Since its invention more than 60 years ago, polypropylene tape has exploded in popularity. If it’s not already a part of your packaging arsenal, you’re missing out. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the history of polypropylene tape and three of its main benefits.
The history of polypropylene tape
Polypropylene tape was invented by chemists J. Paul Hogan and Robert L. Banks. In the late 1940s, both men joined the team at Phillips Petroleum Company and Plastics. During this time, the global demand for oil and natural gas significantly diminished due to the end of World War II. Since the company’s resources were no longer being used by the military, they decided to investigate uses for propylene and ethylene, two byproducts of the refining process.
In the summer of 1951, Hogan and Banks tried something new. While experimenting with catalysts –– substances that increase the rate of a chemical reaction –– they replaced nickel oxide with chromium oxide. Then, they fed propylene and a propane carrier into a pipe and waited for the chemical reaction to take place. The chromium oxide produced a clear, solid polymer that the scientists dubbed crystalline polypropylene. That same day, Hogan sat down at his desk and filed for a patent.
The benefits of polypropylene tape
Polypropylene tape is America’s most popular packaging tape, and for good reason:
1.) It’s relatively cheap. Compared to other packaging materials like water-activated or strapping tape, polypropylene is incredibly affordable. You can purchase a single roll or buy it in bulk and it’s significantly cheaper than other similar products.
2.) It’s perfect for branding. Polypropylene tape is unique in the way that it absorbs ink. During the manufacturing process, it’s printed with a polymer plate. The polymer plate allows for the recreation of intricate designs that feature lots of detail. If you want to include your brand message, logo or other important information on your packaging, polypropylene is the way to go.
3.) There are many different types. Different types of polypropylene tape offer different levels of thickness. The thicker the tape, the stronger the adhesive qualities. The range of thickness makes it easy to choose a polypropylene tape that’s right for your business. If you regularly ship products that weigh 50 pounds or more, choose a thicker product. For anything lighter, go with a thinner offering.
Where can I buy polypropylene tape?
Now that you know about the history and benefits of polypropylene tape, you’re probably wondering where to buy it. Look no further! At Specialized Tape, we carry a variety of polypropylene tapes sure to meet your needs. To learn more, visit our website or call (801) 201-1520.
When someone orders a product from your e-commerce store, what do you do? If you simply go to the warehouse, select the item and put it in an empty cardboard box, you’re keeping customers from a true shopping experience.
Think about it. When you purchase something, it’s to make your life better, easier or more exciting. If that purchase doesn’t make an impression right away, it’s only a matter of time before it’s discarded or thrown in the junk drawer. As a business owner, that’s the last thing you want. Therefore, it’s critical that your packaging makes a visual or emotional impact.
Impressing your clients with eye-catching packaging might seem like a waste of time or energy, but it’s sure to pay off. Plus, the suggestions listed below are incredibly affordable and easy to implement.
1.) Tell your brand story. Remember when you were a kid and you read the back of the cereal box each morning? It was a way to kill the time before school, but it also drew you into the product’s messaging. Telling your customers the story of your brand is an easy and effective way to build your business and expand your marketing. By including a brief synopsis of your mission and goals on each shipment, you’ll remain at the top of your client’s minds.
2.) Include a “thank you” note. If you don’t want to add stickers, drawings or other decorative materials to the exterior of each package, consider including a “thank you” note inside. Simply thanking your customers is a great way to generate positive word of mouth and ensure repeat business. Repeat business is critical to your long-term success. In fact, studies show that 80% or more of a business’s revenue comes from just 20% of its existing client base.
3.) Add stickers, colorful tape, a logo or a mascot. Cardboard boxes are great at transporting materials, but they’re very bland from a design perspective. If you don’t have the funds to order pre-printed boxes or packaging that features your story or a specific message, consider a do-it-yourself option like stickers, colorful tape or a hand-drawn picture of your mascot. Anything that helps your shipment stand out from the dozens of other cardboard boxes should suffice.
These are just a few of the most basic ways you can make your e-commerce shipments more interesting. If you’re in need of packaging materials such as polypropylene tape, PVC tape, water-activated tape or tape dispensers, click here. Our online store has everything you need to keep customers satisfied.
