UN Certified Packaging

A various assortment of packages can be classified as dangerous, hazardous, or high-risk, and thus require a special type of corrugated box. Whether the shipment contains paint, solvents, or explosives and fuming acids, they are required to be shipped in UN Certified corrugated boxes. The United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods is responsible for issuing these unique boxes. From Miami to London to Taiwan, they provide the basis of all national and international regulations for the safe transport of dangerous goods.

In order for a package to become “UN Certified,” it must pass rigorous testing procedures to ensure it can withstand normal transportation conditions. First, all packages need to pass a drop test. The UN places each corrugated box into a danger group (high, medium, or low), which then determines its drop height. All packaging (except bags) is tested to see if similar boxes of identical weight can be stacked on top without causing damage. Liquid packages also undergo leak proof and hydrostatic testing. The purpose of the hydrostatic test is to ensure that no leakage of liquid occurs due to vapor pressure build-up at various temperatures. Because certain chemicals can emit a vapor that increases as the temperature changes, shipments must be built to withstand the internal pressure that is created.

corrugated boxes miamiAfter packages pass these tests, they are assigned a UN stamp and number and are officially certified. These codes are highly detailed and contain the:

  1. Type of container
  2. Material of construction
  3. Category within the type
  4. Packaging group for which container was tested
  5. Density or specific gravity of material packed (or mass gross weight for solids)
  6. Hydraulic pressure in kilo-Pascal (or gross mass for solids)
  7. Current year
  8. Country where container was manufactured
  9. Code for manufacturing plant


So what do these boxes look like? They are usually heavy-duty corrugated boxes specific for batteries, glass, metal, plastic, electronics, and other solid hazardous materials. Some UN certified packages come with a honeycomb insert and a liner bag for added protection. If you are shipping absorbent materials, vermiculite is required. (This is a natural packing mineral that is known for its high absorbency and expands when exposed to heat.)

If you need access to these reliable UN certified boxes in Miami, look no further than TOTALPACK. We can order any corrugated box you need, just speak with a sales representative today!

Sealing Your Shipments

packaging tapeDeciding what type of packaging tape will serve you best can be a challenging task. There are numerous sizes, styles and brands available, so learning the various kinds will allow you to greatly narrow your search. This process is critical because packages can get damaged in transit simply due to a sender’s poor choice of packaging tape.

All packaging tape serves the same purpose: to seal a shipment. However, many tapes are specially designed to complete a unique job while holding the package together. For instance, some brands are biodegradable while others are imprinted to warn handlers of fragile items. Regardless, the natural rubber solvent of these tapes makes them ideal for any industrial environment. Now let’s explore your options:

UPVC Packaging Tape

UPVC stands for Unplasticized Poly Vinyl Chloride. This tape is practical for sealing recycled cartons and works best with cold temperature applications. UPVC packaging tape uses a solvent-based rubber adhesive and is often printable and heat-shrinkable. Various colors are available for more efficient color-coding, carton bundling, and splicing.

Polyester Packaging Tape

Polyester tape comes equipped with an extremely aggressive hot melt rubber based adhesive that ensures instant holding power and provides a quick reliable seal. This packaging tape is resistant to various chemicals and corrosion, offering a great value and guaranteed protection. Polyester tape is heavy duty and provides exceptional tear and impact resistance.

Polypropylene Packaging Tape

For initial quick stick and cold temperature applications, polypropylene tape is the ideal choice. This tape uses an acrylic, water-based adhesive to deliver a high strength performance. It is a great balance of adhesion and tensile strength for heavy weight carton sealing applications. Polypropylene tape provides a long shelf life and reliable performance in extremely hot or cold weather conditions. The crystal clear versions of this packaging tape are non-yellowing, UV resistant, contain no fish eyes, and are sometimes even used for lamination.

As you can see, each type of packing tape is designed to perform a function specific to your needs. At TOTALPACK you can browse our assorted polypropylene tapes to find the right fit for your packages. Whether you need 3-inch wide crystal clear tape or slimmer brightly colored tape, we’ve always got you covered.

