When packing your fragile items for shipping or storage, you should remember you need to protect these items with packaging material that will keep them safe from damage of any kind.

You need to be aware of items are packed in the box so that they don’t shift, can withstand being moved by hand or by cart, and can be placed in a car, or stacked in a moving truck or a storage locker.

Here are a few interesting tips on how to get this done. Below are tips on how to protect your fragile items;

Choosing what type of cushioning or packaging material to use:

  • Will it remain resistant under the weight of the item it is supposed to protect? Or will it eventually compress under the weight of the item?
  • Will it withstand multiple shocks? Will it bounce back after one bump or will it compress and not be available to cushion a second bump?
  • Will it withstand changes in air pressure, temperature or humidity?  If the package is going to be going on an airplane, or stored in an environment that is not climate controlled, will the cushioning material maintain its resilience?

Packaging Tips

  • Tape
    Your package must be sealed securely to ensure that it does not open in transit. Household tape is NOT suitable for courier delivery. All edges where the flaps of your carton meet should be securely sealed with 48mm or 50mm wide plastic or reinforced carton tape.
  • Cylinders
    Triangularly shaped cylinders should be used for packaging rolled items such as maps and blueprints. Tubular cylinders are more easily crushed and therefore should not be used.
  • Packaging material YOU MUST NOT use
    i. Do not tie your package with string as this can get snagged in transit.
    ii. Do not use Bags made from non-waterproof materials as these can degrade and weaken.
    iii. Do not use weak single walled ‘supermarket’ type boxes. Boxes should be double walled, rigid and new else their integrity may be compromised.

Packing materials that are efficient at cushioning, able to withstand both item weight and multiple shocks include:

  • Packaging peanuts/loose fill.
  • Heavy grades of paper or Kraft paper. These types of paper provide more cushioning protection than old newspaper.
  • Corrugated fibreboard pads.
  • Air filled bubble type wrapping.
  • Foam structures –  polystyrene shapes engineered to fit around an item for cushioning.

Besides cushioning, items may need to be blocked and braced within the box to securely hold them in place during transportation.   For example, electronic items often have engineered or moulded protection that comes from the original manufacturer when they ship the item such as corner blocks.

If possible, save any specifically shaped blocking and bracing material from an original purchase for later moves. Many of the cushioning materials can be reused for additional packing at a later time.


Technology has evolved over the years and will keep on changing. It will continue to dictate the way we do business generally because the whole world is now a global village. The time has come for businesses to constantly look into how to leverage technology and innovation as a competitive edge not only to keep ahead of the competition but also to prevent their businesses from extinction.

Today, technology is an integral part of our everyday life. Businesses that are strategic are more likely to use technology to make processes less cumbersome, lower the cost of production and make it easier for customers to access company products and services. The use of tracking devices to monitor the movement of shipments, RFID technology and warehouse robots to mention a few have had a tremendous impact on logistics operations and the new concepts like 3D printing, drones, Internet of things, blockchain technology and driverless vehicles promises to bring about increased efficiencies in logistics operations.

In the Nigerian Logistics space, technology can be used to create more value in spite of the myriad of problems faced by operators. We are all aware of the logistics challenges of bad roads, lack of access to fund to acquire fleet which is even more pronounced now because of the hike in the exchange rate, the high cost of spare parts to maintain the fleet and weak digital payment infrastructure etc. While acknowledging that these challenges exist, it is important to stress that technology can be the way out in overcoming some of these barriers.

The biggest opportunity in the logistics business all over the world in recent times is ecommerce which is technology-driven. According to eMarketer, an online publication, retail ecommerce sales all over the world will increase to $4.058 trillion in 2020.

Retail Ecommerce Sales Worldwide

In 2014, the Nigerian Minister of Communications and Technology, Omobola Johnson stated that Nigeria’s electric commerce market has a potential worth of $10 billion. Also according to Jumia`s third white paper on Nigeria mobile trend in 2017, Nigeria has 53% internet penetration rate (97.2 million users).

Bearing in mind that e-commerce is just a fragment of the opportunities that can be tapped into as far as logistics is concerned, because of this enormous potential we should be looking at how to find our ways around these logistics challenges rather than throw in the towel. Technology will play a strategic role in finding solutions to or surmounting these challenges.

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