Packing Peanuts-a waste

Why do people use packing peanuts when packing a heavy item such as an amp or speakers? Many of the MBE packing places rely heavily on this things. If you think of it, what good will they do when a 50 lb amp shifts. All they will do is crush and flatten.
Derrick, the key to packing anything is to double box and make sure that the inner box CAN'T shift within the outer box. If packed tightly enough ( literally CRAMMED full ), there is enough pressure that is evenly distributed on all sides, keeping the inner box centered. I would agree with your basic statement that most people do not pack well enough to begin with though.

Did you have another shipping problem ??? Sean
and do RECYCLE those peanuts. Any shipping place is happy to take them.
I've got a shipping problem in that I've got a pair of Dynaudio Audience 72's to sell and some of the molded styrofoam corner and edge pieces have split apart. Does anyone have any advise with respect to replacing these crucial spaceholders for shipping? The speakers are heavy, so peanuts likely wouldn't work. Anyone know where to get dense foam pieces where blocks can be pulled out to create the proper spacer shapes?
Go to any building supply store. Sheets of home insulating foam are sold($7 to $10) in 4x8 sheets in 1/2 or 3/4 inch thickness, With a box cutter or good sharp knife, you can cut, fit, tape and glue(I use the spray type of glue, better contact and dries quicker) this foam to virtually any configuration you need. I do a lot of shippin, and I have had no problems since I started cutting this stuff to fit my needs.
Hey Sean,

just another close call...luckily the shipper further packed it after getting it back from MBE....the MBE job would have had me calling FEDEX again.
Dude is shipping me some stuff in carpet backing foam.Guy runs one of these "we auction everything" places and lot's of time the kitchen sink will not come to him withb a box.He swears by it's "protective powers"
Packing peanuts are good for packing with certain types of
items and/or as a low weight filler. However, as Sean has
already pointed out, heavy items such as amps should ALWAYS
the double boxed. The ideal is having the inner box packed
with foam that tightly fits the amp or electronic unit and
the box it is packed in. Then the outer box is tightly
packed with peanuts and or bubble wrap. Packed that way,
the inner box will not move around much at all.
And by the way - anyplace that packs a heavy item such
as an amp by merely packing it up in a single box with
peanuts doesn't know a thing about packaging.
Here is my method: 1)Purchase a new box that is about 4 inches larger in all dimensions than the original. 2)Purchase from Home Depot, one package of 16" X 48" sheets of insulating styrofoam. Cut these sheets to size, in order to line the inside of the new box on all sides. 3)After you line the box, pour about 3 inches of peanuts on the bottom, and then place the original box inside. Pour more peanuts in, pushing them down the sides, and finally topping off. 4)Put your styrofoam "lid" on, and then seal the box.

It takes some time to do this; but to me, avoiding the hassle that would be involved with a damaged package is worth it.
Instead of peanuts I have used popcorn with good success.
cheers, Steve