The Various Uses of Cloth Tape

Cloth tape is an adhesive tape made with a cloth backing or core. The duct tape isadhesive tape coated with polyethylene to create a higher quality paste. Instead of using a natural adhesive, cloth tape is equipped with a synthetic one so it can be removed easily and leaves little or no residue. The use of cloth makes the tape especially durable and rugged, and promotes flexibility, which can be valuable for certain projects. Also, most cloth adhesive tapes have pinked edges that reduce the chance of fraying, thus maximizing the life of the tape roll. There are a number of different styles of cloth tape on the market that can be used for a variety of purposes.

First, we have utility grade cloth tape. Some utility cloth tapes are pressure-sensitive, which means that they are designed to adhere with pressure, not with an adhesive. These tapes are useful in projects where things need to be held together without leaving residue behind. Utility grade tape is used for bundling, heavy carton sealing and general maintenance.

Industrial grade cloth adhesive tape is ideal for irregular surfaces. It does not twist or curl during application, making industrial grade tape extremely user-friendly and time efficient. This tape is used for export shipments, splicing, vinyl repair, and general protection.

adhesive tapeIn the medical world, cloth tape (surgical tape) is often used for bandages, as it will bend and flex with the body, and pressure-sensitive dressings can be used to gently cover injuries. Cloth adhesive tape is made with zinc oxide and speeds healing. Because of this, surgical tape is increasingly replacing sutures thus reducing the risk of superficial skin infections. It is also used to secure intravenous lines, ventilation tubes, and other medical equipment in place.

A wide range of colors is available, from classic unbleached white to hot pink and even camouflage. Fluorescent cloth tapes have recently found a new market – the night amusement industry. Since this cloth adhesive tape is easy to unwind and can bond to any surface, it has increasingly been used in nightclubs, music halls, or show windows utilizing a black light.

A roll of all-purpose cloth tape such as duct tape can be a very useful tool to keep around the house, as it will come in handy for an assortment of tasks. No matter what your mission, you can find a cloth adhesive tape that will impeccably suit the job.

Why Not Use Wax?

Both distributors and customers know that the cardboard shipping container chosen cardboard shipping containersfor different shipments is sometimes as important as the product itself. It is imperative for a company that the item ordered arrives at its final destination in the same condition it was packed in. No consumer awaiting a produce shipment would appreciate receiving a soaking wet box instead of a stiff, sturdy, dry one. Introducing wax cardboard shipping containers – the effective way to ship temperature sensitive products. The package you are choosing to ship goods in can either make or break your company’s reputation and deeply impact your overall quality rating.

Wax cardboard shipping containers are widely used to ship perishable items that need to remain fresh and inedible products that are expected to travel through harsh weather conditions. They are specifically designed to withstand cool room storage facilities and are ideal for shipping seafood, poultry, and produce (some can actually keep items frozen for long periods of time). These boxes usually have various holes along the top and side panels to allow for air ventilation. The type of wax used is an odorless, tasteless paraffin wax. The paraffin wax can produce a gloss and resist friction, moisture, odor, grease, and much more. The cardboard shipping containers themselves are made out of paper, which means they are lightweight, inexpensive, but unfortunately not very sturdy. The wax coat enhances the durability of the box and maintains the aroma of the shipped item. The paraffin wax can be applied to the cardboard shipping containers in one of two ways: spraying and curtain coating. Spraying the wax involves saturating the corrugated board to create a thick layer, while curtain coating involves cardboard shipping containerspassing a board through a “curtain” of falling wax to create an even, secure mask.

A great added feature wax containers provide is their environmental impact. Cardboard is a plant-based product so waxed cardboard can find use as compost, or be recycled into items such as synthetic fire logs. Choosing to purchase cardboard shipping containers over plastic ones simultaneously provides your employees and customers with a user-friendly product while protecting our earth.

All in all, waxed cardboard shipping containers require a small investment and deliver a large return. They are available in all shapes and sizes: corrugated containers or boxes, folding cartons, wrappers, bags, and pouches just to name a few. Wax containers are growing in popularity and are quickly becoming a favorite among the masses. Similar to standard containers, they can be printed with designs or writing and used as advertisement for your company. Whether you need to send a 200lb swordfish or a small box of clams, the wax cardboard shipping containers provide storage, protection, and promotion for your products and brand.

