Packing Supplies

Using packing supplies that are durable and dependable helps keep your belongings safe during a move or while in storage. Make sure you have the right number of boxes (large, medium and small) to avoid over-packing.


Start packing early so that you’re not rushed or stressed out the day of your move. It will also help to pack room by room and group similar items together.


Boxes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and thicknesses to accommodate different items. Some boxes are even designed to keep their contents safe with features like straight tuck or lock bottom closures, custom inserts and extra padding.

When packing boxes, always wrap items carefully. This prevents scratches, gouging and breaks that can happen when the box shifts in transit. It also makes it easier for you and your moving company to lift the boxes when they are filled up.

Dish boxes, for example, are perfect for packing dishes, glassware, fine china, mugs, decorative plates, lamp bases and other fragile items. These boxes have a double layer of corrugated cardboard, so you can pack heavier items safely. When packing dish boxes, use crumpled packing paper or styrofoam plates for cushioning and wrap individual plates in bubble wrap to avoid breakage.

Poly Bags

Poly bags protect items from moisture and atmospheric pollutants and are available in numerous sizes, thicknesses, colors and forms. They’re commonly used in food retailing to keep merchandise fresh, clean and high-quality. Some models feature a zip-lock top and are resealable. They’re also able to be printed with identification information.

Standard lay-flat poly bags are made of plastic and are sized by width, length and thickness (gauge). Two-mil plastic bags offer the most versatility, being suitable for just about anything except sharp or heavy objects. 3 mil and 6 mil plastic bags are heavier weights that provide added resistance to tearing and puncturing.

Some 3PL partners require their fulfillment centers to poly bag certain categories of products, such as baby items, apparel/fabrics and small items. Other types of prep include labeling and wrapping the product. To reduce these prep costs, some 3PLs offer a solution called the EnvyPak clear constructed poly envelope, which is specifically designed for direct response mailers and can eliminate the need for labeling and paper address labels.

Mailing Tubes

Mailing tubes are cardboard cylinders used to protect rolled items during shipping and mailing. They’re perfect for packaging and mailing documents that could become wrinkled or crushed in an envelope and can be purchased in a variety of lengths to accommodate different shipping needs.

These long packages come in different styles, such as open-end tubes with a plastic end cap on one side and crimped ends that snap firmly into place. They’re also available as telescoping tubes that expand and contract to fit the contents.

To determine what size tube you need, measure the dimensions of your item and add an inch or two for a safe, snug fit. Then, take the item to your post office or shipping company to be weighed so you can pay proper postage. When entering the dimensions in your mail carrier’s online shipping software, be sure to use THREE dimensions, rather than just two as some do.


A label is a marking with information that indicates or communicates the characteristics and handling instructions of a package. This information may be a descriptive name, identification number, warnings, directions, specifications, weight, hazardous materials declarations and UN marks (or combinations thereof).

When packing boxes for shipping, clearly label them with big numbers, using waterproof marker pens to avoid rain or smudging. For fragile items, use bubble wrap to cushion the contents. And make sure to use a quality tape dispenser that ensures no smudges as you seal your boxes.

Shipping labels vary between carriers, but most contain the same information: sender name and address, recipient name and address, item description, package weight and a scannable postal barcode or IMpb code. Some labels are almost permanent, while others are ‘peelable’ or even ‘ultra-peelable’. Labels can also be tied or strung to mark or attach to products or equipment, with threads or ties such as yarn, twine, ribbon and plastic.


When you’re packing boxes to ship, make sure to use quality tape and plenty of it. The wrong type of tape can result in packages that are not sealed correctly and may suffer damage during transit. For the best results, choose a tape designed specifically for packaging and shipping purposes.

You will also need some tape for reinforcing and closing boxes, so be sure to choose a sturdy option. Depending on the weight of the package and its destination, you may need a thicker tape or one with a water-based adhesive.

A good choice for industrial, commercial and moving packaging is the Tape King Super Thick 3.2mil Clear Packing Tape. This heavy-duty tape features a powerful adhesive that holds securely and comes with 12 refill rolls for long-lasting use. It is also easy to apply and provides a clear design that makes it easier for box labels and identification.

Strapping and Banding

Whether you need to strap goods onto pallets, bundle them together or fold them into boxes, the right packing supplies will make your job easier. Choose from different types of strapping band – steel for heavy, sharp-edged loads, paper for lightweight goods or film for high-speed processing. The type of machine you need will depend on the volume of goods and the direction of the strapping – goods on pallets are usually strapped horizontally, while bundling and folding boxes are done vertically.

Strapping tools and machines allow you to tension, secure the seals and cut the strapping. These devices are available in fully automatic and semi-automatic varieties, making the process faster and more accurate. They also provide better quality printing and a greater variety of sealing materials, including transparent, anti-bacterial and biodegradable options. Unlike steel strapping, polyester bands don’t require special tools to place or remove them and reduce the risk of injury for novice operators.