Packing chips are great for filling the void around items in transit, but how many do you need to order, are there different kinds and how can you make your customers appreciate them as much as you do? The experts at Holmes Mann have the answers
We sell loose fill chips in bags of 15 cubic feet, and so it’s just a case of working out how much space you have to fill. First work out the area of your container or box. Multiply length by width by height (in inches), and the total will be the area in cubic inches. Divide this figure by 1,728 to get the total in cubic feet. Next, work out the approximate area of what is going in the container by doing the same thing. If it is an unusually shaped item, take the smallest measurements (the thinnest or shortest part) to make sure you get enough chips to fill the void. Then it is just a case of subtracting the item total from the container total and the result will be the area that you have to fill. In very basic terms, if your container measured 50 cubic feet and what was inside measured a total of 20 cubic feet, you would need 30 cubic feet of loose filling if you were using nothing else – the equivalent of two bags supplied by Holmes Mann.
Biodegradable or Not?
There are some environmental benefits to biodegradable chips, but they do weigh more than normal loose fill and so can add to your shipping costs. A better idea might be to use normal loose fill but make a concerted effort to reuse and recycle them and encourage others to do the same. For a range of ideas, check out the Innovative Uses for Packing Chips article elsewhere in the Holmes Mann Blog.
If you’re worried that your customers could be irritated by packaging peanuts falling out of their parcels or by your failure to use the greenest products available, how about showing off your green credentials by including a little ‘How to Re-Use Chips’ guide? Make it colourful and fun; there are plenty of ideas and images on the internet of everything from lamps you can make to easy craft projects for kids. This will show that your company takes environmental concerns seriously and can even be a good customer-engagement tool. How about asking your clients to send their own recycling ideas to you via your website or your social networking site? You could even offer a prize for the best idea.