10 Jun 2013
In retrospect, I now admit that was probably the best advice I have ever received and hundreds of blog posts later, I am very far from being out of things to write about.
Where do the ideas come from?
Mostly they come from you, ISP readers as well as our customers and potential customers. I have always figured if there is one person out there wondering about something, there must be others, so often times an inquiry or question becomes a post.
“When is an end load box better than an RSC style box?” “How can my packaging help reduce my shipping costs?” “How can I reduce the cost of branding my packaging?” “What is the difference between corrugated board and paper board?”
These and many, many other questions are answered in the blog posts of Inside Sustainable Packaging. Remember, when in doubt, use the handy search box on ISP’s home page because chances are, we have written about your area of interest, probably several times. Also, at the end of almost every post we try to include a few “related posts” able to provide additional info on the same topic.
What are the most popular past topics?
It’s a close race but among the most common repeat topics are:
What new topics can you expect to see a lot more of in the future?
Five years and going strong and we owe it all to you. Please keep the questions coming in and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any comments (positive or negative) about any of our blog post or products.
28 May 2013
There is a lot of interest in branding and rightly so. The benefits of branding are not just limited to orders and packages sent to impressionable and receptive consumers. The fact is that companies sending out pallet loads of their products are every bit as interested and stand to gain as much, if not more by displaying their brand on every pallet they ship. Custom printed pallet wrap stretch film is by far, the easiest way to keep your name in front of your largest and most valuable customers.
Other Benefits of Custom Printed Pallet Wrap Film
We are now able to custom print as little as one half pallet of most of our pallet wrap products in put ups including hand wrap, machine grade, and even stretch banding film.
Standard available grades:
Hand Wrap – 18” 80 gauge, 1,500 feet per roll, 4 rolls per case, 36 cases per pallet
20” 80 gauge, 1,000 feet per roll, 4 rolls per case, 50 cases per pallet
Machine grade – 20” 80 gauge, 5,000’ per roll, 40 rolls per pallet
Stretch banding film – 5” 80 gauge, 1,000 feet/pallet, 12 rolls/case, 50 cases/pallet
*Other grades, gauges, widths, etc. may be available though higher minimums may apply.
Please contact us if you are interested in getting a quote, have any questions about the process, or would like to discuss your specific application. Keep in mind we specialize in branded packaging products including corrugated RSC style shipping boxes, die cut mailer boxes, mailer envelopes, void fill material and even case sealing plastic or paper tapes. We know how to make the process easy, quick and as inexpensive as possible.
23 May 2013
What makes these bags green?
First, these bags are very reusable, with a standard easy open reclosable lip, making these unlike other sealed bags that have to be ripped or cut open. Second, they are biodegradable and are ASTM D5511 compliant and will biodegrade even in landfill conditions. Since they are made of 100% LDPE recyclable (low density polyethylene) film, they are also recyclable anywhere a standard poly or plastic shopping bag can be recycled.
What are the bag specs?
In terms of size they vary from a very small 2” X 2” to the largest stock size we currently offer which is 9” X 12”. Keep in mind all bag dimensions are usable, inside dimensions and do not include the reclosable header.
In addition all current stock sizes are made of clear, 2 mil film, though other sizes and gauges are available. (Minimums may apply) All bag sizes are packed 1,000 bags per case and available in a low one case minimum.
Please contact us if you have any questions or want pricing on ANY bag needs. We make bags ranging from heavy duty ten mil thick bags that fit pallet loads of products to tiny, ultra-thin bags for seasonings and spices. All can be made custom gauge, custom size and of course, custom print.
15 May 2013
Whether you are shipping organic baby clothes, tee shirts, or high fashion clothing, in our opinion there are few greater economic or environmental wastes than shipping soft goods in boxes. Keep in mind this opinion comes from a guy who sells boxes for a living as well as the tape and void fill/cushioning materials that boxes usually require.
The truth is that there are very few good reasons to ship soft goods in a box and many reasons not too, including material cost, customer perception, labor and time savings, branding options and even shipping costs.
Shipping weight savings
Compared to shipping boxes, unpadded paper mailer envelopes typically save money on shipping inbound and outbound. That is the cost to get the mailer envelopes to you and the cost to get them to your customers. As shipping rates continue to climb, every ounce makes a difference and mailer envelopes are the lightest, most economical method to ship anything but especially soft goods that can be heavy and dense.
RSC and even mailer boxes require set up prior to packing and taping to seal them. Our Globe Guard® unpadded paper mailers open and load easily and feature a “peel and seal” adhesive strip that keeps the mailer envelope securely sealed throughout the shipping process.
Most packers can easily fill and seal two or three mailer envelopes in the same time it takes to pack one RSC style box. That not only saves time and labor costs, it also helps improve through put, especially during those busy surges and seasons.
Everyone now understands the value of that moment when your product (in your packaging) arrives at your customer’s home or office. Making a positive, memorable impression is critical and may even influence the way your product is perceived as well as help determine if the customer will return. Your package makes an impression and you control whether it will be a good one or one you regret.