Scotch tape is one of America’s favorite office supplies. The adhesive, manufactured by 3M, is used for everything from gift wrapping and envelope sealing to repairs of torn or damaged paperwork. 3M carries more than 400 varieties, and it’s still one of their top-selling products. Everyone knows and loves Scotch tape, but how did it come to be? The story is more interesting than you might imagine.
In 1923, engineer Richard Drew joined 3M. During that period, 3M only manufactured sandpaper. Drew was tasked with testing the company’s newest product — Wettodry brand sandpaper. To conduct his experiments, Drew visited a local autobody shop. During his visit, he noticed that the painters had a rough time creating clear dividing lines on two-color paint jobs.
Drew thought he could make the process easier with a simple, disposable adhesive. By taping down pieces of paper, Drew theorized that painting would become more accurate and efficient.
Drew started by developing a masking tape prototype, but it wasn’t sticky enough to hold the pieces of paper in place. One of the auto detailers got frustrated with the experiment, telling Drew to “take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to put more adhesive on it!” The reprimand stuck with Drew, and he decided to name his new product “Scotch” tape.
After developing a satisfactory prototype, Drew put it to the test. He first sent the Scotch tape to a Chicago-based company that specialized in package printing. They loved the invention and encouraged him to bring it to market. With real-world support and a final seal of approval from the higher-ups at 3M, Scotch tape entered production. By 1930, it was making its way to store shelves all across the country.
Pretty interesting, don’t you think? To learn more about Scotch tape, click here.
Do you tape the majority of your packages by hand? While there’s nothing wrong with this, it’s often time-consuming and tedious. Plus, if you aren’t careful, it can result in paper cuts or tape burn.
In order to save time and improve efficiency, consider upgrading to a tape dispenser. These tools might not look like much, but they can help you increase package volume and get more done.
Almost everyone is familiar with what a tape dispenser does, but did you know there are many different types? At Specialized Tape, we carry several different tape dispensers. Here’s a brief overview of their features and benefits.
Folded edge hand dispenser. This type of tape dispenser uses a special mechanism to fold both edges of the tape as it’s applied to a package. This unique feature provides a secure and durable seal that prevents your shipment from opening during transit. Tape that’s applied using a folded edge dispenser is also easier to open. There’s no need for scissors or a knife, meaning your customers can break the packaging seal by hand.
Professional pistol grip tape dispenser. Professional pistol grip tape dispensers are ideal for manual application. They feature a plastic or metal wipe-down plate that helps the tape better adhere to the package. In addition, pistol grip dispensers can hold tape rolls that are up to 2 inches wide.
Filament tape hand dispenser. Filament tape dispensers are lightweight and made of metal. Their ergonomic design allows for comfortable, easy application by pressing down on your thumb. Filament dispensers also feature a brake component. That allows for a tight, secure, and impenetrable seal.
Electronic tape dispensers. If you package dozens (or even hundreds) of products each day, consider upgrading to an electronic tape dispenser. These devices reduce material costs, cut the tape at a consistent length and significantly speed up the packaging process.
Unsure what type of tape dispenser will benefit you most? We can help. Contact us today by visiting our website or calling (801) 201-1520.
A 2013 survey conducted by StellaService found that one out of every 10 shipments gets damaged in transit. If you ship hundreds or even thousands of packages each week, that can add up to a significant number of losses, not to mention unhappy customers.
Though there’s no way to prevent damage entirely, there are things you can do to significantly lower risk. Most importantly, practice proper packaging techniques. If you want to ensure your products safely get from point A to point B, go the extra mile and make sure the box is adequately sized and sealed and includes adequate postage.
General packaging tips
First things first, make sure that any box you use is sturdy, undamaged and has all of its flaps intact. If a box has holes, a missing wall or a lack of flaps, get rid of it. Also, try to avoid shipping things in shoe or gift boxes. These boxes only contain a single cardboard panel and are easily damaged in transit. You can keep the shoe or gift box, just make sure to nestle it inside a heavier cardboard offering.
If you’re shipping bottles or liquids, keep them upright. For delicate items such as plates, electronics or decorations, use bubble wrap or tissue paper as padding. You might even want to wad up balls of butcher or construction paper to prevent things from slipping or sliding around.
