Tape You Shouldn’t Use for Shipping

You’d be surprised at how some of the packages, boxes, and palletized cargo we’ve sent has been secured by customers. We’ve often had to re-secure items, and as good as we can be, you should never assume a shipping company can always do this for you. If it’s bad enough, it can even be an additional charge. There’s a way around this, though. Take the time and use the resources to pack your goods as well as you can.

This isn’t always easy. Sometimes, you can make a mistake when it comes to how your cargo is secured. There are great tapes for shipping out there – shipping tape and filament tape are durable, hold up under handling, and can both support weight well. Here are some tapes not to use, however:

Scotch Tape: Like we said, you’d be surprised – but every once in a while someone wants to ship something secured with Scotch tape. A lot of Scotch tape. It’s worth noting that what we call Scotch tape is actually cellophane tape, and Scotch makes a lot of other types of tape – including shipping tape that’s good to use for international shipping.

Electrical Tape: Electrical tape might seem pretty strong, but it’s not meant to hold weight for very long. Its primary use is to insulate electrical cords for extra safety. It has a few other uses, but securing boxes or palletized cargo isn’t one of them. It’s made to lift off and reapply easily, so it’s about as ill-advised a tape choice as could be made.

Craft / Labeling Tape: These are tapes made for labeling items or holding light crafts together. They cannot secure the weight of a small package, let alone a box or palletized cargo. Never use these to secure cargo.

Masking Tape: Here’s a tape that’s made for masking straight lines during painting, or for tracing lines during an installation. But masking tape is made to not stick for long, so that it’s easy to pull off. That doesn’t marry to packaging well.

Duct Tape: Duct tape is flexible and strong, but cardboard is one of the few things it doesn’t adhere to very well. It will come off cardboard surprisingly quickly because of the way cardboard is made.

Stick with shipping tape and filament tape as your top choices for bearing the weight of a package, box, or palletized cargo. These handle well and hold weight for a long time.

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