6 Reasons to Make the Switch to Water-Activated Tape
Are you using packing tape (also known as plastic, pressure-sensitive tape) for sealing and shipping cartons from your warehouse?
What if there were good reasons to consider an alternative?
Read on to learn six good reasons to consider switching from plastic, pressure-sensitive tape to gummed paper tape (also known as water-activated tape or WAT).
1. Improved Productivity
Applying pressure-sensitive tape using a hand-held tape gun on multiple cartons can get very tiring for employees. The hand-held tape gun becomes heavy after repetitive use, causing productivity declines or even a repetitive stress injury. An alternative is to use water-activated tape with a water-activated tape dispenser. An independent research study demonstrated that the use of electric water-activated tape dispensers with WAT is 21% more efficient than the use of handheld tape guns. This productivity improvement can make a significant difference in your bottom line.
2. Tamper Deterrence
Using pressure-sensitive tape can leave your shipments susceptible to tampering and theft. Unless multiple strips of tape are used to seal the carton (expensive), it is easy to penetrate the carton by applying a bit of pressure on the top of the carton next to the tape to create a gap through which some of the content can be retrieved. The box can then be resealed leaving no indication that any pilfering has occurred.
Unlike pressure-sensitive tape that merely sits on top of the box, water-activated tape bonds with the carton. Any attempt to compromise the seal will tear the cardboard, making it readily evident that someone has tampered with the shipment. Customers who have made the switch to gummed tape and electric tape dispensers have seen a significant drop in product theft during transit.
3. Increased Security
Has your packing tape ever given way, or the bottom of your cardboard box opened because the contents were too heavy? One cause may be that standard packing tape is no more than a single ply of plastic, which isn’t very sturdy. Many packers will use multiple strips of pressure-sensitive tape, trying to better secure heavy cartons. There are several downsides to this approach; it is time consuming, it’s not cost efficient, and “mummifying” makes your packages look unprofessional and jeopardizes your branding.
Thanks to its permanent bond with the cardboard fibers (even with recycled corrugate), gummed tape is much sturdier. Further, reinforced gummed tape, which is made with fiberglass crossing strands between two layers of paper, results in even greater strength. This helps reduce breakage or damage during transit.
A superficial cost analysis of standard, pressure-sensitive tape will indicate that it is less expensive than water-activated tape. Look a bit deeper and the cost differential reverses.
Most packers use several strips of plastic tape to try to truly seal the carton and if the decision to use plastic tape is based on a cost saving per roll, that saving can be lost the instant a second piece of tape is used.
With water-activated tape only one strip of tape is needed to securely seal a carton. This material savings plus the savings gained from increased productivity, reduced theft and tampering makes water activated tape a cost-effective alternative.
5. Branding & Messaging
Your corporate brand image is one of the most important investments you can make in your company. In this environment of message overload, it is challenging to keep your brand front and center. Using gummed paper tape allows you to print your logo or a message directly onto your packaging tape. Cartons will have a clean, custom and professional look that elevates your branding and creates a positive customer engagement moment.
Water-activated tape closes more e-commerce packages than packing tape. The fastest growing e-commerce companies are seeing the value in water-activated tape and are making the switch. They like gummed tape’s security, strength and branding potential.