There are NO other packaging branding options that are available in a low one case minimum. Example: for our very popular 10-1/2” X 3-3/4” X 19” gusseted Kraft mailer, that one case minimum represents 200 envelopes. There are no other packaging containers we know of that you can print your logo or message on in that low a quantity.
Please review our list of available mailer sizes as shown on our green packaging store and let us know if you would like to receive and review any samples. Surprisingly, they are both more rugged and more attractive than you may think.
If unpadded paper mailer envelopes truly are not right for your application, we do offer a wide range of mailer envelopes including padded paper and poly, as well as two different grades of unpadded poly mailers. If you really do need a box, few companies are better at custom sizes, custom designs and custom prints.
Contact us for a no cost, no obligation review of your specific needs.
9 May 2013
Many companies who ship perishable products are searching for material alternatives to EPS, Styrofoam, coolers because of environmental concerns. They also believe that many of the EPS foam products companies touting their products as “recycled EPS foam” are at best a band aid solution to a growing problem. If the foam is recycled, the questions have to be asked – what percentage is recycled and where does it come from? Perhaps more importantly, how does this “recycled content” impact how and where the product can be recycled after use? Sadly, in most cases, coolers are disposed of improperly and they almost always end up in landfills.
What makes these cooler boxes “ecofriendly”?
That is what makes our Globe Guard® insulated coolers such a timely and welcome shipping option. The shipping boxes are made with our Globe Guard 100% recycled content corrugated. The insulating foam inserts that we make specifically for your application and shipping box size, are bio-based and 100% biodegradable. In addition they are compostable and they can be re-used when installed and used properly.
We are pleased to offer three different types or levels of insulated coolers for your shipping needs.
Stock Insulated Cooler Boxes – At present time we offer three stock sizes and the plan is to add more as soon as customers indicate which sizes they need. The three initial sizes are 12” X 12” X 12”, 12” X 10” X 8”, and 7” X 7” X 7”. Details can be found on these three items in the reusable section of our Globe Guard Products.com green packaging store. These stock coolers have a low one case minimum and generally ship within a week.
Semi-Custom Insulated Cooler Boxes – Any of our thirty available stock Globe Guard box sizes can be easily turned into insulated shipping boxes with biodegradable foam inserts cut for them. The minimum ranges from forty to one hundred coolers depending on the box size and foam thickness. The lead time is usually one to two weeks.
Custom Insulated Cooler Boxes – We can make a custom size shipper box of almost ANY dimensions with custom size inserts to match. Depending on size, the minimum for a plain (unprinted) box can vary from a 300 to 500 with custom prints available for as few as 500 boxes. Lead time on these items is usually two to three weeks after approved art work.
If you prefer a die cut mailer design, we can create inserts for them as well whether they are a stock size and design from our corrugated mailer section of our store or a completely custom size creating a chest style cooler as shown in the group photo included in this post.
Shipping perishable items can be tricky so if you are not sure whether these coolers will work for you and your product, please contact us for a no cost/no obligation review of your application. There are a lot of variables including the product, temperature, reusability requirement, the coolant being used and especially how long the proper temperature range has to be maintained. We will give you the best possible advice we have and will usually recommend ship testing to make sure your requirements are being met.
1 May 2013
From our “don’t blame me, I’m only the messenger” department, it appears there is another substantial corrugated price increase headed our way. We are not in favor of an increase at a time of apparent economic recovery, but the indicators are strong enough that we feel obligated to give our customers and friends as much advance notice as possible.
$50 per ton paper pulp increase announced
Pulp and Paper announced the above increase last week and though we are getting a variety of notices and information from different suppliers, most appear to be talking about increases on boxes in the 8% to 10% range. Most also target the end of May for implementation which would immediately impact all corrugated board products at that time. However, you can count on other paper products such as void fill, paper tape and eventually mailer envelopes to also follow suit.
Justification and Recent History
“Capacity” is the usual excuse or reason most paper mills use for justifying any increase and even though capacity limitations are often times self-created, they impact the market in a way that none of us can control.
Also, this increase follows the October 2012 (8%) increase that was preceded with eighteen months of steady prices so my guess is that everyone is still playing margin and profitability “catch up” to some degree.
In addition to the obvious impact an increase has on prices and cost, it also affects lead times which ultimately can prove to be more harmful than the price increase. When very large volume corrugated users “buy in” at the lower price, that tends to extend lead time from a normal 1 to 2 weeks, to a strained 3 to 4 weeks. Perhaps even more on certain grades and types.
They only thing you can really do is make sure you have your May and early June requirements on order, ASAP, while the dust settles and this increase becomes fact or not. If the increase never happens (which we doubt) you will have a little more packaging inventory than you may need at this time. If the industry “experts” are correct, and a substantial increase happens in the next few weeks, you may be able to avoid running out of boxes.
Contact us to determine if we can help you reduce your packaging costs with greener, healthier products, even and especially at a time of fast rising prices.