Preventive Measures Meet Advertising Methods

stretch wrapFor any manufacturer or distributor, safety and promotion are highly valuable to your company. If you are shipping bundles of packages to one place, the appropriate tool to use is stretch wrap/stretch film to enclose the packages together. Stretch wrap is used to surround large bundles of packages to prevent the boxes from shifting and to ensure they will arrive at their final destination in one piece. Securing these bulky bundles with stretch wrap can be time consuming but it is crucial that this process is done correctly. When applying the film, make sure that there is an even amount of film on the top, middle, and bottom of the bundle. If the balance is off, this could cause the unit to become top heavy or lose support from its base. Boxes that are packed into these bunches usually have assigned numbers so whoever is dismantling the load can note all the boxes arrived safely. This process typically works just fine, but stretch wrap is easy to cut through with any sharp object. This means that even though your packages are together, someone can use scissors or a box cutter to break the seal and then have access to your merchandise.

How can you prevent this from happening? The answer is printed stretch wrap. You can order customized stretch wrap with your brand or logo to create both added safety and an extra promotional tool. By using printed stretch wrap, the odds of someone tampering with your packages will dramatically decrease. This is because once the film is sliced and opened, the individual cannot replace it with any other film and the receiver will know it has been meddled with. Not only does customized stretch wrap offer this great, added security feature but it also provides your company with free advertising. If you are already spending the money on stretch wrap, why not spend a little more to customize it with your brand? Large-bundled packages come into contact with numerous individuals each day, so take advantage of this opportunity!

All it takes is one person to take a second look at the bundle, remember your company’s name, and before you know it you have a new paying customer! Consider this special stretch wrap option when ordering new supplies. If a safety feature can also serve as free advertising space, why not try it out?!

Tackling Void Fill

shipping supplies miamiIt is neither practical nor time efficient for most distributors to stock multiple container sizes to accommodate shipping different product weights and sizes. Therefore, most items get shipped in boxes that are generally too big. So, what is the easiest way to fill the boxes and protect the product from shipping damage?

The solution is void fill. Void fill is packing the remainder of the box with materials to hold the product in place. The shipping supplies used to tackle this task include crumpled paper, loose peanuts (Styrofoam or biodegradable), or air pillows. All of these products serve the same universal purpose: to keep your goods from shifting and potentially breaking. Before choosing one method over another, it is advisable to consider several areas.

First take into account the product’s weight and size. Items that take up most of the box probably only need a small amount of peanuts or crumpled paper. There is no point in trying to fit shipping supplies like air pillows or bubble wrap into such a tiny space. Consider storage and cleanup, too. Some materials, such as peanuts, must be shipped to and stored in your facility and will always be on the floor taking up useful inventory space. Next, think about the fragility of your shipment. If the merchandise is considered very delicate or breakable, you will want a shipping product with more stability – use air pillows.

shipping supplies miamiAir pillows (otherwise known as inflatable packaging) save time and money when packing boxes. They are produced by a small, effortless machine where the controller can adjust the air-fill levels and select pillow sizes that best suit his or her needs. One of the most obvious benefits of using air pillows is its increased durability. This shipping product is ideal for heavier, delicate objects because it can handle more weight than peanuts or paper.

The point is your selected method of void fill really depends on what products and quantities you are shipping. For instance, if you have a small business in Miami that ships clothing, there really is no need to invest in air pillows. Since clothes are generally unbreakable, crumpled paper would be the perfect shipping product for this situation. Whatever void fill technique you choose to implement, TOTALPACK has you covered. Located in Miami, FL, we sell everything from packaging peanuts to inflatable air pillows and inflator tools. Check it out for yourself!

Innovative Packaging Techniques

Shipping fragile and expensive merchandise is always a stressful process. Ensuring that your products arrive at their final destination in one piece is paramount to both your commodities and reputation. Industries have been shipping these vital packages for years and by now, we all know what has to be done to assure a safe delivery. You first wrap the merchandise in bubble wrap, place it in a cardboard shipping container, add a bag of packing peanuts, and then seal and address your package for shipment. As far as this procedure goes, there have not been extreme improvements to packaging and shipping supplies – until now.

