Article Updated: May 2022

Here’s my real world experience with Brown Shipping Tape.


After leaving my job as Plant Manager of a small company, due to the playing of dirty politics by my peers, I ventured on my own and started my own manufacturing company unrelated in any way to my previous company’s products or processes.

My company manufactures small machined parts that are coated with a sophisticated thin film. These end up in the automotive industry. And as you may know, the automotive industry is very demanding as far as price, quality and on-time deliveries go.

These small parts usually are ordered and shipped in reasonable quantities and are generally shipped by UPS or FedEx.

My previous employer dealt with the aerospace industry and in large parts that were usually delivered by the customer’s truck and picked up by the customer’s truck. They hardly did small package shipping by UPS or FedEx. Plus, being the Plant Manager (ahem !), I never paid attention to the shipping process.

But here, I was the chief cook and bottle washer. Everything fell on my lap, including shipping procedures. Because if the customer complained, I had to answer, regardless of where the problem was.

The Crisis and the Change:

I contacted a local shipping supplies company and a salesman came in. I explained my requirements. Back then, the shipments weighed from 5 to 15 pounds. He recommended a 9 inch x 9 inch x 9 inch single walled corrugated box with a 32 pound Edge Crush Test rating and a 3 mil clear carton sealing tape.

And so I purchased what the salesman recommended from his company. We were a small but steady customer for them.

My established procedure for packing and shipping was to put some crushed cushioning paper, put the parts, top off with some crushed cushioning paper and seal the box vertically, horizontally and longitudinally for a firm seal, so the box cannot open left to right, front to back or top to bottom.

This procedure was in place for two years. And we were all unconcerned about anything to do with shipping.

And then the shoe dropped.

My customer in Ohio called and said ten pieces out of thirty were missing from the box. And that the box had broken on the edge. The photo showed a gaping hole where the box had formed a hole in an area where there was no tape.

I immediately rushed to the FedEx drop off location where I had dropped the box off and asked the clerk if he saw any parts that was lying on the floor or the truck. He replied in the negative. I was heartbroken. They needed all the thirty pieces and we had to rush through to remake ten pieces in a hurry and shipped by next day priority shipment.

We lost a bunch on that order.

I knew I had to change the shipping procedure immediately.

The New Procedure:

I decided to switch to boxes with a bursting test of 275 pounds and a gross weight capacity of 95 pounds. This over design is what I wanted. I decided to box size of 12 inches x 6 inches x 6 inches. This is item number S-4784 at Uline.

As far as tape is concerned, I decided on a two step process. I would put alternate longitudinal applications of Uline Industrial Reinforced Kraft Sealing Tape that is water activated, and 3M Tartan 8934 filament reinforced tape.

The first is your Brown Shipping Tape which has a Uline part number of S-6582 and the second is a polypropylene backed strapping tape reinforced with glass yarn filaments. strapping tape which has a Uline part number of S-3300. Also purchased a Brown Shipping Tape Dispenser wit heater, whose part number is H-669.

The new boxing and taping procedure seems to be working nicely. It has been over a decade now. No broken packages, no frayed tapes, no lost parts !

Sourcing Brown Shipping Tapes and Supplies:

I have mentioned Uline above and that’s a reputable source for all your shipping supplies. But there are other reliable sources also. Just a simple Google search brings in a ton of results. And of course, there’s always Amazon too.

One thing though when it comes to feedbacks, reviews and recommendations. Unless the exact application is being reviewed, it is very hard to take the review on it’s face value. For example, if you are shipping lightweight electronic components that weigh less than 2 pounds, you really don’t need to use these heavy duty brown shipping tapes.

And if you are shipping lightweight but extremely expensive aerospace combustion chamber components, you better put it in a wood box with steel strapping, even if the weight is only 40 or 50 pounds. Hence each application is unique and one cannot go only by the number of stars a particular tape has received.

It is my suggestion that you purchase one roll of a specific kind and one small bundle of boxes and try out to see if it will work out for your application. If it works, great; if not, change it up a bit and try something else. This trial and error approach is the sure fire way to settle down on a product combination. And of course, you can contact your customers and get their feedback to see if the packaging was received intact or if there were any problems.

Your Story:

So what is your story? Share your experience in shipping supplies through short two minute bite sized audio clips at

By sharing, some other person in shipping could benefit. And to top it off, you don’t have to sit and write for hours and neither does the audience need to sit in front of a laptop or stare at a mobile device putting their other activities on hold.

They listen on the go!

If you are a shipping supplies company, you can promote your products by putting in useful audio content and drive traffic to your site by putting your self promotional content.

Feel free to link to this blog post or to publish on your site as long as the links in this article are kept live.