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APC Direct is committed to delivering your shipments with speed and care. However, shipments are handled regularly, passing through many locations as they cross the world. In order to make sure your shipments arrive in the best possible condition, here is some helpful advice on packing. Please note that APC Direct will accept no liability for the packaging advice it provides. The customer remains responsible for ensuring packaging is adequate for transportation.
It is recommended that you leave a space of at least 5cm between the outer container and the product inside. This space should be filled with padding of some type, any substance from crumpled newspaper to old pieces of clothing will do.
The following are the most common purpose-made products to be found on the market:
Different types of cushioning are available, from loose "chips", "shreds" and "peanut" shaped materials to rolls of bubbled-plastic sheet.
Loose cushioning is usually made out of very lightweight materials - it's used to fill in corners, keep the articles centred in the container and provide cushioning and shock absorption. It is clean and reusable but can be bulky to store. Most of the fillings available in the market are manufactured from recycled products. Avoid the use of polystyrene, as in many countries it is considered not to be environmentally friendly and it may be forbidden or fined at destination. Vegetable-based and biodegradable materials are preferred.
Many materials found around the house can also be used - old newspapers, shredded clothes, cushion stuffing all make ideal cushioning.
Bubble wrap is made of pockets of air distributed on a plastic film. It provides very good protection to shock, vibration and abrasion, as well as being lightweight and flexible.
When packing items or stacked objects, you should always use dividers, which provide absorption to shocks.
The most frequently used dividers are corrugated cardboard sheets, chipboard sheets, or plain brown "Craft-paper" sheets. Rolls of corrugated carton, cut to size, are excellent for low cost padding. Foam sheets are recommended to wrap up fragile objects.
There are many APC Direct packaging solutions for the protection of your shipments. As your shipment is transported, it may be exposed to adverse environments caused by weather conditions and transport vibrations, so correct packing is vital.
To ensure your shipments arrive on time and in proper condition, please follow these simple packaging and shipping tips:
Here are some products you may wish to use to wrap your package optimally:
APC Direct recommends the use of protective bags. Use cushioned bags, such as padded and bubble bags to carry such things as diskettes, tapes, keys and small electronic parts. These bags provide good shock absorption performance. Waterproof and anti-static versions are also available.
Boxes are the most commonly used type of package. The range of sizes and shapes, the different combinations of materials, and the number of accessories available to strengthen and secure them, make boxes the most suitable way to pack your shipments. If you are shipping wooden boxes, please ensure that the corners are correctly protected and check that the box is not splintered, as this can cause injuries to people handling the boxes. Wood containers are especially appropriate for shipping heavy items, usually palletised and ready to be machine-handled. Sometimes, heavy-duty double-layered cardboard is a suitable and cheaper alternative to wood.
Please do not use round tube-type cylinders. Their tendency to roll makes them difficult to handle and they cannot pass through automated sorting equipment generally used in express courier facilities.
All packages must be sealed to prevent the contents from falling out. A good seal helps to strengthen your package; however, please be aware that any shipment may be opened for inspection by customs or security authorities while in transit within the APC Direct Network. In this case, APC Direct is responsible for re-sealing your package to the highest standards. Always use strong tapes - APC Direct recommends polypropylene or vinyl adhesive tape. Avoid the use of cellophane tape, which may be inexpensive but is usually fragile and only appropriate for office use. Other types of tape such as fibre-reinforced paper tapes may also be used. APC Direct does not recommend the use of string around your box, as it can cut through the cardboard and damage your package. If you choose to use reinforced paper tape, the closing of the case can be done with only two strips. Please make sure that the tapes overlap the ends of the box by 80 mm or 3.2 inches.
The use of wrapping paper around boxes or non-contained objects is only recommended for items like textile products, in order to prevent damage by dust. Remember to enclose the wrapped object in a box. Wrapping paper can also be used as a cushioning material by crumpling it and placing it in the interior of a box. Heated shrinking and stretch films are used to consolidate multiple boxes on a pallet for stability and protection from dirt, water, oil, etc. They are not suitable for all commodities because the high temperatures used by the heat-shrinking technology may damage the contents of your shipment. When using these films, please stick labels on the boxes and not on the films. Often the film is broken down to scan each shipment's bar code.
When applied correctly, with the proper tension, strapping is an ideal way to strengthen your shipment. Loose strapping is useless and too tight strapping can damage the box, by cutting through it. Many types of strapping can be found on the market:
Edge protectors are available in plastic and recycled cardboard. When using strapping, edge protectors prevent damage to your shipment by distributing the strapping pressure and tension uniformly across the box edge, preventing damage to the cardboard.
Some special items are more liable to be damaged than others and can be easily spoiled if not packed properly.
The following are specific products that you can click on for more information on how they should be packed: