Custom Packing Tape Production & Shipping Lead Times FAQs

From appliances and furniture to cars and lumber, nearly every supply chain sector has felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The upheaval has especially rocked the manufacturing and shipping industries, triggering unprecedented supply shortages and delivery delays that have left buyers and suppliers at a loss for words.

Over the last year and a half, we have seen and felt the supply fluctuations featured in headlines across the globe. We used to produce and ship orders within 3 weeks before the pandemic struck, but now it takes longer. While our production capabilities are currently up and running smoothly and consistently, our lead times are being affected by supply chain disruptions. However, we’re optimistic that a dash of preparation and a sprinkle of patience will bring cooler and calmer waters in the months ahead. Until then, let’s navigate this momentary storm together.

In this article, we’ll break down what to expect when ordering custom packing tape in today’s ever-changing landscape, answering your most frequently asked questions to help you stay informed.

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What are the current lead times?

Currently, standard grade polypropylene and PVC custom printed packing tapes take approximately 4 weeks, and paper tape takes about 4 to 4 ½ weeks. The higher grade tapes, such as the 2.5 mil and 2.9 mil polypropylene are a bit longer.  However, these lead times are merely estimates and can change at any time. Because the situation is fluid, it’s best to contact us for the most updated turnaround estimates for your order.

When should I order packing tape for the Fall/Winter 2021 season?


If you’re planning to order custom packing tape for the upcoming fall and winter season, it’s best to plan ahead because we expect longer lead times than in past years. We recommend placing your order as early as September 2021 to reduce the chances of delivery delays, giving you a competitive advantage.

Browse our products and use our easy-to-order online system or reach out to our sales and design team for personalized product selection advice.

What is causing the delays?

Last year, COVID-19 safety precautions and physical distancing protocols used to be the primary cause of shipping delays, but that has changed. Now, material shortages and lags are to blame, adding to the time it takes for us to print and ship your custom packing tape.  Our production capabilities are operating smoothly so once we receive in our supplies we can quickly print and ship out orders.

Shipping Product
Shipping Product

How long will the supply issues last?

Estimating how long the production and shipping delays will last is a little like telling the future using a crystal ball – no one can be 100% sure. However, indicators give us optimism that it’s possible to get back to usual lead times by the end of 2021. We hope to see some relief mid-to-late 4th quarter, allowing our lead times to move back to the traditional 3 weeks for all products. We will continue to monitor the situation and update these estimates as necessary.

What can I do to ensure I get my order on time?

While there are no guarantees, these helpful hints can boost the odds of receiving your order on time:

Order Early
  • Order early

    The number one piece of advice we can offer is: place your order early. For instance, if you usually order in October or November for the winter season, place your order in September instead. While we will do our best to accommodate your deadlines, ordering early is the best way to prevent headaches downstream.

  • Increase your order quantity

    Ordering at least a 6-month supply of custom packing tape can help ensure you don’t run out when supplies are short. Increasing your order quantity comes with a financial bonus, too – you’ll pay less per roll when you advance to a higher quantity bracket.

    Concerned about how long your tape will last? Follow the storage guidelines in this article to extend the life of our tape for up to two years.

  • Consider different colors

    If your favorite tape is out of stock for the foreseeable future, consider switching to another color that may have a shorter lead time. With many of our tapes available in several color options, the chances are good that you’ll find an excellent substitute. No matter which color you choose, we’ll ensure you have a great looking custom tape.

Why should I work with Phoenix Tape?

When you choose us, you have the benefit of our vast experience and strong supplier partnerships. We are working tirelessly with our raw material suppliers to increase product flow. To demonstrate the value of our customer commitments, we also provide excellent communication and a relationship-centered level of service that you’re hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Through thick and thin, we’ll be here for you.


As we all learn the value of patience and kindness in these testing times, we hope that you’ll consider partnering with our expert team. We’re on top of this ever-changing situation and look forward to the opportunity to show you why we’ve been a customer favorite for custom printed packing tape since 1985. Contact us to learn more.

Phoenix Tape and Supply
Phoenix Tape and Supply

What Kind of Packaging Tape is Best for Shipping?

Packaging tape is a fundamental component in the shipping industry. Using the right packaging tape for shipping is crucial to preventing damage, loss, and pilferage of goods. When choosing the perfect shipping tape, some primary aspects that you should consider include the tape’s grade, quality, material, application substrate, and environmental considerations. Other key factors you should take into account are elongation percent at break, tensile strength, thickness, and adhesion. Tape is available in a wide variety of materials and can be applied manually or using a machine.

Packing Tape on Shipped Box

Factors to Consider When Choosing Packaging Tape

1. Grade

The grade of packaging tape refers to the thickness and strength of the adhesive material. When choosing the right tape, you should factor in the weight of the contents, package size, and the kind of shipping environment where it will be used. Lower-grade packaging tape is thinner and has weak tackiness, and should only be used for lightweight packages. High-grade packaging tape has a strong adhesive to provide maximum tensile strength and holding power that’s perfect for heavy-duty sealing. 

