Packaging

Void Fill: The Basics

Void fill example
When we package up your goods, our absolute priority is making sure your products are safe and sound in their packaging. This sometimes means we use something called a ‘void fill’. Void fills are any materials that are used to cushion or pad your items in order to protect them whilst in transit. They can also be used to improve the presentation of the product. Void fill is most frequently used in corrugated boxes but can be used in mailers and other packaging types too.

Why do you need to use void fill?

Protect your products en route

The most obvious reason that anybody would need to use void fill is to protect items en route and during transit. By filling empty space or cushioning around your item you are automatically reducing the impact on your item. This is not just necessary for fragile items but for most items as you don’t want customers to be dissatisfied with the way that the product has been handled. For example, if you are sending a brand new mug you obviously don’t want it to get chipped, but equally a (non-fragile) frying pan, doesn’t want to be getting any dents or bangs along the way!

Presentation is important too

People often think that you only need to use void fill when you’re protecting items from getting broken or damaged but actually void fills have some other uses too. To give your packages a bit of a wow factor, aesthetic void fills can be used to improve your packaging immensely. A little bit of pretty tissue paper can really make the difference when a customer opens their package. 

You don’t want to damage the packaging either

What do we mean? Well, heavy duty items can easily damage packaging if not packed carefully. A heavy item in a cardboard box is going to need some sort of void fill so that it doesn’t rip the packaging open and escape! Packaging up heavy duty items can sometimes be as difficult as packaging fragile items - particularly as the solution isn’t always simple and can involve things like void fills!

There are various different types of void fills that can be used - some are more practical and others give your packaging that wow factor we mentioned. Some of the most frequently used types of void fill include paper, bubble wrap, foam cushions, peanuts (no not the nuts) and air pillows. There are many options depending on the intended use, look out for next blog on void fills in which we’ll go through all the options. 

One thing worth noting is that not all void fills are necessarily sustainable. Many ‘old school’ void fills, such as foam peanuts, can be very damaging to the environment. But don’t worry, there are always sustainable options. Paper is widely recycled (providing it is not contaminated) and nowadays there are many biodegradable options for things like air pillows that mean they are far less damaging to the environment. 

Some top tips for your void fill choice:

  • Try not to add any weight to your package, this will only increase the cost of shipping!
  • Try to think about your void fill in the packaging design process, this will only make packaging your products and keeping them safe easier. 
  • Avoid over packing your items! This will only cause other damages, getting the balance right is important.

If you’re struggling to figure out if your packaging needs a decent void fill or what void fill you should be using, get in touch with us here at Complete Packaging. We’re happy to help with all your packaging needs and are quite the experts in void fills (amongst other things too obviously).

April 27, 2020
by 
Mark Jones
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