By: David Roberge on May 18th, 2017
The Benefits of Using Air Pillows for Safe Shipping
Packaging Materials | Environment | The Business of Packaging | Plant Performance
When it comes to void fill for shipping protection, air pillows are effectively the 'new guy in town'.
The ecommerce giant Amazon has led by example and made the switch to air pillows thanks to their ease-of-use and low cost, not to mention they are more environmentally-friendly when compared to alternative forms of void fill. Consumer frustration over complex, bulky and difficult to open packaging is another reason that air pillows are growing in popularity. Your warehouse, plant floors, and production KPI's will also find the small footprint of storing pillows to be an added benefit when space is limited.
We’ve listed the top 4 reasons why air pillows can benefit businesses of all sizes.
#1 Product Protection
As businesses seek continuous improvement and streamlined processes, reducing product damage during shipment is often the first item to review. Air pillows provide excellent transit protection for your product by bracing products away from the edge of the rigid outer package. Unlike bubble wrap, packing peanuts or paper fillers, the product is unable to move within its box when protected by air pillows with less material used.
Impacts during transit and rough handling often result damaged goods, and this of course takes money out of your own pocket while adding costs and stress to the entire distribution process. If you have high levels of damaged goods in your business while using alternative void fill, protective air pillows may be an ideal solution for you.
When packaging with air pillows, they can be placed above and around the product for total protection. Other than helping with impact resistance most, if not all, air pillows are made of a non-abrasive material. This means your product will arrive just as shiny and new as when it left your facility.
#2 Cost Reduction
As with most business matters, the first question on your mind will be “Will air pillows save on our overall costs?”. Air pillows are lightweight and add practically zero additional weight to your shipment, which will save on freight costs. Air pillows are often filled-on-demand which means they require much less floorspace to store in your facility.
Because air pillows come in different sizes and don’t require full inflation, you can customize each products protection easily. This reduces the need for multiple layers of packaging protection.
#3 Ease Of Use
Each roll is perforated between each pillows so they are easy to tear apart for quick void filling. Reducing material waste is an important factor in overall business efficiency and can lead to impressive bottom-line savings.
Air pillows aren’t just easier for the distributor, either. Customers will appreciate an easy opening experience along with less mess and easy disposal. Packaging peanuts are messy and thanks to static electricity, they will stick to everything and tend to easily break apart into smaller pieces causing a huge mess to clean up and dispose of. Air pillows are easy to clean up and take up very little space when being disposed of.
#4 Eco-Friendly Alternative
Unlike packaging peanuts and Styrofoam materials which are made of various dyes and in some cases are not recyclable. In fact, many disposal companies won’t even accept packaging peanuts for disposal anymore due to the complexity of disposal and their harmful effects on the environment.
Air pillows are so efficient for disposal that when not filled, they encompass only 1% of their filled size. They’re also made of HDPE film which is a recyclable material.
When it comes to packaging needs, air pillows seem to be the ideal choice for void fill. They’re easy and cheap to use, excellent for product protection, easily disposed of, and eco-friendly.
From the rolls of air pillows to whichever filling machine best suits your needs along with the ease of use, pricing is competitive and ROI is often very fast. In some cases, you can recieve a filling machine at no cost for monthly orders.
It’s never a bad time to make a packaging change that could improve your bottom line and your customer satisfaction. If you are interested in making a move to air pillows for protective packaging, connect with one of our packaging professionals to determine the best solution for your needs!
About David Roberge
I am grateful for my 9 years as part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I was able to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier that I was able to share that knowledge with you. I love learning, hiking, and growing people and teams both personally and professionally, and helping companies grow better.