Small Parcel Packaging Technology

Small parcel packaging technology has come a long way since it first began eons ago. The first packages were made of what was available at the time – wineskins, baskets of reeds, wooden barrels, clay pots – all of these were used as the earliest forms of packaging.

Paper was first noticed as a packaging material in 1035, although it its use obviously occurred earlier. A visitor to the marketing Cairo noticed that hardware, spices and vegetables were wrapped in paper after customers bought them.

Modern small parcel packaging technology

With modern transportation, of course, has come the need to protect packaging as it travels, as well as other amenities necessary to today's efficient delivery of small packages. Today's small parcel packaging technology provides the following:

Physical protection

As a small parcels travel, they may need to be protected from electrostatic discharge, vibration, temperature changes, compression, and mechanical shock.


Although not entirely tamperproof, today's small parcel packaging technology makes it possible to make packed pages tamper-resistant and, in the event tampering occurs, tamper-evident.

Barrier protection

Small parcel packaging also must provide a barrier to contaminants like dust, water vapor, and oxygen. Contents within may need to be kept clean and sterile, such as if food is transported, or if two different products need to be segregated for safety reasons.

Information technology

Today's small parcel packaging requires labels that give instructions on transport. Packages can be tracked, usually with a tracking number, so that companies like DHL, UPS, and FedEx can provide services more cost-effectively than ever. Oftentimes, local services like the post office will make delivery even more efficient by taking over transport for the last mile. All of this can be tracked online by the consumer.

Convenience features for closing and opening

Today's small parcel packaging technology makes it possible for shippers to quickly close packages through instantaneous devices like adhesive, while customers can enjoy similar convenience when they open packages. With features like "easy open" strips, even shipping packages don't necessarily need a knife or box cutter to get through to the product inside.

Stackable dimensions

Whenever possible, today's small parcel packaging is manufactured in such a way that it's much easier to distribute, handle, and stack – making for much more efficient use of delivery resources.


Today's small parcel packages are most often made of materials that can be recycled. In some cases, if chemicals, for example, are transported in the packaging, consumers will be warned that they must not recycle the packaging. However, most of today's small parcel packages are meant to be recycled easily in household recycling bins.

Environmental concerns in regard to small parcel packaging

Today's small parcel packaging is quite different than it was in the early days of US parcel shipping. Oftentimes, today's packaging is assessed in regard to its "lifecycle," which studies all of the energy and material components used to create the package and its contents. This includes the packing process, transport, and waste management at the end of the lifecycle when the packaging is discarded.

Prevention of waste, minimizing package volume whenever possible, and making packaging reusable and/or recyclable whenever possible are all components that factor into today's small parcel packaging technology.