A clever packaging technique called foam-in-place was discovered to replace the out-dated bubble wrap and packing peanuts. This packaging system involves two chemicals: isocyanate and Polyol (resin). Foam-in-place is applied through a gun that enables the two chemicals to remain separate until the time of the application. Once these intermix, they create a foam-like reaction. This foam then grows and takes the shape of whatever material is being shipped. Instead of buying and using bubble wrap to protect your merchandise, all you have to do is wrap it once in a film and apply the foam-in-place on both the bottom and top of the product. Once the foam hardens, you can close and seal the package.

Its minimal space requirement, easy installation and maintenance, and safety features make this product very desirable for companies who ship fragile and expensive packages often. The main disadvantage to this foam-in-place method is the cost. The chemicals and gun applicator can be pricey, so not every small business will be able to afford this right away. However, any expenses you may incur due to broken merchandise will cost you more in the long-run and you will constantly have to replace mishandled items if not insured (not to mention, the cost of insurance can put a damper on your expenses). By replacing some of your current shipping and packaging supplies with foam-in-place, you will decrease your time spent on packaging as well as your overall material waste. You will not have to worry about damaged products or customer dissatisfaction because your items will always arrive in one piece.

Packaging and shipping supplies are generally standardized, making it simple for the consumer to choose cheaper brands over more expensive ones. With this modernized packaging technique, you can be sure to differentiate your company by using foam-in-place. Here is a step-by-step account of the foam application process:

packaging and shipping supplies

For more information on the foam-in-place process and equipment, call 1-866-760-7866 and speak with a representative today!

Getting the Most From Your Stretch Film

stretch filmAs shippers focus on taking costs out of their supply chains and reducing the amount of material that goes to the landfill, they are also taking packaging material out of their loads. “The corrugated is thinner, we’re taking product out of cases and putting it in trays, or in some cases, the primary package is now supporting the load,” says Jim Lancaster, president and CEO of Lantech, the maker of stretch film systems. “At the same time, they’re not thinking about the secondary package, such as the stretch wrap. That’s when they end up with damage.” Lancaster says shippers can no longer look at just their pallet – or the stretch film going on their load – in isolation. They have to understand the eco-system in which the unit load will operate, and the biggest impact on that today is sustainability. Paper towels and bottled water are two examples of products whose shipping methods have been modified to fit this sustainable mold. They both used to be shipped in cartons and now they’re just stretch-wrapped to a pallet. Bottled water has especially been affected by this change; the bottles themselves are manufactured from a thinner gauge plastic and are assembled with smaller screw tops.

So how do you wrap a load so that it arrives at its destination in the same way it left the factory? Here are several tips Lancaster shared that Lantech defines as lean wrap:

Focus on containment force, not the gauge of the stretch film: Containment force is a function of the amount of force applied as the load is rotated and the number of layers of film. (Ten wraps of a thick film provide the same containment force as 20 wraps of a proportionately thinner film if both are applied with the same force.)

Create a uniform wrap: Some customers mistakenly believe that putting more film at the top and bottom of the loads, then skimping in the middle will hold an unstable or top heavy load in place. As packaging moves in moving trucks, the stretch film shifts from vibration, exposing the weakest point and causing the seal to fail. For this reason, Lancaster suggests that shippers uniformly distribute the film around the load.

Tuck in your tails: Have you ever tripped over your own untied shoelaces? There’s a similar consequence when it comes to stretch film, which is the tail of film that’s left after wrapping a load. Make sure then that you tuck in your tail. Not only does this not look professional, but the tail can get stuck under a forklift or in a conveyor roller and cause your package serious damage.

Attach the unit load to the pallet: If the stretch film does not lock the load to the pallet, it can vibrate off the edge. Past incline tests show that when the bottom 20% to 30% of the web of film is rolled into a cable just above the fork opening, there is a dramatic improvement in load performance.

Although it is important for a company to practice eco-friendly measures, it is also imperative not to skimp out on important packaging procedures for the sake of its sustainability goals. In the end, if your package is not delivered in one piece, your customers are not going to care if you are an environmentally friendly business or not.

You’re Moving?!

