Best Packaging Practices for Small Electronics

warehouse boxes

Mitigating risk of loss, theft and damage when you are shipping small electronics comes down to one crucial component. The packaging. The best packaging practices for small electronics when applied can reduce the risk of loss, theft and damage.

It is safe to say that a great deal of loss is experienced by any organization that deals in small electronics. Small electronics are unique in that some parts (like lithium batteries) can require special packaging. Of course in addition to meeting any regulations the goal is always to make sure that the goods arrive at their destination without being tampered with and in good working order.

The right packaging through the supply chain will help to reduce risks and increase your ROI.

High Risk Goods

Small electronics are considered “high risk goods” in the logistics industry because they can be hard to protect during shipping. With a few of the best packaging practices for small electronics you can easily reduce the risk of your high risk goods.

The most risky time for any small electronics is two fold, when your goods are sitting in your own warehouse and when they are being shipped out to the end user. There are some very key aspects that need consideration.

When you are considering your packaging options there are a few things that need to be addressed to reduce risk:

  • Security
  • Cushioning
  • Void Fill
  • Ease of movement
  • Stacking capabilities

Choosing the right packaging for your small electronics of course takes center stage for shipping but it also has to take center stage for storing and the end user has to be considered as well.

Security is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to small electronics. Keeping unauthorized people out of your shipment is highly dependent upon what type of packaging you choose.

Protecting your assets from damage from banging around in a storage container or vessel comes down to two choices you can use a void fill method or a cushioning method OR you can use an adjustable container which can be fitted snugly around the goods to keep things from shifting around during movement.

Cushioning is recommended by many shipping concerns, in some cases if cushioning is not used than the shipping may not be covered by insurance.

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For example one international shipping company offers the following advice” “Each item should be surrounded by at least two inches (five cm) of cushioning and be placed at least two inches (five cm) away from the walls of the box.

This will protect your items from product-against-product damage and shield them from the shock and vibration that can be conducted from the exterior of the box to its contents in transit.”

However cushioning VS void fill when it comes to shipping/storing any small electronics can add up in overall costs and cut into profits. There is a better way (read below for more information).

Packaging for small electronics does not end with shipping needs. You have to be able to safely store inventory meaning you need an option that is stackable so that you can make as much use of vertical space as possible.

Why Palletizing with Pallet Collars Works With Small Electronics

One of the best ways to ship/store small electronics in an economical way is to utilize pallets. There are a few benefits to using pallets and pallet collars to ship/store electronic goods. Starting with the cost pallets and pallet collars can be one of the most beneficial ways to ship/store small electronic goods.

This economical method is one of the best practices to adopt when your goods are considered high risk. Pallets alone may not provide you with the security that you need but pallet collars are game changers that will absolutely increase security.

Pallets and pallet collars remove the need to worry about void fill because the pallet collars allow for complete height adjustment of the crate. You can add and remove the collars are you need to increase or decrease the height of the box.

This adjustability means that you can use less cushioning materials to keep the goods from shifting around and being damaged. In most cases when you use pallets complimented with pallet collars there is no void to fill.

Pallets with plate collars are easily stackable which makes them ideal for warehousing needs. Of course pallets are also easy to maneuver on and off shipping vessels and containers. They can be moved by one person with a fork lift or a pallet jack. Your end users will appreciate the ease with which they can maneuver your shipment.

Pallet collars have to be used with small electronics to avoid spillage and damage to the goods. Of course pallet walls can do the same thing but they are not height adjustable nor do they offer tool less assembly! As anyone in business can tell you, business is fluid and you have to be flexible to stay competitive.

Since pallet collars are adjustable it makes meeting shipping demands a lot easier. One month you may have to ship out X amount of products and use 4 or 5 collars to contain the load the next you may only have to ship out X amount of products and only have to use 2 or 3 collars to contain the load.

The point is staying flexible is easier when you have a packaging option that is already flexible. It is far easier to be able to change your packaging with a snap of the fingers then it is to absorb the added cost of shipping half full boxes.

Reduce Costs Without Sacrificing Safety

One of the reasons pallets and pallet collars make the “best practices” list for small electronics is because they are both completely reusable, recyclable and even resalable. They are an inexpensive way of getting what reliable packaging for shipping and storing.

Pallets and pallet collars are economical options when it comes to initial investment but they also pay out handsome rewards as well that contribute to their cost effectiveness. For example when you consider how much space you are paying to ship with other packaging options that is empty space because the sides of the crate or box can be not be adjusted it is easy to see why an adjustable option is set to save you more money overall.

Of course less manpower time equals a higher ROI with pallets and pallet collars. Pallet collars can be added to any pallet without having to use tools which adds to the amount of cost that has to be spent on labor to construct or desconstruct this type of packaging.

The fact that pallet collars can be adjusted to fit around your freight snugly is also a cost savings. You do not have to invest in wasted void filler or extra cushioning packaging when your packaging fits snugly around your products.

As a testament to the usefulness of pallets and pallet collars for shipping small electronics a recent report concerning a mid sized manufacturer revealed that cardboard cartons VS palletizing your goods is simply the better way to do business.

To protect the privacy of the company we will call the company “Company A”. A representative from Company A (an end user) recently announced that they would not longer carry a certain type of phone. While the phone was very popular and would sell out quickly the Company A representative mentioned that the phone was not be discontinued because of a failing demand from consumers but because many of the deliveries were arriving damaged or tampered with.

Company A had discussed their concerns with the packaging with the supplier to try to salvage the relationship but the supplier did not take adequate steps to improve the situation. Evidently the shipments were coming in damaged or with a great deal of loss.

This was causing problems for the end user because they were not able to fulfill orders that their customers had pre ordered. Ultimately Company A decided to just not carry the product instead of disappointing their customers.

The moral of the story? Packaging counts! Had the supplier in the above tale opted for pallets and pallet collars there would be a greatly reduced risk of items arriving to the retailer damaged. The retailer (Company A) would have been able to fulfill their customer’s orders and very likely would have continued to use carry the product.

The right packaging not only benefits your organization but it benefits every member of the supply chain. The best practices for packaging small electronics takes every member of the supply chain into consideration.

Pallets and pallet collars are universal packaging materials. They do not require extensive training to use. They do not require special tools to use. They cut down on the number of people that have to be dedicated to loading and unloading the goods. They are the best practice for small electronics for reducing risk to the goods and for reducing the workload for everyone in the supply chain.