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Happy Holidays from us at M&M Box Partitions here in the heart of Chi-town. For us, it’s a time to recap a year that saw its ups and downs and statistical loop-de-loops. We came into this year as a nation determined to aright itself out of a big economic slump; determined to compete better on the global market with other countries that have strong manufacturing and shipping industries. While no-one’s claiming it’s been an easy year for just about anybody in America, things have quietly been picking up steam this year, if not paying off just yet. Jobs across the nation are on the rise. Consumer confidence is back on track. Most interestingly (for us at least), manufacturing has led the comeback all year long. While other sectors of the economy wobble, America’s machinists and warehouse workers have been recovering in good form. You’ve probably seen some of the statistics out there – we won’t repeat them here for you.
But here’s a statistic that may actually surprise you: this December, if everyone in America were to purchase $64 worth of holiday gifts that have actually been “made in America,” that would create up to 200,000 new American jobs. Sure, a lot of them would be retail or shipping-related – jobs to handle to Christmas rush and the excess volume of gifts and packaging – and would therefore be temporary. But there would be other jobs in the mix that would end up becoming permanent.
American manufacturing ingenuity has led this country out of some of its most desperate and dire moments. Manufacturing came roaring back to turn the tide against both the Great Depression and the Axis Powers during World War Two. Before that time, manufacturing helped us claim victory in World War One, and did its part in turning around several great economic recessions in the 19th century. Let’s not forget either the key role that manufacturing played – particularly in the defense sector – in helping the nation stage a comeback from the downturn of the late 70s.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we’re a Chicago-born, all-American company. We come from a town whose factories, mills, furnaces, and stockyards were – and remain – a source of pride for our nation and the world. We’re doing fine here ourselves as a company. But we’re not talking just about ourselves right now. We think America could be reaching for more than it is right now – and that we as citizens, producers, and consumers have the ways and means of making it all happen. Here’s to buying American-made brands and products this Christmas season. It’s been a rough year for a lot of good people, but we still have a lot to be grateful for – as well as make better.
Chicago, the city we proudly hail from, has a long history of different immigrant cultures rubbing shoulders together in its crowded neighborhoods and avenues. And one of the richest traditions that Chicago has is its long-standing Italian community. Tens of thousands of Italian workers and their families have poured into Cook County in the past two centuries – indelibly marking the city with their churches, storefronts, and way of life. Part of that way of living has always been a fine appreciation for all things wine-grape. At M&M Box Partitions, we’d like to think we carry within ourselves a whiff of that Old Country tradition in our own partition-making for the wine industry.
Our wine partitioning skills and experience are as formidable as our city’s history. While wine-grape production has long since shifted predominantly out to California and the Pacific Northwest, we still provide some of the sturdiest partitioning available on the market for some of the most trusted names in the wine industry. Our corrugated partitions for wine bottles are as reliable and capable as our rapid turnaround and delivery time. We make it our sure business to get you your partitioning on-time, so you can deliver your vino to whichever part of the country is most in need. And being that the American wine industry is a perpetual bull market (accounting for $33B per year in California alone) both nationally and globally, we know there’s always someone waiting in the wings for a nice glass of Merlot or Cabernet.
So salute from us here at M&M Box Partitions. We promise you two things: never to let your wine break, and that goes double for your bank account! Order from us online or by phone today!
Recently, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it would suspend deliveries of electronic devices such as iPads, iPhones, laptops, Kindles, and Nooks, etc. to American soldiers serving overseas. There is, to be fair, a rationale behind this move: the lithium ion batteries that power devices such as these can be temperamental and flammable; and if not inspected and packaged skillfully beforehand, can suddenly burst into flames. Poor inspection and packaging services are, in fact, what led to the tragic crash of a UPS cargo plane in Dubai, U.A.E. in recent years. While the Post Office has gone to an extreme in cancelling its overseas bulk air shipments of lithium ion batteries, services like UPS and FedEx will (fortunately for our troops) persist in delivering these goods – albeit with new, stringent packaging guidelines.
In a series of new quality control regulations that are set to take effect on the first of this coming year, UPS has stipulated that all packaging and partitioning companies must adhere to new rules as far as packing lithium ion batteries for air shipment. If the batteries in a given shipment are over the 2.7Wh threshold, one must make sure that the number of partitions in a box doesn’t exceed 8 cells per box. Likewise, each individual partitioning cell must contain only one lithium battery. Finally, the overpack must be firm and resilient, and the material by which the box and partitioning are constructed should be comprised of material that is in-line with shipping electronics, such as ESD anti-static fiberboard. Without these contingencies in place, a package must be marked as “UPS Dangerous Goods”.