29 Apr 2013
LOHAS is a terrific organization and an acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, a market segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice.
Last year, I was fortunate to serve on a panel discussion on packaging at the LOHAS annual conference in Denver, Colorado where they are based. There I was able to meet and get to know the executive director, Ted Ning, and we are thrilled to see him bring the LOHAS message to our hometown of Chicago.
Network with Other Green Minded People and Companies
The gathering with cocktails will be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (CDT) at the Metropolitan Group that is at 35 E Wacker Place, in Chicago. You can see more information at this link and even reserve your ticket there.
To learn more about LOHAS, please visit their web site at www.LOHAS.com. I think you will find your time well spent at this rare Midwest opportunity to meet people who share your same interests and passions.
22 Apr 2013
In Spanish “poder” means “to be able” and is often times used to communicate “can do.” Poder is also the name of the leading Hispanic focused business and lifestyle magazine with a circulation of over two million.
In the context of this recognition, poder can be also be loosely translated into doing or making a difference and we are very proud to be chosen as one of the 100 people and Hispanic owned businesses making a difference in the field of sustainability.
Poder April/May issue
It was an honor to be selected and we thank the people at Poder for the consideration and selection. We are grateful for the opportunity to do what we sincerely enjoy but recognition like this is also much appreciated.
Happy Earth Day to all!
16 Apr 2013
We are pleased to announce the addition of Ice-Brix™ cold gel packs to our www.GlobeGuardProducts.com green packaging store. They are a great fit considering the popularity of our stock Globe Guard™ non-insulated cooler tote, as well as our custom cooler shipping boxes lined with 100% biodegradable thermal insulating foam.
These gel packs are different from others because they are made of 100% biodegradable LDPE film and are environmentally friendly. All five sizes of biodegradable Ice-Brix are already in stock and on sale on our web store through May 31, 2013.
What makes these cold packs environmentally friendly?
In addition to the biodegradable LDPE pouch that will degrade even in a landfill environment, Ice-Brix also has an eighteen month shelf as long as they are stored in temperatures of 860F or less and not exposed to UV rays. They are completely reusable during that period which saves money and eliminates waste, especially compared to other “use once and toss” cold pack solutions that are not biodegradable or reusable.
Can Ice-Brix™ be used to create a cold but not frozen shipping package?
Absolutely. There are applications when a hard frozen gel pack may not be required or desired. For those situations you can chill a pack overnight in a refrigerator and Ice-Brix™ will perform well, even if not hard frozen. Keep in mind there is no chemical reaction in Ice-Brix and they do not begin freezing until they are exposed to temperatures at or below 300F.
How long do Ice-Brix™ take to freeze?
Obviously freezers vary a great deal in terms of temperature, but one or a few Ice-Brix will usually freeze solid overnight. A case of Ice-Brix may take several days to as long as a week to freeze solid and a full pallet of cases might take several weeks to a month.
There are many variables in cold pack or freezer pack applications including, the initial product temperature, how it is shipping, what shipping temperature has to be maintained and for how long, and of course seasonal temperature conditions. When in doubt, please ask us and we can assist you with ship testing to determine the least expensive solution for your specific application.
Contact us for a free no cost analysis of your cold temperature shipping and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have. Remember, this new product introduction sale ends on May 31st so order your Ice-Brix™ today!
10 Apr 2013
We are glad to introduce a new box into our growing line of die cut mailer containers for shipping and display. This new box is a lock front with side dust flaps designed for security and strength as well as ease of opening without content damage. It is manufactured in the USA from our Globe Guard® 100% recycled content, natural Kraft (brown) board but can also be special ordered in white. Like most of our mailers, it can also be custom branded and printed in either Kraft or white at a reasonably priced minimum of 1,000 boxes.
New mailer specs
The actual inside dimensions are 12-1/4” x 9-1/4” x 2-1/2” and is made of 32B-flute board and ideal for shipping literature, brochures, forms, presentation folders and sales kits. It is also a great size for advertising/marketing promotions as well as sample and subscription box programs
This new 12-9-2 mailer is in stock and available for immediate shipment on our store site alongside the other mailer boxes we offer. It is also on sale through the end of May 2013 and is available in low cost bundles of 50. A bundle of fifty ships anywhere on the US mainland for a flat $10.00 shipping charge though larger order quantities can often times be unitized or palletized resulting in even lower shipping costs.
Other packaging options for similar applications
We know every application is a little different. Some people and products require a presentation box while others simply want the product being shipped to arrive safely. Others want a horizontal package while others prefer a package that opens like a book. Some applications are for reusable and reclosable use while others are designed for single use. Here are a few other options we offer:
If you don’t see what you need on our stock list, please call us. Not all of our design and size options are in stock and shown on our store, just the most popular ones. Even if your needs are completely custom in terms of design, size and printing, we can usually ship the finished product within two weeks after art approval. No one does it faster or better than we do!
Please call us at 815-609-3600 or contact us for a free consolation. Packaging that communicates and fits is indeed within your reach.