Common Mistakes to Avoid for Product Safety and Delivery

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Common Mistakes to Avoid for Product Safety and Delivery
This article covers:
How South Africa's young consumers and increased household income are boosting the packaging industry.
How Demand for portable and sustainable packaging is driving industry growth.
Key mistakes: bad packaging, labeling, materials, tape, processes, user experience.

The contribution of South Africa's young consumers to the country’s economic growth, through their rising demand for goods, and the increase in household disposable income has become pivotal in driving growth in the South African packaging industry.

In addition, the inclination for more portability, as well as the rising demand for sustainable packaging solutions, continues to inspire steady growth in the industry and is projected to grow from an estimated USD 10.82 billion in 2024 to USD 13.49 billion by 2029.  

In light of this growth and the factors driving this growth within the country's packaging industry, it is important to be aware of common mistakes in packaging so you can adhere to best practices in packing your goods and customers' orders for both seamless shipping and an effective customer experience.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Every step, from choosing materials to packing orders, impacts the journey of your shipment. To help you achieve stress-free shipping, here are six common packing blunders to avoid.

Improper Product Packaging and Protection: 

Proper packaging safeguards products during shipping and storage. Poor choices can damage or contaminate items, leading to unhappy customers and returns. You should select suitable materials based on product size and fragility to ensure safe arrival.

Here is what you can do -

  • Fragile Items: Wrap picture frames, platters, and porcelain in bubble wrap and cushion them between two pieces of cardboard for ultimate protection against breakage.
  • Food: Pack food items separately to prevent contamination or damage to other belongings.
  • Large & Heavy Objects: Use furniture padding and packing peanuts to secure and cushion larger, heavier items during transit.
  • Fill the Gaps: Ensure no empty spaces remain in the container. Loose items can shift and cause damage during transport.


Faulty Box Labeling and Non-Compliance to Packaging Regulations:

Ignoring packaging regulations (labeling, safety warnings, materials) can lead to fines, recalls, and brand damage. You can avoid these by staying informed about relevant packaging practices and regulations applicable to your industry.

What to do to avoid faulty box labeling -

  • Clear Labels: Ensure all labels are clear, legible, and not obscured by box seams.
  • Duplicate Label Inside: Include an extra copy of the label inside the box for easy reference.
  • Content List: List the packed items on the label for clear identification.


Using Incorrect Boxes And Wrong Packing Materials:

You must avoid selecting boxes or materials based on affordability, especially if it won't help with the safety and good condition of the product. So, do your research and be sure of the appropriate boxes or packing material that is fitting for the product you are shipping.

Two other things you can do - 

  • Box Size Matters: It's good to have some extra room in the box, but what you don't want is an excessive amount of space, which will require excessive packing materials, increasing costs and potentially causing items to shift during transit. Choose boxes that are just big enough to comfortably fit your product with a small amount of cushioning.
  • Box Quality is Key: Don't skimp on box quality! Use sturdy, high-quality boxes that are free from moisture and damage. Flimsy boxes can easily break or collapse, jeopardizing your products during shipping.
  • NOTE - Remove Old Labels: In the case of reusing old boxes, before reusing a box, completely remove any leftover labels from previous shipments. This prevents confusion and potential delays for your outgoing package.


Underestimating the Cohesive Power of Little Tape:

If you think wrapping your box with some tape may not be much of a big deal, and therefore, overlook wrapping your boxes with them, then you might just be setting your packages up for some dissembling and damage. The cohesive power of having your boxes wrapped with tape is needed to keep things together and as a united whole.

Three things you should do: 

  • Ditch the Weak Tape: Regular tape won't cut it. Use strong, high-quality packing tape at least 2 inches wide for maximum hold.
  • Seal It Tight: Apply 2-3 strips of tape to the bottom of the box, ensuring they overlap for extra strength. Repeat this on the top and sides of the box for a secure closure.
  • H-Tape for the Win: For ultimate security, use the "H-taping" method. This involves placing a strip of tape down the center seam where the flaps meet, followed by strips along both sides of the box, creating an "H" shape. This reinforces the closure and prevents your box from popping open during transit.


Ineffective Packaging and Process Optimization:

Don't let inefficient packaging processes drag down your supply chain!  Excessive waste, manual labor, and outdated equipment can all lead to unnecessary costs, and delays that can hurt your profitability and competitiveness.

Also, you can do this -

  • Invest in automation: Explore automated packing machinery for repetitive tasks like box sealing or filling.
  • Embrace lean principles: Minimize waste and optimize packing workflows by eliminating unnecessary steps.
  • Modernize equipment: Upgrade outdated equipment to improve efficiency and reliability.
  • Implement smart technology: Use barcodes or RFID tags for streamlined inventory management.
  • Continuously improve: Regularly evaluate and refine your packaging processes to identify opportunities for further optimization.


Overlooking User Experience:

Packaging goes beyond just protecting your product. A confusing or difficult-to-open package can lead to frustration and hurt your brand image.

Here are two key things to do:

  • Focus on Usability:  Consider how customers will receive, open, and use your product when designing and packaging your products.
  • Make it Easy:  Incorporate features like easy-open tear strips, resealable closures, and clear instructions for a smooth user experience.
  • By prioritizing user experience, you can ensure happy customers and a positive brand perception.


How DHL Express ensures a smoother shipping experience

How DHL Express ensures a smoother shipping experience

DHL Express understands that good packaging is vital for a successful international shipment.  That's why we offer a comprehensive shipment preparation guide to help you create an air waybill on MyDHL+, prepare your invoice, pack your goods securely, and arrange collection. 

Whether you're shipping fragile items or dangerous goods, our guide provides step-by-step instructions for safe and secure packing. Our Certified International Specialists are dedicated to ensuring your shipment arrives on time and that you have real-time tracking visibility throughout its journey.  

The DHL Express team is committed to your business success.  To learn more about our services or get special shipping tips, contact our customer service representatives or open an account with us today.