2. Tape Quality

The quality of packaging tape is critical to the safety of the goods being shipped. Excellent tape has good tensile strength and elongation percent at break. Quality tape is less likely to tear or break hence ensuring the safety of goods being shipped. Poor quality tape can cause serious and costly shipping setbacks. Always ensure that the tape you use maintains good adhesion, is easy to unwind, and delivers the right strength and durability during the shipping process.

3. Packaging Material or Substrate

This refers to the adhesion surface where the tape is applied. The material of the package you are sealing determines the kind of packaging tape you should use. For instance, the carton you are shipping in may be corrugated, waxed, or recycled. If it’s waxed or has a high content of recycled material, a polypropylene tape with acrylic adhesive is most suitable. On the other hand, polypropylene tape with hot melt adhesive is best suited for corrugated boxes. Remember, you can also design your unique custom packaging tape that’s tailored to your packaging needs.

4. Application Method

The mode of application determines the kind of tape you require and is also an important factor to consider when ordering custom tape. Will it be applied using an automatic case sealer, hand-held dispenser, or by hand? Manually applied tapes are easy to unwind and have great tack when applied to a surface. Tapes applied using an automated mechanism adhere to surfaces instantly. It’s important to note that polypropylene tape can be applied either by use of a hand-held dispenser or a machine, while PVC is only applied by a hand-held dispenser. Water-activated paper tape requires a paper tape dispenser.

What’s the best packaging tape for your specific needs? Tapes are designed for different purposes. As you decide on the best tape for your shipping requirements, remember it may need to stay in place for days or even months, withstand heat, humidity, and other extreme weather conditions. Long-term storage, rough handling, and impact are other aspects it may need hold up to.

Phoenix Tape and Supply is dedicated to supplying you with the best quality tape for your unique needs. We understand that choosing the wrong tape can result to a costly packaging disaster. This guide will help you make the right decision to avert a host packaging problems. Give us a call today for the best tape for your packaging needs. 

Custom Packing Tape

Packing Tape or Duct Tape: Each wins the gold in their own applications.

Packing tape and duct tape share some similarities, as well as differences that have an impact on your usage. When you are preparing packages for moving or shipping, you want to make sure you’ve made the right choice. Seeing everything arrive at its location safely is a benefit that everyone will enjoy.

Here are the considerations you need to keep in mind when buying tape:

Packing Tape’s Differences from Duct Tape in Packing

Packing tape is very different from other types, including duct tape. The type of tape used for packing serves a vastly different function from other types. This tape is pressure-sensitive, designed to hold boxes firmly closed and prevent the items inside from loss or damage.  Most often polypropylene tape is used for sealing cardboard boxes as well as PVC tape.

Duct tape, on the other hand, is more suited to offering a temporary repair than keeping a box sealed. This type of tape tears very easily in comparison to its counterpart used in packaging. Using duct tape to close a box is likely to result in the box opening up during transit.

Custom Packing Tape – Phoenix Tape

The Differences in Applying These Tapes

One of the advantages of using tape designed for packing is that it is easily dispensed with a tape gun. When you opt to use hand-held dispenser, your tape dispenses smoothly. It’s also very easy to get this tape started with minimal hassle or time spent looking for the start of the roll.

Duct tape, on the other hand, is only intended to be pulled directly from the roll. When applying this tape type, everything does not always go smoothly. Duct tape has a tendency to wad and bunch up, making it different from tape used for packing. 

Different Thicknesses for Different Needs

When using packing tape, you are likely to require it for boxes of varying sizes and weights. One of the advantages that packing tape offers is its availability in different thicknesses. For example, polypropylene tape comes in 1.9 mil, 2.5 mil and 2.9 mil so you can choose the best option for your packages. PVC tape comes in 2.2 mil and 3.2 mil.  By using the strongest tape best suited for your shipping needs you won’t have to worry about packages coming apart in transit.

Duct tape, on the other hand, is usually in one thickness that may or may not meet your needs. Although usually sturdy, this tape can tear when used on overpacked boxes. Wrapping a box or package with extra duct tape may make the container more difficult to open.

A Variety of Widths and Lengths for Different Needs

Packing tape can come in different widths and lengths that are suitable for boxes and containers of different sizes. Everything in the boxes or containers will stay more secure with tape that fits the shape more accurately. You will reduce the chance of damage much more easily.  Packing tape is most often available in 2 and 3 inch widths.  The wider the tape, the more adhesion holds the box together.

Duct tape usually comes in a uniform width, although the length may vary. However, this type of tape may be somewhat more difficult to fit to some boxes in unusual sizes or shapes. You may find the security of your items at risk with badly-fitting tape. 
Duct Tape

A Better Overall Fit for All Seasons

When using tape for packing, you can feel confident that the adhesive will hold up to a range of temperature extremes, including some heat and cold. The adhesive needs to stay firmly anchored, regardless. The temperature range of packing tape covers a wider variety of temperatures than other tapes.

Duct tape has a weaker adhesive in comparison. You may find duct take losing some of its adhesion during times of hot or cold weather.

When you’re getting ready to ship packages, the right tape makes a difference. Phoenix Tape offers the tape that you want for all your packing needs and can help answer all of your questions.

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