4 Options to Know When Shipping With a Custom Tray

It’s worth taking the time to evaluate your options before rushing into shipping delicate products or components with a custom tray. The wrong choice will not only add costs in re-orders, but could compromise the safety of your products. Here are four options to keep in mind and help you identify the perfect tray for your needs.

#1: Tray Material

When packaging parts for shipping, your options can range from rigid containers or soft pouches or blister packs. Pouches and blister packs can conserve space, which is convenient, but they’re also more difficult to stack and protect your products less. That’s why we’ve always preferred rigid plastic trays. 

Thermoformed trays can be made in a variety of plastics, but not all options are simultaneously cost-effective, recyclable, and durable. Ready-Made Plastic Trays always uses white High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) with PET lids for their good balance of desirable traits, including:

  • Excellent product protection: Thermoformed HIPS trays are notable for their impressive durability in virtually any tray size and thickness. A tamper-resistant and resilient plastic is crucial to protecting the sensitive or delicate parts shipped within the tray. The stronger the material, the more it helps to minimize shipping damage claims and returns while helping to extend product shelf life.
  • Affordability: Plastic on the whole is an affordable shipping material, but the thermoform method of manufacturing can further reduce costs. In fact, thermoformed packaging is often as much as 15% less expensive than packaging using plastic injection molding (a common alternative). These cost savings are passed down to the end user.
  • Sustainability: As a plastic tray manufacturer, we know how important sustainability is to our clients (and to their clients!). HIPS and PET are 100% recyclable materials that help you to ensure your packaging is better for the environment. Don’t hesitate to label your products accordingly to inform end users about the difference they’re making by selecting them.
  • Design flexibility: Our tray packaging matches your needs, and that’s because thermoformed packaging can be created in very customized solutions. You have more options than the use of any other type of product. Why not stand out? Why not offer something that is going to minimize shipping costs by offering ample protection without a lot of weight? We can help you.

#2: Pocket Shape

The material is only the first choice when it comes to protecting your products during shipping. It’s also important to consider the shape of the tray, as pocket shapes can impact product orientation, product movement during shipping, and your view of what’s contained in the tray.

Ready-Made Plastic Trays offers all of our customers a choice of 3 stock pocket shapes — round, square, and rectangular — so that you’re able to match the shape to your product’s needs. Shipping a product with a unique or delicate shape? No problem! The thermoforming process makes it simple to customize the pocket shape by retooling the CNC system. You’ll want to work closely with your supplier to ensure the tray’s pockets are shaped to your needs without wasting space or compromising the product’s safety.

#3: Tray Dimensions

The dimensions of the tray can impact both the number of products you can ship per tray and the cost of each individual tray. Make sure to collaborate with your vendor to determine the ideal dimensions for your products or components. Measurements they’ll want to discuss will include:

  • Pocket diameter and depth
  • Number of pockets per tray
  • Tray width and length

Ready-Made has many standard size options available to choose from, but our customers are not limited only to stock trays. Standard sizes can accelerate shipping as they’re pre-made and stocked, but custom sizes are always possible so that you can achieve the ideal fit, right down to the fraction of an inch.

#4: Customization

We’ve already mentioned the ability to customize your tray’s pocket shapes and overall dimensions, but this is just the beginning. The tray will be one of the first things your end users will see when they open a box. You can make a stronger first impression with a custom solution that’s perfect for your brand. At Ready-Made Plastic Trays, we can carefully customize your tray design with unique colors (even clear!), sizes, shapes, and more. Talk with our expert team and let us know what you’re thinking — We’ll let you know what’s possible!

Ready-Made and Service-First

You care about quality products and prompt service. So do we! Work with Ready-Made Plastic Trays for a product you can trust from a partner who’s rooting for your business. We offer stock thermoformed trays that are ready to ship out, but we’re always ready to take on unique custom orders, too. Don’t hesitate to ask about our robust custom tray capabilities. Nearly everything is adjustable to your specifications, and we’ll work with you to ensure customer satisfaction, no matter what it takes.