A woman and child wrapping dishware with bubble wrap

The Best Types of Dunnage for Packaging

In the world of packaging, dunnage plays a crucial role in ensuring that products are sufficiently protected and secured during transportation. Dunnage refers to the materials used to fill empty spaces or to immobilize products during shipping to prevent damage to the product.

Several options are available on the market, each suited for different materials and applications. In this blog post, we’ve rounded up eight types of dunnage packaging you should consider for your products’ safe transportation.

#1 – Air Pillows

Inflatable air pillows are a popular type of dunnage packaging used in the shipping industry to provide reliable cushioning and support to products during transportation. These packaging solutions are lightweight, affordable, and easy to use, making them a popular option for businesses looking to enhance their product’s protection while minimizing shipping costs.

They are an invaluable asset available in several sizes and shapes. They have unique cushions that fill excess space for virtually anything ⏤ from delicate electronics to bulky appliances that need extra padding during shipment. Perfect for void fill, air pillows mold around the product and provide a secure fit, reducing potential jostling during transit.

#2 – Foam Inserts

Foam inserts have unique properties that make them ideal for businesses that need extra protection to transport valuable or delicate products. They absorb shock, vibrations, and bumps, making them the perfect dunnage type for products like computers, automotive and aircraft parts, medical devices, office equipment, jewelry, antiques, and more.

The even distribution of pressure provided by foam inserts prevents jarring during shipping, which can lead to irreparable damage to fragile products. Foam inserts are also water-resistant, preventing damage to products due to exposure to moisture. If your products require a dry atmosphere during shipping, this dunnage packaging is one you should consider.

Foam shippers also maintain consistent temperatures, making them perfect for temperature-sensitive products like wine and vaccines.

#3 – Paper Void Fillers

A box with red paper fillers

When you need to protect products during transit, paper void fill is a viable dunnage type that offers an extra layer of protection. It fills excess space between items and the interior walls of the box, providing a good source of padding for unexpected drops. Paper void fill prevents sliding and moving during transit, making it a must-have material for products that need to remain stationary during shipment.

Paper fillers work exceptionally well when combined with other forms of dunnage packaging, like bubble wrap or foam inserts, to provide a more secure fit. Additionally, this type of void fill is recyclable, making it an eco-friendly packaging option you should utilize to reach sustainability goals. Most businesses use paper for delicate products, gift boxes, glassware, or items that require scratch-resistant protection.

#4 – Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is a no-brainer when you need a reliable packaging option for shipping valuable items. Its lightweight design makes it easy to use, as it can provide extra cushioning and protection from possible scratches, shifting, and drops. The impact and pressure-resistant properties of bubble wrap make it an excellent choice for transporting fragile items like mirrors, paintings, appliances, dishes, electronics, glassware, ceramics, and more.

Bubble wrap conforms to the shape of your items, no matter how large or small, providing a snug fit that will keep all contents securely in place during transit. Additionally, bubble wrap is sterile and allows air to flow, which is beneficial for moisture-sensitive products during shipment. With its natural ability to hold items in place and keep them secure, trust bubble wrap as a go-to dunnage packaging solution.

#5 – Foam Peanuts

When shipping fragile items, small appliances, and other goods, you need a solution that keeps products from moving around during transit.

For years, companies have relied on the unique shape of foam peanuts to do just that. Their interlocking design allows them to compress to fill air gaps and void spaces while protecting items with sharp edges or corners. Made from polystyrene foam, which is both resilient and absorbent, foam peanuts prevent the movement of goods during transit.

For eco-friendly packaging solutions, there are biodegradable options such as starch-based peanuts. However, it’s important to note that this type of dunnage, while versatile, should not be used for shipping computers or electronics. When peanuts rub together, they create static electricity, which generates a shock that may discharge into the product.

#6 – Molded Pulp

A wine bottle next to molded pulp inserts

For dependable dunnage packaging that fits snugly, think molded pulp. This material uses molds that are customized to fit the shape of your product, making it an ideal choice for a wide variety of items such as candles, essential oils, personal hygiene products, wine bottles, fruits, vegetables, or even mechanical parts.

If you are a business owner, distributor, or retailer looking to align your branding with sustainable missions, molded pulp shippers make a great impression as they’re biodegradable and reusable.

Molded pulp is also hypoallergenic and toxin-free, giving you added peace of mind knowing the likelihood that your goods will cause allergic reactions are significantly reduced. And if that wasn’t enough, every piece of molded pulp is lightweight and stackable, so you can reduce shipping costs and save storage space in between shipments.

#7 – Corrugated Inserts

Corrugated inserts are an excellent choice for dunnage packaging for many items and products that face unpredictably rough environments. They are very effective for blocking, bracing, and filling extra space in shipping containers to keep products secure and prevent them from shifting during transit. Companies use these versatile inserts to ensure glassware, ceramic dishes, food items, wine bottles, beer cans, cosmetics, and jewelry remain in place.

In addition to being lower-cost than plastics or bubble wrap, these inserts make a reliable and trustworthy dunnage type that is recyclable and reusable. Corrugated shippers are durable yet lightweight enough to reduce shipping costs and shorten assembly time for faster packing, helping you save more.

#8 – Honeycomb Board

If you’ve never heard of honeycomb boards, you may be shocked at how unbelievably strong and durable this dunnage packaging is. The design includes two corrugated outer layers with reinforced air cells inside, so it is surprisingly lightweight and stiff. This option is versatile and customizable, allowing you to tailor the material to fit the shape of your product.

It’s also recyclable and shock absorbent, so you can ship heavier items such as bathroom fixtures, electronics, furniture, and doors with no worries while remaining environmentally friendly. In addition to being 30% lighter than corrugated cardboard and providing substantial savings, honeycomb boards are strong enough for use as pallets for heavier loads.

Protect Your Products With Gorilla Shippers

As you can see, dunnage packaging is essential for ensuring products remain intact and safe throughout the journey. With this in mind, it pays to invest in high-quality solutions you know will get the job done right. Since 2009, Gorilla Shipper has been an industry leader in supplying superior foam, molded pulp, and Hexabox inserts for securing products during transportation.

Whether you need to ship bottles, cans, or jars, we have a tailor-made packaging solution designed for your needs. All our products are made here in the USA and have passed the International Safe Transit Association’s (ISTA) safety tests. We also offer discounts on bulk orders. Contact us today to learn more about our ISTA 6-FEDEX-A certified packaging products.