Sealing your package
Once all of the items in your box are secure, it’s time to seal it up. We recommend using pressure-sensitive plastic or water-activated tape. When applying the tape, run it evenly across all of the box’s seams from top to bottom and side to side. Press your palm and fingers down firmly on top of the tape to ensure it grips the cardboard.
Whatever you do, avoid using duct tape, masking tape or string. These types of sealants are capable of amazing feats on their own, but they make poor packaging materials.
For additional packaging tips, tricks, and insights, check out this guide from FedEx.
At Specialized Tape, we’re always reading industry publications to stay informed about current trends. One sector of the packaging industry that’s experienced a major transformation this year is food. A variety of factors, including stay-at-home orders, panic buying and restaurant closures, have changed the way Americans research, shop for and purchase foods.
You don’t have to take our word for it, though. A recent survey by Shorr Packaging highlights the responses of more than 1,128 American consumers. The survey covered plenty of topics, but below, we’ve listed three findings we found particularly interesting. Keep reading to learn more.
1.) 70% of Americans always read food labels. If your business sells food or beverages, make sure you’ve designed attractive, easy-to-understand labeling. Nowadays, shoppers are more conscious than ever. Before trying a new food product, consumers want to read the ingredients and nutritional information. They also want to know a little bit about your brand. What makes your product special compared to the competition? What’s your story? If your labeling doesn’t resonate, it won’t pop off the shelf.
2.) 41% of consumers say labels are more important since the start of the pandemic. In March and April, grocery stores all over the country experienced shortages of staple items such as rice, beans, canned goods and toiler paper. Though some shortages still exist, store shelves are more stocked than they used to be. Even so, panic buying in the early spring changed consumer behavior.
Shorr Packaging’s survey found that 41% of consumers now research alternative brands before visiting the grocery store. If their first priority isn’t available, they move down the list. What can you do to make sure your brand can compete with the big boys?
3.) 58% of consumers care about sustainable packaging. Climate change is a hot topic these days. It has become even more relevant due to the wildfires currently ravaging the western U.S. Consumers are thinking about the environment, too. Shorr’s packaging survey found that 58% of American shoppers are “likely” or “very likely” to purchase food products that clearly state the packaging is recyclable or reusable.
These are just a few surprising statistics from Shorr’s 2020 Food Packaging & Consumer Behavior Report. To take a closer look, click here.
October is here, and that means the holiday season is just a few short weeks away. If your business relies heavily on sending products through the mail, now is the time to stock up on supplies.
In 2019, the U.S. Postal Service delivered more than 28 million packages a day between December 16 and 21. Between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day 2020, they delivered more than 800 million packages.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, and no hope of a vaccine until sometime later this year or early next, those numbers are expected to rise. At the end of May, more than 80% of Americans were purchasing groceries online. With social distancing measures still in effect and the threat of a “twin-demic” with the seasonal flu, industry experts expect online shopping (and shipping) to continue throughout the remainder of 2020.
At Specialized Tape, we offer various supplies to make your job as an e-commerce business owner easier. These supplies include:
- Polypropelene tape
- Flatback paper tape
- PVC tape
- Stock print tape
- Filament and strapping tape
- Non-printed tape
- Water-activated tape
- Miscellaneous tape
We also carry high-quality tape dispensers, which can save you time and money. When you use a tape dispenser during the packaging process, you speed up the manual labor process and cut back on the amount of tape used.
Unsure what kind of tape will meet your business’s needs? We’ll be happy to assist. Visit our website by clicking here. Fill out the online quote form and let us know about your needs, including the types of products you ship, your budget and a list of your goals for the holiday season. We’ll read through your response and develop a custom plan that aligns with your needs. Once we do, a member of our team will reach out and walk you through our recommendations.
The holidays are fast approaching. Make sure you’re ready for shipping’s busiest season!
If your business ships products, there’s one item you can never run out of –– tape. Many business owners assume that one kind of type is just as good as another. As long as a package is fully sealed and doesn’t break open during transit, there’s nothing to worry about, right?
Well … it depends.
Thanks to modern printing and theft-prevention technologies, the type of tape you use can improve efficiency, boost your bottom line and ensure customer loyalty. There are dozens of tapes to choose from, but the two most popular are plastic pressure-sensitive tape and water-activated tape. If you know the pros and cons of both, you can make a decision that aligns with your business’s unique needs.
