Packing list envelopes are clear polyethylene envelopes with adhesive on one side that are typically affixed to packaging such as corrugated cartons for the purpose of holding documents. They are available in a variety of sizes with pre-printed legends such as “Packing List Enclosed” or “Invoice Enclosed” and can be single-use or reclosable with a zipper for repeat opening and closing. Companies that manufacture these types of envelopes can deliver quality in a variety of ways including the consistent and dependable performance of the envelope, customizability of the envelope, and a mindset of creativity to develop specialized solutions for customers.
1) Consistent and Dependable Performance
The standards for any quality manufacturer of packing list envelopes are how well they are made and how well they perform. The areas where these attributes can be assessed include adhesive quality with respect to packaging substrate material, ease of opening the envelope and no blocking of the envelopes to one another.
Adhesive performance is important and can vary by the amount and type of adhesive used, the type of surfaces it can adhere to and the general quality of the adhesive.
- Amount of adhesive – Depending on the packaging substrate, utilizing more or less adhesive can be beneficial or detrimental.
- Type – a hot melt adhesive is the best all-purpose choice because of its long “shelf life”, degree of tack, set time and the fact that it does not lose thickness when it solidifies as solvent-based adhesives do.
- Adhesion – Due to the rugged nature of the shipping process from vehicle and warehouse, the bond strength is important to maintain dependable adhesion on every package.
- Quality – Some adhesives have fillers that can decrease bond strength. A high-quality and pure adhesive will provide consistent performance.
Ease of envelope opening will provide greater efficiency at the warehouse to decrease wasted time fumbling with difficult-to-open envelopes.
2) Customizable Solutions
It is important that a packing list envelope manufacturer offer customizable sizes and printing designs. Graphic designs for packing list envelopes are limited only by the imagination of the customer. It is easy to think that most of the time the envelope is holding shipping documents on the outside of a corrugated cardboard box, but there are many other ways that packing list envelopes can be used. This includes:
- Envelopes large enough to contain a brand owner’s catalog or other marketing material when a mail order is delivered. They are easily seen and accessed by the recipient because they are on the outside of a carton and not stuffed inside in the bottom of the box.
- Envelopes that contain warranty or repair information. A washing machine manufacturer may use these with “Warranty Information Inside” printed on it and affixes it to the outside of the actual piece of equipment so this important paperwork is easily seen by the new owner. Another home appliance manufacturer may use these envelopes with “Wiring Diagrams” printed on a reclosable version, affixing them to the back of their appliances so repairmen have needed information easily at hand.
3) Creative Solutions
For a packing list envelope manufacturer to thrive in the current economy, they need to be viewed as a solution provider. A customer wants to be able to go back the same manufacturer for each of their packaging requirements and, sometimes, this will not fit into the standard portfolio. Some of the best relationships between supplier and customer exist when they can brainstorm with one another to enter a new market or new application.
There are several scenarios in which creative solutions are integral to packing list envelope manufacturing. For example, a tire manufacturer has a problem with how they ship tires. They ship trucks full of loose tires from the factory comprised of orders for multiple retail locations with stickers applied to the tread of each tire to identify the store to receive them. During some time on the road, the repeated movement and rubbing together, as well as the fact that the stickers are on the tread and not anchored to a smooth flat surface, a fair number of the stickers lose adhesion. Toward the end of each run, it’s difficult to identify which tires were supposed to be delivered to which retailer. After time to study the problem and explore some alternative approaches, a custom envelope can be produced to match the width of the tire made from heavy gauge plastic with a special adhesive that performs well when affixed to the material used in the tires.
An example of another simple yet creative application is a manufacturer that uses packing list envelopes in multiple colors with each different color corresponding to a different warehouse in various sections of the country. When the packing list envelope is affixed to a carton or pallet, it is the appropriate color that corresponds to the receiving destination, providing a visual, inexpensive layer of quality control in the shipping department.
In the world of packaging, there are few times where a “one size fits all” approach works. To succeed as a supplier to the packaging industry, consistency, versatility and creativity are necessary. Customers will continue to demand dependable products, versatility to meet the demands of every changing market dynamics and creativity to develop custom solutions for new programs. Continuous improvement is key at all points in the value chain, from the end product all the way to the packing list envelope.