Given that M&M has been a long-time player in the shipment of electronic components both domestically and overseas, and given that the international global electronics market stands in the high multi-billions, we would be the last company on Earth to discourage those who make an honest living in shipping lithium ion batteries to cease and desist. On the contrary, we want to pass along the news of the coming safety regulations so that everybody profits – and no accidents come to pass.
Sometimes, when you’re eating out at a restaurant, you want to “ease into” your meal. There’s a whole enjoyment factor about eating at a place where your food isn’t rushed onto a plastic tray for immediate consumption. Before the main course, you’re invited (oftentimes expected) to tuck into an appetizer or two, and enjoy a drink or so.
Contrast this slow, easy-going attitude with the breakneck pace of the worldwide food packaging and delivery industry. Almost any kind of organic substance on Earth is subject to decay over a short period of time if not stored at the appropriate temperature or “cured” using the appropriate treatment. When you’re shipping out meat, poultry, fish, or other perishable products, you want to maintain a temperature that doesn’t rise above 40 degrees Fahrenheit – doing otherwise is to invite bacterial microbes to start chowing down on your foodstuffs before they ever reach a consumer market. Likewise, you want to deliver packaged food as absolutely quickly as possible. The longer the time your foodstuffs are in transit, the greater room for human error or the vicissitudes of temperature. Three or four hours in an overheated truck trailer can mean the difference between fresh and spoiled.
Finally, it’s imperative that you choose the right kind of delivery packaging and partitioning to insure safe quality of food delivery. Not only should a cold source be packed internally within the package, but the package should ideally be comprised of heavy corrugated cardboard. Heavy corrugated cardboard is not only cost-effective, but it’s been well-proven to keep the outside from intruding on the contents of a given package. Being that we’re from Chicago (a town well-known if ever there was for its meat processing industry), and being that we specialize in all things corrugated and packaging, we at M & M know you can rely on our high-quality partitioning to make sure your processed food arrives swiftly to either market or to table. Only then can you start taking it easy!
This summer, the American automotive industry experienced one of the best sales periods in its entire history. As of August, 14.3 million American cars, light trucks, SUVs, jeeps, vans, and hummers have been sold right here in the continental United States. In a downbeat economy like ours is right now, news like that has got a lot of people hopeful about what’s coming round the bend in terms of national recovery. We here at M & M Box Partitions have definitely noticed an uptick in the number of automotive components we’ve been asked to provide partitioning for. So it seems like our personal experience bears out what’s been going on in terms of the bigger, nationwide picture.
While we’re proud of the fact that automotive plants are booming (at least in comparison with many other sectors of the American economy), we’re here today more to talk more about how best to ship the smaller car components we traditionally provide partitioning for here at M & M. First of all, while there are a number of different box materials you can use, we always recommend corrugated: it’s light, flexible, and sturdy – perfect for the job. Secondly, we recommend providing cushioning in between the partitions, since certain auto parts are fairly susceptible to damage or breakage while in transit. We’re aiming for a certain level of stretch and flexibility for the components (in other words nothing that will put too much pressure on the parts), but that being said, the main thing to insure is that there isn’t any wiggle room for car parts to “bang around” during shipping. Finally, be sure to pad any sharp edges on the components. The last thing you want is a car part in one partition cell breaking down the barrier and rolling into the next one. That can cause a chain effect, such that when you open your corrugated box, you discover all the various parts are scattered all around.
Just a bit of advice from the folks at M & M! If you’re looking to ship automotive components and you need the right kind of partitioning for them, we’re the experts you were looking for. Go ahead and call or email us today!
Ceramics and pottery are fragile materials to begin with. How many times has your business ordered a bulk-order shipment of ceramics that – despite all the best packaging efforts and intentions – still contained a few cases of “broken crockery?” While a few bad apples in one shipment don’t mean especially much (at least usually), the costs mount up if you’re running a long-term ceramics shipment program. There may even be the necessity of sending away of these ceramics for repairs and refurbishment… this usually calls for even more precautionary packaging and box partitioning to ensure that the already broken pieces don’t arrive even more “defected”.
Of course, one can go the low-budget route of simply adding bits and pieces of newspaper and discarded bubble-wrap to help protect one’s items, but this is hardly feasible when it comes to more high-end ceramics. One of the best solutions for shipping broken high-end ceramics is by using specially customized partitioning inside your delivery boxes. Not only does the highly precise nature of each individual partitioning square allow for very little “wiggle room” for ceramics to break, but the material with which the partitioning gets made can be engineered to be especially accommodating and impact-resistant. M & M provides just these kinds of materials and packaging services. With the right customized level of quality at your beck and call, you’ll soon see that – just like spilled milk – there’s little use fretting over broken ceramics. Sit back for once and let the partitioning experts help on the job!