What's Included in a Packaging Station?

Grainger Editorial Staff

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Packaging stations are an essential part of your production line, enabling employees to pack, label and ship products quickly and easily. Having the right materials stocked in your packaging station can help save employees time and increase output.

Here are the essential items to include:

Boxes. Your packing station should have boxes of all sizes in stock, including any unique shapes needed to package your products. Boxes come in different strengths, with thicker boxes providing more protection against breaks and falls.

Envelopes and mailers. Paper, padded mailers and/or envelopes are ideal for shipping smaller items or paperwork. Your station should stock a supply of different sizes and shapes of envelopes. Paper and poly material mailers are often less expensive.

Labels. Your station should have a supply of shipping, fragile and arrow-up labels. These labels help packages get delivered to the right people at the right locations, and help minimize mishandling along the way.

Tape. Shipping and packaging tape helps secure and seal boxes. Your packing station should have an adequate supply of tape and dispensers, including different colored tapes to match packaging color or highlight important information such as a product code.

Protective packaging. Bubble wrap or foam helps protect items from scratching and breaking in transit. Temperature-controlled packaging can also help reduce the impact of temperature or humidity on items in transit by forming a protective layer. Specialty protective packaging can offer additional temperature, static and corrosion resistance.

Void fill. Void fill helps prevent items from shifting around during shipping by filling the empty areas around a product in a box. Unlike protective packaging, void fill is not designed to cushion products or protect them from falls or damage. Your packaging station should have a supply of your preferred type of fill, including air pillows, packaging paper and peanuts.

Stretch wrap. Stretch wrap is a plastic material that holds loose items together in transit and can reduce dust and moisture buildup. Torn or missing stretch wrap can also indicate tampering or damage to products. Your packaging station should have a supply of rolls of plastic stretch wrap, including specialty wraps and dispensers. High-performance wraps can hold up to impacts and tears, while anti-static wraps can reduce static discharge. Concealing wraps can help hide expensive and valuable products behind opaque plastic.

Opening tools. Cutting tools such as scissors and utility knives help open boxes and break down materials. 

Strapping machines. Strapping machines tie boxes together with plastic banding to prevent separation in transit. Strapping machines should be in good working order with enough supply of plastic strapping. Strapping can also be applied by hand with tightening equipment.

Barcode printer and scanner. Barcodes help you sort and track packages and can make it easier to keep track of inventory and shipping addresses. Your packaging station should have a barcode printer and scanner on hand to easily create new barcodes or read existing labels. Barcode printers can also include addresses or logos on labels.

Scales. Postage scales come in either desktop or floor models and can be an important part of your packaging station when estimating costs to ship. Scales can also be used for counting small parts and pieces by weight, saving time. Floor scales allow you to weigh heavier objects or bulky packages.

Learn more about the best packaging and shipping tools for your packaging station.

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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