45. As far as burst strength is concerned, keep in mind that the higher the number, the more protected your items will be.
2: "How long do they take to put together?"
In business, time is money. The faster you can assemble products and get them out to customers, the happier your clients will be. Unfortunately, some manufacturing and production lines get held up when it comes to product packaging. In addition to assembling flat cardboard boxes, your workers might have to worry about things like finding tape and placing labels on the side of boxes. However, your cardboard manufacturer might be able to make things easier, so that you can save time.
For example, you might be able to customize your cardboard box design with pre-printed panels, so that your employees don't have to stop to slap on a return address label. Believe it or not, some cardboard boxes even come with easy-to-use glue strips, completely eliminating the need for tape guns. Instead of having to track down tape and steer clear of that sharp blade, your workers might be able to uncover glue strips, fold the box into place, and move on with production. In addition to reducing workplace accidents, getting rid of tape guns might also speed things up — saving you money on labor.
By improving your shipping containers, you might be able to protect your products, decrease costs, and improve customer experiences.