When you take the time to pack your products correctly, you are not only protecting the product—you are signaling to your customer that you care about them and the experience they have with your company. Similarly, a broken or damaged product will set you back in more ways than one. Customers won’t want to buy from you again, trust is lost, and they will likely want to send you back the damaged product at your cost.
So, how do you avoid all of the above? Properly pack your products the first time! With air cushion packing you have many different methods to choose from to make sure your goods are secure, ready to be shipped, and will arrive safely to happy customers. Below we will outline eight methods of air cushion packaging so you are able to choose which option works best for you.
For visual demonstrations, watch our HOW TO PACK video series!
Block and brace
If your products are heavier and need a little extra TLC when being shipped, we suggest you pack them using the block and brace method. Block and brace is a packing method used with sturdy packing material, such as air cushions. You can arrange the air cushions in such a way that will absorb any shock energy and direct it towards the strongest point of the product during shipment. This method is also great for when your products aren’t perfectly shaped. If you are one of the many who have to find a way to pack your product safely, block and brace will do the job. Place air pillows along the sides and on top of the item so all space has been filled.
For Block and Brace, we recommend these films:
Is your product more rectangular- or square-shaped? We recommend you pack using the corner protection method. Place air cushions around two opposite corners of your product so the item is secured in the middle of the box. The pillows should fill the space between the corner of the item and the corner of the box. Repeat this process on the diagonally opposite corner, and repeat this until the item is secure. This will keep the product from moving around during transit. A word to the wise: Don’t use this method on oddly shaped items. If your product doesn’t have a clear corner, using the corner protection method will leave extra open space in the box that could result in the item getting damaged during transit.
For Corner Protection, we recommend these films:
- 4×8 Square Bags
- 8×8 Square Bags
- Double Cushions
- Quilt Small
- Pillow Pack Quilt Medium
- Quilt Large
Packing as much product into one shipping container is good for many reasons. It cuts back on materials needed and results in an expedited process. When you have fragile products, pack with the interleaving method to safely stack fragile items of a similar size and shape into the same shipping container. To do this, start by placing one layer of air cushion material on the bottom of the box so that any excess material flows over the left and right sides of the box. Place your first item into the box on top of that first layer to hold everything in place. Then, add a second layer of cushioning on top of the first item, but this time place the quilt inside the top edge of the box so that the excess flows over the bottom. Add your second item on top of the first and move the remaining packing material from the bottom to the top wrapping it all up in a safe cocoon of protection. Think about it as a way to braid your way to a safer package.
For Interleave, we recommend these films:
If you are looking for a method that will give your product overall protection, we recommend you pack using the cross-layer method. Place two equal lengths of quilted packing material layered in an x-shape into the center of the box so that the excess length hangs over the top corners of the box. Place your item over the center of the X and fold in the excess so that the item is surrounded safely by the packaging material.
For Cross-layer, we recommend these films:
Top-layer or top-fill
Top-layer or top-fill packing is a great method for when your product may fit almost perfectly into a box, but you want to pack it with a little bit of extra attention and protection. This is a very simple way of packing your products. Once everything is safely placed in the shipping container, add a layer of air cushioning on the top of the product so it creates a cushion between the product and the top of the box. This method not only helps protect your product, but it helps prevent dents and damage to the box that may occur during transportation. Clean packaging? Check.
For Top-layer or top-fill, we recommend these films:
Void-fill is kind of like the catch-all of packing methods. If you need a method that allows you to ship multiple items in the same box that do not need special individual protection, we recommend you pack using void-fill. Place the items in the box and use air pillows to fill any empty space between the products and the box. By filling these voids, you are helping to prevent movement during shipping—and consequently, potential damage to your product in the process.
For void-fill, we recommend these films:
The wrap method should be used when you are packing single, fragile items or items that may not have outer packaging to begin with. Wrap is a method that you have probably used time and time again in your personal life when you are moving things from one place to the other. The wrap method is done when you place the item at the end of the packing material (in this case air cushions), and roll it until the item is completely covered on all sides. Place the wrapped product into the box and make sure that all the wrapped layers are tightly wound. If there is still movement in the box, try using a smaller box so things fit snugly.
For wrapping, we recommend these films:
To implement the loosefill method, simply pack the box halfway with air cushions, place the product on top of that bottom layer, and then fill the remaining space on top with packing material. The box should be filled completely to prevent the item from moving during shipment. This is a great method to use when your products are heavy or oddly shaped.
For Top-layer or top-fill, we recommend these films:
Using air cushion packing offers a variety of wonderful ways to safely and securely pack your products. The above show how you can use one packing material multiple different ways. With air cushions, you can rest assured that your product is safe from start to finish.