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Protective Packaging 101

Protective packaging is one of the most important cornerstones to all of e-commerce. A shipped product will go through all kinds of trials and tribulations on its way to a consumer. Protective packaging aims to do what its name suggests, protect the product during the entire shipping process. From the second it’s wrapped to the moment it arrives at a customer’s doorstep a good protective package will make sure it gets there in one piece, unharmed. In this guide, we hope to give you a better understanding of what kinds of protective packaging are out there and which one may be the best for you and your business.

Types of Protective Packaging

With protective packaging being such an important and widely used product, it’s only natural there would be multiple types of it available. Each of these different types of protective packaging comes with pros and cons that make it more efficient for handling certain products. The 4 main types of protective packaging are below.


One item that is often used to protect products during transit is sealed air. Sealed air is exactly as it sounds, little pockets of air sealed into plastic units. These units are then placed within the packaging, around a given product to protect it. The air will act as a buffer between the product and the sides of the package it’s housed in. If the box were to be dropped, or otherwise hurt in some way, the bags of air would take the brunt of the force for the product instead, protecting it from damage.


Next, we have foam. Foam has been used in protective packaging for years and it is unlikely that it will stop being used anytime soon. Foam provides the same function as the airbags do in the example above. Instead of air though, pieces of foam placed within these packages are placed all around the product to protect it. Foam pieces can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, allowing them to be molded to whatever job they are used for, like the airbags.


Another material used for the same job that foam and air provide is paper. Large pieces of paper will essentially be crumpled down and placed all around a given product to act as a barrier for damage during transit. Unlike foam and the plastic that is used to contain the air, paper is recyclable, making it a more environmentally friendly option for shippers.


Another option one can pack into a package to protect the product is film. Film is made out of plastic and, unlike the other options, it will usually wrap fully around a given product to protect it. While the other options fill space in the box to keep the product safe, a protective film will actually be applied to the product itself. If the product has a harder shape to work with when it comes to filling space within the box, then a protective film may be used instead to keep things easy.

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Capabilities of Protective Packaging

Though we began highlighting some of the capabilities of protective packaging above, it is important to note just how much this packaging can do. Protective packaging can do a lot of good for your business, and your products.


The obvious perk that we already touched on is that these packaging items keep your products safe and secure even in tough conditions. Strong impacts and falls won’t damage your products if they’re surrounded by these protective pieces of packaging. The packaging itself is also durable, making it reusable in some cases, whether by the original seller, or the customer.


All of these protective packaging options are incredibly light. When it comes to the shipping process, it is important that a shipper sticks to an extremely tight window when it comes to a unit’s weight. The weight of a package can influence things like the cost of shipping and how many units one can ship at a time. A seller can’t afford to waste money on protective packaging that weighs too much. Thankfully, most protective packaging, and nearly all of the ones above, weigh very little in the grand scheme of things. Unless you absolutely need heavy packaging, it is always best to go light.


One unexpected perk that comes with protective packaging is that your company will receive a boost to its reputation. Consumers like to see a company that cares about their products and that they put in the extra time and money to ensure that they make it to their destinations intact. Putting the extra care into your packaging will keep people coming back to your company. Less damaged products means more happy customers and more purchases from the same people in the future. Maintaining a good reputation is something that is extremely important in business, and using protective packaging is a good way to help build that reputation.

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Designing Protective Packaging

As we’ve already discussed, protective packaging can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. When it comes to designing the protective packaging that’s right for your company, you need to keep some things in mind. 

Foam Placement

If your desired protective packaging material is foam or something like it that will fill the space between the product and the box around it, then you need to understand how to place it. Foam and other similar padded materials need to be evenly spaced out in a package to properly protect the products inside. You need to fully immerse a product in foam to keep it safe. Also, you need to know the amount of foam that is required to fill the package. If you don’t put enough foam into a package, then the product could shift during transit, and possibly get damaged. If you put too much foam however the product will have unnecessary pressure put on it, and the box could get strained and rip during the shipping process. Foam placement is important, it must be done with caution.

Pattern Selection

You then need to select the pattern that you wish to use. The pattern that will be used when you design your own custom protective packaging will have a large impact on the state of your products when they arrive at their destination. The pattern of your protective packaging should be adjusted based on what it’s protecting. Ultimately, a good pattern should fill out the shipping box in the best way possible. You don’t want too much open space, but you don’t want it to be too densely packed either. A properly selected pattern will also waste as little material as possible. If the material pattern is well-selected, then you should be able to tell just how much you need. The pattern selection is an important step in this process.

Size Selection

Next, we have size selection. Most of the protective packaging materials above can be molded into a number of shapes and sizes. The materials are all fairly malleable. The size of the protective packaging will, of course, also depend on what you’re shipping. If a bigger box needs to be filled out, then larger pieces of material will need to be produced and used. Smaller pieces of material will also likely need to be used to fill out any small spaces remaining in a given shipping box. Choosing a good size for your protective packaging is another good way to avoid wasting material. Always ensure that you pick the right size for your protective packaging material. It’s another vital part of keeping your products safe.

Industries Served and Environmental Impact

Protective packaging has been widely used for a long time. Due to this, it has made its way into a number of industries. Basically, any industry that takes advantage of e-commerce can find use in protective packaging. Some industries that Morrisette serves are the agriculture industry, the electronics industry, the industrial & automotive industry, firearm industry, and many more. Protective packaging has also made many strides in being more environmentally friendly over the years. Though foam is still damaging to the environment, there are many alternatives that can be used today that are just as good and more recyclable. Most types of protective packaging can be used more than once. Also, less damaged products lead to less waste in the environment and more money in your pocket. 

Environmental Impact Hands Around Growing Plant

Order Stock or Custom Designed Protective Packaging Today!

We at Morrisette offer a wide range of protective packaging. Whether it’s among our large stock of protective packaging, or a custom design that specifically benefits your company, we are sure to have something you can use. Our team can work with you to find what works best for you. If you do opt to design your own protective packaging, we will work with you every step of the way to create packaging that is perfect for your product. If you need protective packaging for your company, then consider Morrisette. We at Morrisette are eager to take on your project, contact us now!

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