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Ecommerce Packing Solutions

What packing solution is right for your ecommerce operation?

Polybag/Paper wrapping
Box on Demand
Padded Mailers / Envelopes

Bagging items is a long-used practice for ecommerce due to the speedy and simple implementation of this packaging solution. This process traditionally uses polybags but more recently paper wrapping is taking over as a more sustainable option. With the plastic tax coming into force in the UK in April 2022 and pressure from consumers, the ecommerce industry looked for ways to cut single use plastic. Paper wrapping is a new packaging solution in the ecommerce market but has been used in the magazine industry for a number of years with National Geographic leading the way back in 2018.

The paper wrapping process requires an operator to place items on the conveyor of the paper wrapping machine, the machine then wraps the goods with paper sealed at the seem and ends with pressure sensitive adhesive. CMC Packing Automation estimate that by using paper wrapping, packing costs can be reduced by around 40%, check out their impact calculator to see what you could save.

Sitma’s Fast Pack and CMC’s Paper-Pro are leading the way with this fast-growing application and their machines are already in use around the world.

See paper wrapping in action:

Typically used for:

Small items such as books, shoes, clothes, consumer electronics


Packaging is made to size resulting in very little wasted space in the package.

Paper wrapping is easy to recycle for the consumer.


Limited by weight of items

Large amount of floor space needed

What adhesives to use:

A high adhesion pressure sensitive hotmelt. Peelable pressure sensitive hotmelt can be used where the package need to be resealed for returns. Henkel’s Technomelt E-COM G10 has been specifically designed for paper wrapping and its unique formulation has been engineered with machinery producers to have market leading performance and machinability. Find out more here.

Cardboard boxes are by for the most common method used for fulfilling customer orders. The main reason why is that boxes come in all different shapes and sizes so are appropriate for nearly all e-commerce operations. Boxes do, however, make automating packing difficult as machines need to be calibrated every time a change is made which isn’t practical. This results in a standard box being produced which will need box filler.

Sealed Air (formally B+ Equipment) are a good example of this method with their I-Pack system, before the final stage of the process the box is creased and folded down to the product hight. This helps eliminate some of the void and is a step towards a box on demand packing solution.

Typically used for:

Almost anything


Lots of different machinery options

Can have small machine footprint

Best solution for large and heavier items


Limited to standardised boxes

Box fillers and extra protection sometimes needed

A newer method of boxing product has become available to the ecommerce market. The box on demand process is where products are measured, and then the box produced to fit the order. This is known as box on demand and is one of the most sustainable options available in ecommerce packing solutions.

Machines such as CMC Cartonwrap, Ranpack’s Cut’it!™ EVO and Sparck’s CVP machines will cut and make boxes to the size needed for each individual order. Multiple items can be grouped together in one package making box on demand really effective for reducing the need for space savers, saves spend on board and ultimately reduces waste.

Typically used for:

Nearly everything including car parts!


Packaging is made to size resulting in very little wasted space in the package.

Massively reduced need for space savers


Large machine footprint

Can be expensive to buy

What adhesive to use:

We would recommend Technomelt E-COM G4 ECO for this application to really capitalise on this sustainable application. Technomelt E-COM G4 ECO provides a ISCC certified carbon negative saving of 0.448kg per kg used.

Packaging on demand, right size packaging - Packsize machine

Ecommerce retailers often opt for padded mailers or envelopes as a packaging solution due to their lightweight nature and cost-effectiveness. These protective packaging options offer a convenient and economical way to ensure the safe delivery of smaller, non-fragile items, providing a cushioned layer that helps prevent damage during transit while keeping shipping costs low.

Typically used for:

Very small item orders


Is the cheapest method for postage


Space is wasted due to standard sizes

Plastic is often used for protection

Silicone backers needed to cover adhesive used

What adhesive to use:

The key discussion point here for adhesive is the tear strip/tape, a pressure sensitive is applied and then covered with a silicone strip. When the adhesive is applied it is important for the temperature to be correct so the primary packaging isn’t disfigured. TECHNOMELT PS 8746 is a clean running pressure sensitive perfect for this application.

Further Ecommerce Information:

  • Ecommerce Packing Solutions

  • Adhesives vs Tape

  • The Adhesive Process

  • Packaging Production

  • Sustainability

  • Henkel Ecommerce End of Line Adhesive

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