How to Tape Boxes for Shipping - The Expert Way

How to Tape Boxes for Shipping - The Expert Way

Among the worst that could happen in eCommerce is your products not reaching customers how they’re supposed to.

Imagine shipping out personal care products only for the customers to find drenched boxes with leaked bottles or shipping out electronic devices, and the customers find the boxes disheveled and the devices inside cracked.

That’s where packaging comes in, along with the hitherto unsung hero - the tape.

The Origins of Tape

Interestingly, the first form of adhesive tape dates back to 1845 when Dr. Horace Day used a rubber adhesive to fabric strips, creating what’s known today as surgical tape. Tape was later developed commercially in the initial years of the twentieth century. A young engineer working with 3M developed a masking tape for painters. Then came the advent of water-proof cellophane tapes created by DuPont.

However, it was difficult to spread adhesive on cellophane evenly; the material often cracked. Soon, plastic materials were used to make tapes for packing, and the rest is history!

Widely available in various colors, the best packing tape needs to be durable, strong and well-applied. But the ideal tape will depend on the item(s) you need to pack, seal, and ship.

Ensuring key factors when you buy tapes will help you understand what the best tape for moving boxes is, according to your needs.

Let’s first discuss the different aspects of tape and how they matter.

5 Main Aspects of Tape

  1. Material
  2. Most packing tapes are made of polypropylene or similar plastic materials. They’re economical, with high tensile strength. Kraft is another material made of paper fiber and often reinforced with fiberglass, making it more eco-friendly.
  3. Color
  4. Clear and tan are among the most popular colors when buying packing tape in bulk. While the color of your tape doesn’t add much functional value, you can select one that goes with your brand personality or overall aesthetics.
  5. Thickness
  6. The thickness of the tapes denotes their durability. A thicker tape will have better resistance to tearing. On average, a thickness of 1.6mm is considered good.
  7. Dimension
  8. The wider and longer your tape, the easier its application and coverage will be. Your boxes will be more secure if the tape covers most corners and seams.
  9. Adhesive
  10. The adhesive gives tapes its stickability, so the higher the quality used, the stronger the tape will hold. Water-based adhesive tapes are popularly used for their durability and longevity unless exposed to excess water or moisture.

Types of Tape

Based on the appearance, clear, tan, and kraft tapes are among the most popular types of tape. But each also brings with it distinct features. Clear tape gives a professional and transparent finish, tan provides a more traditional look, while kraft paper tape aligns with eco-friendly and rustic packaging preferences. Eventually, the choice depends on your aesthetic sense, functionality, and branding requirements.

Material Polypropylene/similar plastic materials Brown-tinted polypropylene/similar plastic materials Paper fibers, often reinforced with fiberglass for added strength
Transparency Allows visibility of package labels and graphics Brown/tan color with a rustic/natural appearance Distinct brown/tan appearance, resembling traditional paper packaging; can be easily printed/written on
Strength Good strength and adhesive qualities Good strength and adhesive qualities Tear-resistant and strong adhesive properties, suitable for sealing heavy/valuable items
Use General-purpose packaging (office and retail), sealing cardboard boxes, and bundling items Sealing packages and boxes in eCommerce, especially for eco-friendly or traditional appearance Industries preferring eco-friendly and recyclable packaging solutions, like arts and crafts, specialty foods, and handmade goods packaging

Now that you have an idea of the varied aspects of tape and its types, let’s move on to the best way to seal your boxes with it.

How to Tape Boxes for Shipping Expertly

  1. Select the correct box per the item(s) to pack. Choose one that’s slightly larger than the dimensions of your item(s). In case of fragile/valuable items, consider picking a somewhat larger box with enough room for cushioning.
  2. Identify the bottom of your box.
  3. Secure the bottom using a tap dispenser to take the center seam and paste the tape across the length and edges. Ensure 2-3 inches extra over the edges for additional support.
  4. Place your item(s) in the box and close the flaps. Consider cushioning the contents with corrugated pads or bubble wraps if they are fragile.
  5. Tape along all the seams of the box. This approach is the basic method. For additional security, you can use the reinforced method of taping the box’s corners, along with the seams. To protect heavy-duty packages, use multiple layers of tape along the seams and the corners of the box.
  6. Add a label to mark the contents or brand your package.

Wrapping Up

We’ve discussed the different aspects of tapes, their types, and how each type has its benefits. There are many types of tape besides these primary clear, tan, and kraft tapes. Once you’ve identified your preferences, you can buy tapes wholesale and make the most of them. The best tape for moving boxes is what suits your requirements the best.

In addition, you’re now also in on the simple yet coveted secret of how to tape boxes for shipping efficiently for maximum security.

Stay tuned for more such helpful content and secrets of packaging!