Summer is here and while it brings fun vacations and tans, it also means rising temperatures and humidity levels. Increased humidity levels also bring change to the way your corrugated boxes will uphold. Don’t let the heat damage or spoil your goods or the packaging themselves. Prepare ahead of time and start planning accordingly to ensure your package gets delivered as intended. 

Understand the Effects of Humidity on Corrugated Cardboard Boxes

Humidity levels throughout the southeast are subject to plenty of change throughout the year. Though they typically subside during fall and winter, as soon as summer approaches you can expect humidity percentages to be 70% and above. This is important to keep in mind when packaging, as humidity can prevent a cardboard corrugated box from doing its job correctly. 

Corrugated boxes are made of wood fibers, which allows them to absorb and release moisture throughout their lifetime. Although slight levels of humidity are needed to ensure proper creasing, when there is too much, the box’s stacking strength becomes compromised. For example, a corrugated box stored at relative humidity (around 50%) will have about 80% of its original stacking strength. Also, keep in mind that boxes are held together using a starch adhesive that has very little resistance to moisture. Their degree of resistance will vary amongst manufacturers, therefore we recommend keeping boxes stored in a cool & dry place. 

Consider the Item you are Shipping

It is important to remember that all products cannot be treated the same when being shipped in cardboard boxes. Make sure your product gets delivered as intended by taking into consideration any external factors that may affect it throughout the shipping process. This includes heat, humidity, and any unforeseeable weather it may come into contact with while on its shipping journey. 

For instance, food, beverages, fragrances, lotions, and any medical items need extra care when being packaged. If not packaged in a way to be preserved correctly, their original chemical makeup may be altered affecting their smell, flavor, consistency, and appearance. To avoid spoiled or damaged products, consider refrigerated options, wrapping them in weather-resistant materials and different carriers who offer insurance plans. 

Plan the Shipping Times, Days, and Duration

Once you know the type of product you are shipping and the potential effects the heat may inflict, start looking into shipping times, days and durations. Consider the seasonality of the items you’re shipping. If possible, plan for products that can withstand the heat to be sent out in the summer months and do the same for those that are best sent in the winter season. Use tools like demand forecasting or past sales data that can give you a clear picture of what products you typically sell or ship depending on the time of year. 

You may also want to investigate how you can use shipping times in your favor. If able, you should send products at later afternoon so that they’ll face cooler temperatures than those sent midday. Along with shipping times, look into how long transport will take so you can plan for the entire duration.

Helpful Tips For Cardboard Boxes to Beat Humidity

There are a few packaging tricks to get around the hot temperatures. If your package needs to remain frozen or refrigerated use a corrugated box with insulated walls and ice packs. These packs will last anywhere from 24 to 48 hours and will help keep your products cool or frozen during transport. 

You can also try using stickers on your packages noting the nature of the product. Just as people use  “handle with care” stickers when the product is fragile, try adding a “keep refrigerated” sticker. This will help indicate to anyone that it needs to be stored in a cool place and delivered as soon as possible. Take all the necessary precautions before you ship off your product to ensure the best results upon delivery.  

Even though the heat and humidity may feel unbearable at times, a business must carry on as usual. By taking some time to consider the packaging, the humidity factors it may face, and the shipment journey it awaits, your product can arrive as intended every time. Give us a call so we can help you find the best corrugated cardboard boxes that help beat the heat without sacrificing quality.