What are Some Different Types of Shipping Supplies?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2019
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Shipping various types of goods is very common today. From businesses that ship products to customers to individuals who ship gifts, documents, and other items to relatives and friends, packages and heavy freight are shipped each day. Currently, there are shipping options and supplies created for just about any situation. Here are a few examples of shipping supplies that are widely available and regularly used.

Shipping boxes are easily the most common of all shipping supplies. Usually constructed with corrugated cardboard, the boxes are strong enough to stand up to the rigors of travel and arrive at the destination in decent condition. While most postal services and couriers will accept just about any box that meets the proper weight and size restrictions, they usually provide a line of boxes that are well within their standards. In some cases, the boxes are provided to customers at no additional charge. The advantage to the consumer is there is no doubt the box is within standards and will be accepting by the shipping or mailing service.

In order to properly prepare a box for shipping, there are several other shipping supplies required. Bubble wrap, paper confetti, or small polystyrene pieces popularly known as popcorn are used to fill in the spaces around the items in the box and provide protection and padding. This helps to minimize shifting during the process of shipment.


Sealing the box requires packaging tape. This type of tape is often a little wider than standard rolls of masking tape and is considerably stronger. True packaging tape may be clear or slightly colored to match the natural shade of a cardboard box.

Another example of basic shipping supplies is the shipping label. Shipping labels provide a means of preparing a clear and concise label containing the delivery address. Many companies prepare special shipping labels that also include the return address in the upper left-hand area of the label, or the upper middle section along with the company logo. The adhesive on the labels are formulated to stick tightly to the shipping boxes, making them a better option than attempting to create a label with plain paper and glue.

Along with boxes, mailing tubes have become a very popular shipping method. These simple round tubes are ideal for sending oversized documents or similar items that can be rolled and placed in the tube. Ideal for shipping light items, this kind of shipping supplies can be used with most postal services as well as many couriers.

There are also a wide range of customized shipping supplies used for larger freight, such as wooden boxes and flats, resin strapping, and other types of specialty packaging. Most freight lines provide customers with guidelines for packaging materials for shipment. Some long-haul carriers also provide access to the proper packaging materials if the client does not have any on hand.

Shipping and mailing supplies today are varied in size, strength, and shape. Whether shipping something across town or across the world, there are supplies that are ideal for your purpose. If you are not sure what type of shipping supplies to use for a particular shipment, consult a professional shipper for information on how to pack the items as well as delivery times and rates.


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