Whether you have an international business, shipping products all over the world or an online shop, sending products to your local market, you need to make sure your items get to their destination in one piece.
Corrugated cardboard is the go-to type of box for shipping. It is sturdy enough for your most fragile items and stacks easily. To maintain its box shape, you need to secure it with tape. It sounds pretty easy, but in truth, it needs to be done correctly.
Here is how to tape a box for shipping.
Different Types of Shipping Tape
If you think all tape is created the same, think again. Tape from the grocery store or dollar store isn’t what you are looking for. You need strong tape to ensure your boxes don’t open up during storage and shipping.
Here are the different types of shipping tape:
- Carton Tape: Carton tape is most commonly used by movers where you need good adhesive, but it is not for the long term. It also doesn’t hold up very well in fluctuating temperatures.
- Moving Tape: This type of tape is suited for storage where temperatures can go from hot to cold. It has long-lasting adhesion and will keep your boxes secure.
- Shipping Tape: When shipping packages and boxes, you need something more secure. Your boxes will be handled multiple times, and needs to stand up to that. Shipping tape is designed with higher holding power and is usually reinforced to provide a strong, supportive seal.
- Water-Activated Tape: WAP is used for boxes shipping around the country and beyond. It activates when it is wet and bonds with the cardboard to create a strong seal that has to be torn or cut to take off. It is also tamper-evident.
Your tape should have strong adhesion, ease of use, tensile strength, adequate width. It should be thick enough to hold securely. For businesses, you also want custom tape that can be branded, so your boxes look more professional.
How to tape a shipping box
Taping a shipping box may seem more complicated than it has to be. However, properly taping your shipping boxes gives you peace of mind. You’ll feel reassured knowing your products will arrive at their destination safely and securely.
Here is how to tape a shipping box properly:
Tape the bottom of the box
The first thing you need to do is orient the box into its full shape. The bottom of the box should be taped first before any contents go in. Never use the interlocking flap technique because there is no strength to it. Even if you tape it afterwards, it won’t hold much weight and won’t survive shipping.
Put the top flaps down and flip the box over, so you have the bottom facing up. Fold the smaller flaps in first and then the main ones to create a flat bottom. Now it’s time to get your tape. Use a hand-held tape dispenser and run the tape across the box, bridging the tape between the two folded edges. Make sure to square off the box as you do this, so the flaps touch in the middle and don’t hang over the edge.
Run your tape halfway down each side, so there is good support. Now repeat this for extra strength. Next, you want to create an ‘H” by taping the folded edges on either side to seal it. Allow it to hangover and adhere to the side of the box. This provides you with a solid base. You can tape the inside flap if you want to, but it will not give any extra support. It will, however, create a seal on the inside.
Fill your shipping box
Your box is ready for its contents now. Put in your products and packing material and notes, instructions or messages. If you have heavy items, consider adding another layer of bottom taping. As long as you use high-quality shipping tape, you should have no worries.
Tape the top of the box
Now you are ready to seal up the box and get ready to ship it. The top flaps should be the same so fold in the smaller ones first, followed by the main ones. Run your tape along the fold, making sure it is tight and once again, go halfway down the box. This should run beside the other tape for added adhesion. Tape the side edges in your H formation, and if necessary, put one or two parallel cross tapes that overlap down the sides. Your box is now secure and ready to be shipped.
Use this taping method on all your boxes and consider buying a shipping tape that you can customize with your branding and messaging. This is another way to advertise your company while supporting your shipping boxes.
Now you know how to securely tape a cardboard box. Good luck with your business, and keep on shipping!