The average selling price for a computer in 2019 is £632. That’s an expensive article to mail. If you are mailing a computer you need to know that it won’t arrive in bits.

Do you need a new way to mail computers and tablets to clients safely? Read on to learn about how to overwrap.

What is Overwrapping?

There are three main ways of wrapping packages for shipping.

Shrink wrapping is where a whole package passes through a heated tunnel. This shrinks a loosely fitting polyethylene film wrapped around the package. The film takes on the shape of the package providing an effective seal and is especially good for irregular shapes packages.

Flow wrapping or horizontal bagging is often used in the food industry. It provides an airtight seal. Typical examples are potato chips or candy bars where the package may need to be opened and then resealed.

An overwrapped package looks very much like a gift-wrapped package. It works best for square or rectangular packages. The process involves a tuck and a fold at the corners of the package creating a neat, quality look.

Overwrapping is done by a specialized overwrapping machine. It can use a variety of materials including polypropylene, cellophane, and even paper.

Overwrapping Pros and Cons

These three wrapping methods have their advantages and disadvantages.

Overwrapping is especially useful when wrapping packages with square corners. This includes boxes containing electronic equipment such as computers and tablets.

It has a lower environmental impact than shrink wrapping. Shrink wrapping uses large amounts of energy to shrink the polypropylene wrapper.

It uses less material than flow wrapping. It is also more versatile with more wrapping material options.

How to Overwrap

The principle of overwrapping is the same as you would use to wrap a gift. Wrap polypropylene film around the rectangular package. Join the ends using a heat sealer. Cut the film leaving a neat edge.

The package now has open ends. Fold and tuck in each corner. Heat seal the corners and edges.

The result is a neatly wrapped package. The flat surfaces have a layer of polypropylene film over them. The corners and ends are neat with sharp folds. There are no loose folds, gaps or creases to get caught or damaged during shipping.

This wrapping process can be done using a manual machine. A simple manual machine provides an operator with a dispenser for the polypropylene film which comes on a roll. The article to be packaged sits on a work surface where it is wrapped by the operator. There is also a cutter and hot plate which cuts and seals the film as the article is wrapped.

Semi-automatic or automatic packaging machines are also available. They speed up the process of packaging and are used for volume packaging applications. Click for more information about high-end overwrapping machines.

Packing Computers and Tablets

Overwrapping a package containing a computer or tablet protects the package from moisture and dust. A computer or tablet is especially vulnerable to moisture or dust. If either of these things enters the package it can seriously damage the electronics and even destroy key components.

Packing a computer or tablet safely takes more than simply wrapping it. It has to be protected against shock and movement while passing through the postal system.

Original Packaging

Usually, the best packaging for a computer or tablet will be the original manufacturer’s packaging. It will have been designed specifically for the computer or tablet. It will also have been designed to withstand the rigors of shipping.

The addition of overwrapping will provide added protection to an already very effective packaging solution. Adhesive-backed labels will adhere well to a polypropylene overwrapping. Non-adhesive paper labels can be taped to the polypropylene overwrapping too.

Alternative Packaging

If you don’t have the original packaging for a computer or tablet you may need to purchase an alternative box. A suspension box uses cardboard and plastic film to suspend the contents in the middle of the box. This prevents it from being damaged by any knocks or drops.

Foam inserts are also an effective means of protecting a computer or notebook inside an outer box. They can be cut to support the contents and stop it from moving inside the box.

Another useful packing material is bubble wrap. Several layers of bubble wrap can secure the contents from knocks inside a cardboard box.

Packing peanuts can also achieve the same result but don’t skimp on the amount of packing. They rely on being tightly packed to maintain support all around the packed article.

When using packing peanuts or any other soft packing material make certain that the exterior box is tough. It has to be able to carry the weight of other boxes that may be stacked or stored on top of it during its shipping journey. A weaker box may be crushed and could even crush the contents.

Wrap the whole package in polypropylene overwrapping to protect the contents.

Stickers

Suitable packaging alone should be sufficient to secure the contents of a package. Even so, having “fragile” marked on the exterior of the package may also help. This draws the attention of those handling the package to the need to take care of this item.

Apply “fragile” stickers to the external surface of the polypropylene overwrapping. Check that a “fragile” sticker can be seen no matter which surface of the package is visible. Take care not to obscure any address labels.

Mail Safe

Knowing how to package and how to overwrap a computer or tablet will give it every chance of reaching its destination in good condition. The neat corners and edges will also look professional and help make the package resilient. Browse our website for more “how-to” guides.

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