tablet in retention packaging

What is Suspension & Retention Packaging?

In the dynamic world of packaging, two innovative protective packaging solutions stand out for their unique ability to protect products during shipping and handling: suspension and retention packaging. These methods are not just about encasing items; they are about delivering them in pristine condition, enhancing customer experience, and supporting sustainability. Let us dive into the basics of suspension and retention packaging to understand how they differ and their respective benefits. 

Suspension Packaging

Suspension packaging is a technique where the product is suspended in the air within a packaging container, typically using elastic film. The film stretches around the product, holding it firmly in the center of the package. This method is ideal for fragile items, as it provides a cushion against shocks and vibrations during transit. 

tablet in suspension packaging
Suspension Packaging with a tablet

Key Features

  • Elastic Film: The product is held securely by strong, flexible films. 
  • Shock Absorption: Offers excellent protection against impacts and drops. 
  • Visibility: Allows the product to be visible from outside the packaging. 
headlamp in suspension packaging

Benefits

  • Enhanced Product Protection: Reduces damage by minimizing movement and absorbing shocks. 
  • Versatility: Suitable for a wide range of products, from electronics to delicate glassware. 
  • Eco-Friendly Options: Many suspension packaging materials are recyclable or biodegradable. 
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Provides a premium unboxing experience with clear visibility of the product. 

Retention Packaging

Retention packaging, on the other hand, secures the product onto a backing material, such as cardboard or foam board. The product is typically held in place by a flexible film that conforms to its shape. This method is excellent for flat or slim items and offers both protection and a neat presentation. 

tablet in retention packaging
Retention Packaging with a tablet

Key Features

  • Backing Material: Utilizes cardboard or foam to provide a base for the product. 
  • Flexible Film: Holds the product securely against the backing material. 
  • Customizable Presentation: Can be designed for an attractive display of the product. 
plate in retention packaging

Benefits

  • Secure Hold: Keeps the product firmly in place, reducing movement-related damage. 
  • Cost-Effective: Often less expensive than other packaging methods. 
  • Sustainable Options: Many retention materials are made from recycled content. 
  • Retail Friendly: Ideal for displaying products in a retail setting. 

Suspension vs. Retention: Choosing the Right One

The choice between suspension and retention packaging often depends on the product’s nature and your brand’s packaging goals. Suspension packaging is generally better for heavier, more fragile items, while retention packaging is more suited for lighter, flat products.

wine bottle in retention packaging
Example of using retention packaging with a bottle of wine

Suspension vs. Retention: Choosing the Right One

The choice between suspension and retention packaging often depends on the product’s nature and your brand’s packaging goals. Suspension packaging is generally better for heavier, more fragile items, while retention packaging is more suited for lighter, flat products.

wine bottle in retention packaging
Example of using retention packaging with a bottle of wine

Conclusion

Both suspension and retention packaging offer customizable and unique benefits and can significantly enhance the customer experience. By understanding their differences and applications, you and your business can make informed decisions on the best packaging solutions for their products. As packaging technology evolves, keeping up-to-date of these innovations is key to staying competitive and meeting consumer expectations.

Enhance Your Product Safety Now!

Our expert team is ready to guide you to the most effective protective packaging options for your product needs. With over 75 years of expertise, Packline is your go-to partner for innovative packaging solutions.