Many companies are following a packaging free concept where the primary layer of packaging for a product is removed. This layer of packaging is the actual product packaging, which acts as a first line of defense for a product. Not all products can be shipped without this primary layer, for example, it’s almost impossible to ship dried pasta noodles without the box it comes in. But many products have the opportunity to ship [primary] packaging free. Here’s how you can create the ideal packaging strategy for shipping these packaging free products without letting down your customers.

Before we get into the details of how to ship packaging free products, please know that obviously in order to send things through the mail, you have to have some form of packaging. 

When we say, “packaging free,” we are referring to removing the primary packaging of a product, but secondary and tertiary packaging materials are still required.

Choose a Stronger Box

When you remove the primary packaging from a product, you are taking away some of the protection provided. This removal of packaging leaves a product more vulnerable to damages during shipping if you don’t make adjustments to other levels of packaging. One way to overcome this is to choose a stronger box. Corrugated boxes are available in single, double, and even triple-wall configurations. The thicker the walls of a corrugated box, the more impact resistance it provides. Using a stronger box construction can help protect the product better in transit and prevent damages from occurring.

Refine Your Void Fill

Void fill becomes even more important after you remove a product’s primary packaging. This material will now be in direct contact with your product, and it will be the best option for defending against impacts and damages. There are many sustainable void fill options that can provide enough protection during shipping. One company that is known for their packaging free products uses biodegradable packing peanuts to protect their packaging free products. That company is Lush. They have removed nearly all product packaging to limit their plastic usage, and in turn have investing into a unique void fill solution that’s designed to provide all the protection their bath bombs and bubble bars need.

When you remove your primary packaging, you need strong void fill materials to protect your products as they travel. Some important considerations for choosing your void fill are making sure it provides enough protection and also ensuring that when the void fill comes in contact with product surfaces, it won’t damage your products.

Use Damage Indicators and Specialty Labels or Tape

Packaging free products may be more fragile and require specific handling instructions. To hold everyone along your supply chain accountable, you can use damage indicators that will tell you when something has been mishandled. The visual warning from the indicators will also cause workers to be more careful with your packages, thus preventing more damage.

Specialty labels and tape are also important to add because people need to know that your packages are fragile. Using labels and tape with visual warnings will keep employees who handle your packages informed, so they use more caution when moving your products from warehouses to trucks and vice versa. This will help prevent damage as packages travel, which is incredibly important as your products are more vulnerable now that you’ve removed their primary packaging.

Invest in Shipping Insurance

When you know products are vulnerable during shipping, you should certainly invest in shipping insurance to cover yourself. Accidents are inevitable, and when you’re held accountable for all damages that occur, you can quickly see your budget diminishing. Shipping insurance takes some of the accountability off your shoulders and provides a budgetary cushion for accidental damages that happen on someone else’s account.

The shipping insurance covers you in case packages are lost, stolen, or damaged in transit. When you know that mishandling can be a huge problem for your packaging free products, it’s important to get insurance on every parcel, so you can be reimbursed when something goes wrong rather than having to pay out of pocket to fix it.

It is possible to ship packaging free products with confidence if you take the time to refine your packaging operations. There are many ways to cut back on your use of packaging, especially if your goal is to reduce plastic materials. Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas to help make your transition to packaging free shipping less stressful.