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Mark C.

Shipping season really?

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I have had a rash of shipping requests since home for one week . Pile of UPS boxes out in am. Must be the season-or at least the early season.

No matter what I charge I always feel I never get paid enough for packing and I'm really fast at it.

This has been a odd shipping year so far with pots to New Zealand and East coast as well as usual  western states.

With my BIG show retired this December I'm hoping for less crunch time at last minute.My last ship time is T weekend.

Marcia Selsor likes this

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I hate packing for shipping too. It's not just the labor involved, it's the amount of materials consumed to pack the pots safely. Seems like such a waste. An environmental hazard. And I personally hate unpacking boxes that are full of styro peanuts, when they go flying everywhere. So I cringe knowing that I'm putting my customers through the same thing. These days online shopping is so normal that many people assume I'll do it, and when I explain that I only do it on a very limited basis, and that the customer's convenience is not a factor, they don't understand. 

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mea, you might try asking a local car dealer's body shop for the thick plastic packing that surrounds large parts, like a hood, bumper or trunk lid.  i have a supply of this stuff and it is wonderfully flexible for packing.  my trays go into an envelope made by folding and taping a large piece that i cut off the original blanket size piece.  it is lightweight but very sturdy and does not fall out of the box when opened.  comes in several thicknesses, the 1/4 in size is best, the thinner stuff is great between plates.   and it is free.  just visit once and explain that if they will save you some, you will come out to get it when they have 3/4/5 whatever number of pieces.  otherwise, they have to put it in their trash which costs them money.

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Add me to the "hate packing for shipping" cadre also.  I seem to ship more and more every year also.

The typical "double boxing" business seems quite wasteful to me.    If packed properly, I've had NO breakage with single boxed pieces for years and YEARS.  But for even covering items for potential insurance claims (never had to use that... but want to have it)............ carriers want double boxing.

I DEPLORE packing peanuts.  I don't use them.  I hate when I get something shipped to me packed in them.  Horrible invention.

Recycled paper based products are heavy....... and thereby add shipping costs.  The bubble wrap and air packs are great for weight and make stuff secure, but are an oil-based product... so environmentally not so good.   The peanuts tend to pack down even if you compress the crap out of them.... and are a total PAIN to pack and unpack.  Some are oil-based.  The injected foam stuff is great for serious sculptural work.... but expensive and also oil-based. 

No great solutions. 

And yes, as Mea says, the consuming public has become committed patrons of online commerce and "shipping without even thinking about it".  We seem to 'live by the cardboard box' anymore.  And suffer from all the gas and oil consumption and air pollution from all those FedEx and UPS and Postal Service  small trucks scooting all over.  Not to mention the Boeing and Airbus aircraft zooming from city to city.

best,

....................john

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I never buy packing stuff

I keep a huge stock of recycled boxes-sheet foam and bubble wrap and yes peanuts-both corn starch and plastic/foam ones all recycled as well.

I also use the spray  like paint from u-line that is the same color as cardboard for covering labels etc on recycled boxes.

I often do not double box but wrap pots in a card boat liner from scrap cardboard and use sheet foam (1 inch or 2 inch) to secure the pots in center area. Bubble wrap is used when only shipping a few items as it takes up so much room.

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I do pass along the foam peanuts I receive when they are a good solution, but, based on an horrendous exploding peanuts experience, I have taken to bagging them in usable increments. Then the peanut bags can be wedged where you need them and the peanuts don't wander where they're not needed/wanted. I used to have plenty of grocery bags for this (sorry not sorry), thin vegetable bags work too and the general plastic bag is not yet extinct. 

GEP and Min like this

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I keep my peanuts in huge thick walled plastic bag about the size of a wheelbarrow . With a large vegetable tie on top.I also keep extra in a large box taped shut.

 

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I think I would hate packing more if I had to do more of it.  The cost of shipping in Canada is markedly higher, to the point where if you're shipping internationally, there are services in most major cities that will take your package across the US border so that they can be sent through USPS for less money. Free shipping isn't as much of a thing here, and I've found it definitely makes some US customers balk.

I too, hate packing peanuts, so if I have to obtain them, I do actually shell out a few bucks for the static-free kind.  