Moving to a new spot, whether it is your business or your home, can cause an immense amount of pressure and stress. You first have to spend the time searching for the perfect location, and then you have to forward your mail and redirect bills, not to mention the long list of details that must be accomplished before you are comfortably in your new place. TOTALPACK is aware that moving is a demanding process for anyone, and we try to alleviate as much anxiety as possible by offering a wide variety of quality moving boxes. We have a place to store all of your belongings from books to porcelain dishes; we even have boxes for your king, queen, and twin-size mattresses.

moving boxes
Moving box for your king, queen, or twin bed

Our most popular moving box is your typical square, single wall cardboard container (18” x 12” x 12”). They meet industry standards and are constructed from a strong corrugated single board rated 32 ETC (200 lb test). These moving boxes are very durable and fabricated from C-flute cardboard. C-flute cardboard has a very high stacking strength and a higher resistance to being crushed. It is one of the most commonly used flutes for shipping boxes and tends to perform the best when holding materials such as glass, furniture, and food products.

We also offer a double wall moving box, whose measurements are 18” x 18” x 28”. This durable wall structure is made of one layer of B-flute and one layer of C-flute cardboard. Stronger than a single wall structure, double wall boxes enable heavier objects to be shipped and should be used when a stronger box or extra padding is needed.

moving boxes
Our wardrobe moving box

Are you apprehensive about folding and damaging your delicates, formal dresses, and business suits? There is no need to worry! We have a wardrobe moving box made especially for this purpose. With the addition of a metal wardrobe bar, you can hang your clothing and assure your belongings will remain wrinkle and crease-free in transit. These moving boxes are made with a large window on one side for easy access and positioning. Forget about digging uncomfortably through huge boxes; simply hang up your important pieces, close the side window, and say goodbye to your added anxiety.

Dumpster diving at your local grocery or liquor store for moving boxes is a thing of the past. TOTALPACK has a specific box for all of your personal possessions. Whether you need a box to store your little black dress or to ship your king-size mattress, we provide you with an effortless solution. Call 305-597-9955 and speak with a representative today to discuss your options!

Why Use Shrink Wrap?

shrink wrapShrink wrap is used for a variety of different materials across a number of industries. Whether you need to seal food, CDs, or large boats, shrink wrap is a great material to use to assure your packages have a quality enclosure. Also called shrink film, it is fabricated from polymer plastic film. Heat is applied either with a heat gun or a heat tunnel and causes the film to shrink tightly over whatever it is covering.

The most common shrink wrap is polyolefin. It is available in a variety of thicknesses, clarities, strengths, and shrink ratios and can be cross-linked or non-cross-linked. Overall, this type of shrink wrap is less maintenance and provides a cleaner, higher quality wrap. This polyolefin film is popular with food products, gift baskets, and bundling. A huge advantage to using polyolefin shrink wrap is that it emits very little odor, so you can use it indoors or in covered areas. It also does not become brittle or yellow with age nor does it break down during the heat-sealing process. However, this is not the case with the second type of shrink wrap, PVC. PVC is strong and flexible but it emits an unpleasing odor. It is very brittle and not safe to use with food products or for bundling multiple products together. A good thing is that PVC film only requires a low heat level to shrink (200-275 degrees) as opposed to polyolefin film, which withstands much higher temperatures (300-375 degrees). PVC shrink wrap is common for packaging CDs, DVDs, boxes, software, and other non-edible products.


The Sealing Process

Three variables play an extremely important role in the heat-sealing phase of packaging with shrink wrap: time, temperature, and pressure. Without the correct balance of these three characteristics, the quality of the seal can be poor or possibly won’t cut. By using either a heat gun or a heat tunnel, the film can shrink in one direction or both (uni-directional vs. bidirectional). After the impulse sealing cycle, a cooling cycle allows the film to solidify and tighten.

shrink wrapshrink wrapAt the TOTALPACK store, we offer PVC shrink wrap and polyolefin film available in either vented or not vented options. Vented wrap simply means that there are little holes in the film to allow for air evacuation after the seal and is used mostly for packaging beverages. We also offer a top of the line heat gun for sealing. Our heat gun (Shrinkfast 975) can shrink an object as large as 40”x48”x60” in less than two minutes – now that’s time savings! The Shrinkfast heat gun is the most economical gun for shrink-wrapping boats in a timely, efficient manner. Check out this heat gun, along with our other shrink wrap items here and protect your boat today!