“I’m in Boston. The company I do a lot of business with is located in Northern California. That means I have to literally ship my products coast to coast ever single week.” Colin creates custom art glass pieces for retail stores and restaurants. “As you can imagine, I’m a little fanatical about packing things properly. I can’t afford to have a lot of breakage.”
When shipping fragile items cross country, two things really matter. The first is the choice of shipping container. Due to the unique dimensions of Colin’s artwork, he has wooden shipping crates custom built for each piece. Another option to explore is the use of strong shipping cartons, made of new, rigid cardboard. Your Boston shipping company will be able to advise you which is best for your unique situation once they understand what it is you need to ship.
The second item to take into account is the choice of packing materials. Packing materials are technically anything that’s enclosed inside a shipping crate or box with your items. Some examples of packing materials are styrofoam peanuts, brown kraft paper, and air pillows. One innovative type of packing material used for fragile items, including electronics, is called foam in place.
To use foam in place packing materials, your item is first wrapped in a protective film that covers its surface completely. Then a soft foam, similar in texture to shaving cream, is piped inside the shipping carton in such a way that it completely surrounds your item, above, below and on every side. This foam hardens into a protective shell. This shell is moisture resistant, resists damage from electrical shock, and will protect your item if it is dropped, kicked, or otherwise maltreated. While foam in place isn’t magic – if your item falls out of an aircraft in flight, it’s going to be wrecked and there’s nothing foam in place can do to protect it – it does provide more than sufficient protection against most of the normal rigors of cross country shipping.