In the last few months I've come across a couple of effective alternative packing methods to The Evil Peanut.  

A friend of mine bought me a Cathi Jefferson yunomi, and it arrived in a box that was lined with 1" closed-cell insulation board, and padded with newspaper. It was quite secure, and given that it arrived via Canada post, it definitely survived the 4' drop test.  It wasn't double boxed.  Highly reusable, and it eliminates the static problem and reinforces the cardboard box, but still styrofoam based. Also, I don't know how this holds up with larger shipments. Maybe more styrofoam compartments?

I also saw this video a couple of months ago from Ayumie Horie.  I don't think it's any less time consuming than packing with peanuts and bubble wrap, but at least it's a lot more recyclable. 

 

GEP, Min and Joseph F like this

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I saw that video by Ayumie a few weeks ago. Very nice. I use bubble wrap and packing peanuts. I don't like them either. I will probably start tinkering with new stuff soon. Going to start using my rejects as shipping experiments. Pack box. Toss box as high as I possibly can. Sit on box. Stand on box. Jump on box. Open box. If survive. New method approved!

Rae Reich likes this

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I pack the same way in above video except without the plastic wrap -I use a 2 inch tape gun. Cardboard is my top choice to separation of forms . I add some sheet foam which creates the double box without the box.

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I have mentioned it before, and mentioned my reasons, at the same time, I have never lost a pot from a properly packed single walled box. As for peanuts you all know I don't, I use popcorn.

For me the secret is compression.

Only time I have used peanuts was to ship a chalice and paten to Australia. Single walled box. Arrived safe and sound

best,

Pres

 

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I like the lack of peanuts in that video too, but I feel like it wouldn't survive a side impact. The cardboard will transfer too much force. I've had packages that were much more cushioned not survive, especially when they are traveling to the opposite coast during holiday season. So I agree with Mark another layer of foam around the sides is necessary. Also, in that video you need to have the exact right size box. It isn't reasonable to stock every size of box you might need. You need to make do with a few useful sizes, which means you'll need some filler material. 

Rae Reich likes this

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20 hours ago, Rae Reich said:

I do pass along the foam peanuts I receive when they are a good solution, but, based on an horrendous exploding peanuts experience, I have taken to bagging them in usable increments. Then the peanut bags can be wedged where you need them and the peanuts don't wander where they're not needed/wanted. I used to have plenty of grocery bags for this (sorry not sorry), thin vegetable bags work too and the general plastic bag is not yet extinct. 

This is a great idea. I think I will try it. 

Rae Reich likes this

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On 10/25/2017 at 7:36 AM, Joseph F said:

I saw that video by Ayumie a few weeks ago. Very nice. I use bubble wrap and packing peanuts. I don't like them either. I will probably start tinkering with new stuff soon. Going to start using my rejects as shipping experiments. Pack box. Toss box as high as I possibly can. Sit on box. Stand on box. Jump on box. Open box. If survive. New method approved!

I really did this! I had a large number of fragile carved pots to ship halfway across country, so I tested my method with a bunch of rejects saved for the purpose. I made cylinders of corrugated cardboard that were 2" wider in diameter than each pot and all cylinders were the same height in a layer of pots (2 layers in box). Each pot had at least 1" of empty space above and below it in their cylinders.  I wrapped and padded each pot within its cylinder*, made sure there was another 2" of padding around the perimeter of the carton, put another layer of cardboard between the courses, sealed up the box, and with huge trepidation  FLUNG it to the floor several times and at angles, too. 

Dear Reader, it worked. 

For large odd-shaped single pieces, I often custom cut and place corrugated cardboard in a way that holds the piece suspended within the box so that the cardboard (sometimes doubled with the "grain" going both ways, like plywood) bolsters the box.  Be sure that the grain of the cardboard matches the direction of expected pressure. 

*This was my learning-experience exploding-packing materials incident, because I was using (gasp) the small styrofoam beads (about 1/4") used to fill beanbag chairs - what I had on hand. To keep them from seeping into the carved pots, I wrapped each pot in a grocery bag, then filled the packing cavities with the inappropriate material. I had to be very careful when unpacking my experimental carton and then packing the real shipment. However, I failed to warn the recipients, who had an unexpected indoor snow storm! Lesson learned. 

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