You may have noticed something different on shipping cartons lately. More and more companies are using tamper-evident security packing tape to seal boxes and prevent unauthorised opening.

What is tamper-evident tape exactly? What benefits can you expect? At what point does it actually cost more to use regular tape?

We answer all these questions and tell you why you can no longer delay the decision to use tamper-evident security tape to secure cargo crates, pallets, cartons and boxes.

What is tamper-evident security packing tape?

Unlike common packing tape, tamper-evident security packing tape cannot be removed or reapplied without leaving evidence, such as a ‘void’ or ‘opened’ message.

But beware that not every tape with a void message is necessarily tamper-proof. A truly tamper-evident tape will always show evidence that the package has been tampered with.

Who uses tamper-evident security packing tape?

Tamper-evident security packing tapes have been used for years in the pharmaceutical industry and to protect packages containing valuable items such as electronics or jewellery.

However, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing numbers of manufacturers, retailers, food delivery services and wholesalers have been relying on tamper-evident security tape to protect their shipments within the supply chain.

Some businesses prefer a personalised message or logo instead of the standard ‘void’ pattern. Anything that cannot be easily copied provides an extra layer of protection.

There are numerous advantages to using tamper-evident packaging in general and tamper-evident security packing tape in particular. Here are some of the distinct advantages of replacing regular tape with tamper-evident security packing tape.

Top benefits of using tamper-evident security tape

1. It prevents criminal activity

Tamper-evident security packing tape provides a very cost-effective way to prevent theft. For instance, within a warehouse environment, it is much cheaper than installing and monitoring security cameras.

It acts as a powerful visual deterrent. Criminals can’t just open a box and reseal it with regular tape. The box would immediately show a void message indicating it’s been tampered with.

2. It maintains a chain of custody

With the unprecedented growth of e-commerce around the world, multiple people throughout the supply chain are handling packages before they reach their final destination.

This makes it hard to know who opened what and when. Tamper-evident security packing tape helps you prevent unauthorised access as products move through the transit journey.

You’ll know specifically whether a package was tampered with in the warehouse or during transit.

3. It protects the brand

Studies have shown that counterfeiting is on the rise. Footwear, clothing and leather articles, as well as electronics and equipment, are particularly at risk.

Counterfeited products are of lower quality, which tarnishes the brand’s reputation. In some cases, they can even pose a significant threat to consumers’ safety and health.

In a world where bad news spreads like wildfire on social media, it only takes one tweet to go viral for a company to face a public relations nightmare.

Tamper-evident tape is such a small investment to protect your brand and reduce the risk of counterfeiting, fraud and theft.

4. It enhances the customer experience

Customer experience is another essential aspect of the brand. When your consumers receive damaged products or don’t receive the complete shipment, they contact your customer service department.

And chances are you’ll never see them again after that.

A study by PwC showed that there is nothing like a bad customer experience to lose customers. About one in three customers will stop doing business with a brand they love after just one bad experience. In Latin America, that proportion is even higher, with half of all customers saying they would abandon a brand after one bad experience.

Tamper-evident tape is such a small investment to protect your brand’s image.

5. It reduces costs

Even when consumers stay loyal to your brand in spite of a bad experience, it costs your business quite a bit of money.

The more claims, the more customer service agents you need to pay, not to mention replacing the missing items and paying shipping fees for the replaced items.

Look at your numbers. What is the true cost of customer returns compared to the cost of securing packages with tamper-evident security packing tape?

Similarly, the cost of inventory shrinkage can be staggering. This accounts for the cost of all goods lost because of theft, damage, administrative errors or other forms of fraud.

In some industries, such as retail, shrink represents about 1.62% of profits. That may not seem like much, but according to a recent National Retail Federation (NRF) study, the total cost to the industry was $61.7bn in 2019, up from $50.6bn in 2018.

It’s a simple cost-benefit analysis. It all depends on the cost of the tape and your company’s shrink percentage. Chances are that a reasonably priced tamper-evident security packing tape would save you a small fortune in lost merchandise costs and client goodwill.

6. It keeps packages safe

With the pandemic, lots of people are questioning whether it’s safe to eat in restaurants. But is it really safer to have food delivered to your place?

Sadly, the customer is not the only victim here, as the restaurant or food delivery service suffers too. When a video like that goes viral, it hurts a business reputation terribly.

This is no small risk, considering that one in four delivery drivers admit to stealing a bite of food from their customer’s order.

Although the survey was conducted before the pandemic hit, it still begs the question: how can you assure your customers that their food hasn’t been touched after being placed in the container?

It makes sense to be proactive rather than reactive and to use tamper-evident security packing tape or tamper-evident labels.

7. It avoids costly product recalls

The fact that tamper-evident and tamper-resistant packaging have long been used in the pharmaceutical industry is no coincidence. The Tylenol story is a painful reminder of what can go wrong when your products are tampered with.

In 1982, Johnson and Johnson had to recall 31 million bottles when someone mixed cyanide with capsules of Tylenol, causing the death of seven people. The cost of the recall? The equivalent of $267 million today.

Of course, this is an extreme example. You may not want to rethink your whole packaging strategy because of a black swan event.

The point is that with a clear chain of custody, you would not need to recall all products if there’s a problem, just specific shipments.

8. It provides quality assurance to consumers

These days, packages pass through many hands before they reach the consumer.

Using tamper-evident tape allows you to detect if a package has been opened either accidentally or intentionally.

Contrary to popular belief, tamper-evident packaging may actually be safer than tamper-resistant packaging. Why? Simply because tamper-resistant packaging doesn’t necessarily show visible evidence of tampering.

A seal on a pill bottle may be resealed without leaving any trace, whereas a tamper-evident seal or tape would show proof that the product had been tampered with.

9. It protects against liability claims

While it’s difficult to protect a business against product liability claims of any kind, tamper-evident tape can significantly reduce the risk of costly lawsuits.

At the very least, it shows that you’re a concerned and caring company that takes packaging security seriously.

This is particularly important if you manufacture or transport food and beverages, pharmaceutical products, dietary supplements or medical devices, because these industries often have to follow standards imposed by law.

10. It differentiates your company

In many ways, tamper-evident packaging allows you to prevent problems and mitigate risks. But it is also a great way to make your business stand out from the rest.

The coronavirus outbreak is changing certain consumer behaviours. People now prefer to shop online and they’re more concerned about their safety.

In this context, given the choice between a product packed and sealed with tamper-evident security packing tape and a package held together with regular tape, consumers will prefer the one that guarantees their safety.

The question then becomes: do you want to be a market leader or a market follower? Once reserved to the pharmaceutical industry, tamper-evident tape is increasingly being used to seal packages containing any type of products, from running shoes to toys.

Besides, it can be applied to almost any surface: cardboard, plastic, metal, glass or wood. This makes it the ideal solution to seal cargo crates, pallets, cartons and boxes.

Final thoughts

Now that you know how tamper-evident security packing tape can benefit your business, you should look into a few things that are specific to your situation.

As mentioned earlier, do your own maths. Look at the cost of customer returns, the top reasons for contacting customer service etc.

Find out what your competitors are doing. Are they already using this kind of tape? Do you have an opportunity to be the first on the market or are you already behind the curve?

Last but not least, request a quote.

We also offer free samples. Once you receive them, we’re confident you’ll see that the cost-benefit analysis will prove that there is no reason to delay the decision.