As eager Christmas shoppers order online early to make sure must have gifts are still in stock, many retailers are experiencing spikes in orders way beyond forecasted demand.

Whilst this is great for business, it can prove to be a logistical headache to ensure business operations can move quick enough to fulfil these unprecedented increases.

Here are 3 simple tips that can instantly speed up your packing times and increase throughput in your operation.

Re-think the box
If you are using 0201 shipper cartons or, complex die-cut cartons, you could be spending most of your time taping the box together before filling it. If so, there is a huge amount of scope to speed-up the packing time.

If you are shipping books, games, jigsaws or other solid, flat items, it’s time to look at postal wraps. These are super quick to pack and have a self-seal strip, which means your parcel is ready to ship in seconds.

For other items, switch to a crash-lock base box that “pops” into shape ready for packing. This removes the need to tape the base, a self-seal option also removes the need to manually tape the top too. You can pack out orders in a fraction of the time taken when using a standard shipper carton.

There are lots of box designs out there to reduce your packing time, don’t just soldier on with an option that is slow pack.

Wrap to a new rhythm
If you are spending lots of time wrapping fragile products in protective packaging, or manually filling voids, there will be an opportunity to speed up the process.

For example, manual application of bubble wrap which involves cutting the material to size from the roll, can eat up valuable time. Switching to a system like Geami allows you to quickly wrap your product and tear the material off the roll in one quick movement. This can significantly speed up the packing time.

For void-fill, a low-cost investment in a hopper allows air bags to be inflated in advance, ensuring a constant supply of void-fill next to the packing bench. This allows your operator to focus on packing product out quickly, rather than waiting for bags to inflate for each pack.

There are lots of automated void-fill and protective packaging dispensers on the market, there will be an option suitable to speed up your packing time.

Step away from the tape gun
If you are using a manual tape gun dispenser and polypropylene/PVC tape, there really is a much quicker way to seal boxes.

Water activated paper tape, used with a digital or manual dispenser, revolutionises the way that tape is applied to parcels.

It dispenses tape to pre-programmed lengths, so the tape is ready to apply straight to the pack. As it forms such a strong bond with the box you don’t need to apply so much tape either, reducing the overall packaging cost.

Water active paper tape is also 100% recyclable, so it’s a great way to remove miles of plastic from your packaging.
If you would like to investigate more packaging options which can speed up your packing times and help you meet increased demand, why not contact Macfarlane Packaging today? We’re on hand to help!

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