When moving homes, sending out deliveries, or being involved in any other activity involving packaging, some things can get in the way. One of the most common problems people face when packing boxes is that they may not always have the right-sized box for their task. While custom boxes can help mitigate that problem, they’re not always an option – that’s where void fill comes in.
What Is Void Fill?
Void fill refers to any material that can be used to fill the empty spaces in any package you’re filling. While it’s advised that you fill your package as much as possible, sometimes there are open gaps or entire sections of your outer packaging that simply can’t be filled. Void fill prevents your valuable items from moving around in the box during the shipping process.
What’s The Difference Between Void Fill And Protective Packaging?
While both void fill and protective packaging can contribute to the protection of your items, they shouldn’t be confused with one another. Protective packaging specifically goes around the items in question, particularly fragile items that are at risk of breaking, cushioning them from physical damage.
There are several protective packaging options, including bubble wrap, PAPERbubble®, and styrofoam. Void fill on the other hand is designed to fill the open gaps within your packaging, reducing the movement of your items and mitigating the risk of harsh physical contact.
Does My Package Need Void Fill? How Can I Tell?
When determining whether or not your package requires void fill to keep your items safe, there are a number of aspects to consider. If your box is full, or if you’d be comfortable flipping the package over into any configuration, without the worry of the contents being damaged or broken, then you probably don’t need void fill.
If, however, there’s space within your box that causes the internal items to move around, then you might need void fill. Even with excess space within, if your items are durable and unlikely to break or be damaged, then you may not need it. If you can’t comfortably drop the package on the ground from several feet up, then void fill is recommended.
What Are The Different Types Of Void Fill?
When it comes to void fill, there are several options available to you. All of them have their own benefits and shine in certain situations.
Using packaging paper as void fill involves folding or crumpling up any type of paper (though most commonly kraft paper) and inserting it tightly into the gaps of your package. This is a cheap option, and a good way to make use of any excess kraft paper you have lying around.
Made from either plastic or paper, air pillows are a sealable material that can be inflated with air to provide a firm cushion. While this method often requires the use of an AirWave inflator, it’s a highly effective and weight-efficient way of keeping your items as safe as possible when using it as void fill. Air pillows are also reusable.
Much like packaging paper, crinkle paper is used as an inexpensive form of void fill, taking paper with no other function to fill any gaps in your package. This type of paper is shredded, with each strand jagged to create a more cushioned protection for your package. As any type of paper can become crinkled paper, it’s potentially the cheapest option for void fill.
While many people implement bubble wrap as a form of protective packaging, wrapping it tightly around the items, it can also be used as void fill. This is a great option for anyone already using bubble wrap, as your excess wrap can quickly and easily become a highly effective method of reducing movement within your package.
Anyone who’s used a medium or heavy-duty cardboard box has handled corrugated material. It’s made by joining multiple pieces of board together to create an extra cushion. Off-cuts of this type of cardboard can be easily inserted into packages as void fill for excellent protection.
One of the most well-known types of void fill are packing peanuts; small foam peanut shapes that, when used in bulk, can prevent movement. Due to their small size, packing peanuts have a unique benefit when used as void fill, as they can almost completely fill the empty spaces inside the box.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Void Fill?
There are numerous benefits to using void fill. First of all, it reduces movement within your package to ensure that your valuables aren’t at risk of being damaged or broken. Its protective nature is also ideal for long shipments where the package is likely to be handled by multiple people and organizations.
Void fill also protects your exterior packaging. If you’re transporting heavy items that are moving around within a box, the box itself is also at risk of being damaged even if you’re using protective packaging. Void fill ensures that your packaging is reusable, and won’t break during the journey.
Another benefit to void fill that people don’t often consider is its aesthetic value. It can help to bring an element of joy to whoever is opening the package, and it’s a great opportunity for marketing as many options for void fill can easily be printed with a company logo.
Contact The Packaging Company Today To Explore All Of Our Options For Void Fill!
With a wide variety of both protective packaging and void fill options amongst our packaging supplies, The Packaging Company is here for you! We’re eager to provide great customer service and high-quality products to every customer in Canada and the United States. We’re certain that we can provide the right product to suit your packaging needs, so contact us today!