What is plastic pressure-sensitive tape?
Plastic pressure-sensitive tape is what laymen call packaging tape. It’s clear, made of polyurethane and features a sticky adhesive on only one side. PST is relatively cheap and sticks to most surfaces. It’s susceptible to wear-and-tear, though, and may bubble, warp or lose its adhesive in hot or humid conditions.
What is water-activated tape?
Water-activated tape is made of paper and embedded fiberglass. It comes in a variety of colors and features a starch-based adhesive. When you apply water to the adhesive, it activates and forms a bond with the packaging material itself. WAT is more durable and longer-lasting than PST. It can also withstand all types of weather.
Should I choose PST or WAT?
If you run a small business that doesn’t do much shipping, PST is probably fine. It provides a reasonably strong adhesive and is easy to open. If you only ship within the U.S. and don’t care about branding or inclement weather, it’s also very affordable.
If you operate an e-commerce business that ships packages all over the world, you’re probably better off with WAT. WAT can withstand drops and bumps throughout transit, and it’s also brandable. This means you can apply your logo, brand colors or slogan to packages. Additionally, WAT can protect your packages from all types of weather, including triple-digit temperatures, rain and snow.
To learn more about the difference between PST and WAT, get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!
As the foreperson of a warehouse, grocery or storage facility, it’s your job to keep product moving and shelves stocked. With the COVID-19 pandemic, these tasks have become even more important, but the job still requires focus, dedication and care.
You can’t supervise your team members 24 hours a day, but it’s still important you get your message across.
In addition to posting clear, easy-to-interpret signage around your facility, you should also consider investing in stock print tape. Stock print tape communicates important handling instructions while providing a sturdy seal for boxes and other storage containers.
By applying stock print tape to your inventory, you can improve efficiency, prevent accidents and injuries, and get more done on any given day. Consider it a trifecta of productivity. But what type of stock print tape do you need, and what messages are most important?
That depends on your operation and the products you sell. However, we carry a variety of stock print tape to meet almost any application. Some of our most popular stock print tapes include:
- “Stop if seal is broken”
- “Do not break pallet”
- “Do not stack”
- “Keep refrigerated”
- “Do not freeze”
- “Keep frozen”
Any of these messages can be applied to printable tape substrates. This means we can apply your instructional messaging on any type of tape you choose.
If you’re still wondering which stock print tape is right for your facility, visit our website and fill out an online contact form or call us at (801) 201-1520. During our initial conversation, we’ll discuss our various stock print tape options and assist you in selecting one or several messages that align with your needs.
Stock print tape is an affordable and efficient way to improve your operation for the better. Don’t wait to take action. Get in touch with our friendly, professional team today!
Packaging tape plays a critical role in the world of e-commerce and shipping. Every day, millions of packages leave post offices all over the country, making their ways to businesses and individuals around the world. If you’re new to the world of online retail, you might be under the impression that there are only one or two types of packaging tape to choose from, but that’s far from the case.
Thanks to advances in manufacturing, adhesives and flexibility, business owners have dozens of packaging tape options to choose from. But how do you select the right one for your needs? The answer is different for everyone, but there are three areas in particular that we recommend focusing on.
1.) Adhesive strength. In terms of packaging tape, you want a brand that provides long-lasting adhesive. This is especially true if you ship products cross-country or around the world. The stronger the adhesive on your packaging tape, the less likely it is to suffer rips or tears during transit.
2.) Durability. Your packaging tape is just as important as the bubble wrap, styrofoam and other protective packaging measures inside. If your tape can withstand conveyer belts, speed bumps and drops during the delivery process, then your products are likely to stay intact. If your packaging tape is weak and susceptible to any type of stress, you may end up with more refunds than happy customers.
3.) Support of artwork, logos or other forms of branding. Traditional packaging tape is clear, making it ideal for printing purposes. If you don’t already use packaging tape that features your brand, company logo or slogan, now is a great time to take action. Visible branding plays an important role in customer memory and retention. Plus, if anyone else sees your package in transit, they may be inclined to check out your website.
If you’re interested in purchasing a better type of packaging tape, we can help. With more than 30 years of experience in the shipping sector, we know exactly what it takes to get the job done. Get in touch today by calling 801-201-1520 or fill out an online contact form.