Packaging is an umbrella term that includes both the outer container material and the interior packing material. Packaging containers include boxes, glass bottles and plastic clamshell packaging. Packing material includes such things as packing peanuts, bubble wrap and refrigerants.
The type of packaging used depends on the item being shipped. Cardboard boxes are the most common way of packaging large items or bundles of items. Glass, metal and plastic are used for smaller objects, like food or health items. Tape, labels and brown packing paper are often used on top of these outer packaging containers to ensure the containers stay secure and are easy to recognize.
Internal packaging is used to keep the items inside from shifting during shipping or stocking and to prevent damage. For very tightly packed boxes, sometimes slips of cardboard between each item are all that is needed to keep items safe. Loose filler, such as foam pellets, packing peanuts or recycled material, such as crumbled newspaper or magazines, is used to fill in extra space and create padding for the packed items. Bubble sheeting is used to minimize movement and creates a more stable padding for objects and is favored for delicate or fragile items, such s glass or electronics.