Have you ever received one of those large boxes only to find it contains a small product buried under mountains of void fill and air pillows? Or the famous vacuum packaging that is bullet proof and cannot be opened even with the sharpest of tool?
Sourced through Scoop.it from: blog.cushwake.com
Have you ever received one of those large boxes only to find it contains a small product buried under mountains of void fill and air pillows?
Or the famous vacuum packaging that is bullet proof and cannot be opened even with the sharpest of tool? You know what I mean the kind of packaging that surround razors and batteries.
It is frustrating battling through this just to get to your prize!
More alarming is the finding by the University of Southern India that over 33% of landfills are made of this plastic packaging waste.
The environmental impact is huge and raises questions like how can we improve efficiency in the supply chain by reducing or replacing these kinds of plastic packaging.
E-Commerce vs In Store Packaging Habits
You would probably think that companies with both presences would use the same packaging process in store and online right?
Well no, they do not. Here is why
Packaging in the store is serving a different purpose to that used for e-commerce purchases.
Packaging in store focuses largely on the brand itself. Color, Size, Presentation etc.
It markets the brand outside of the store itself. Protective Packaging is often a secondary consideration as only minimal protection will be required.
E-commerce shoppers view product images and specifications online and often long before they see the physical product.
Its also important to consider that E-commerce orders are likely to be returned and so require a smooth process with environmentally friendly packaging.
As well as these considerations retailers must also consider the package being dropped or damaged in transit. In fact Anama package and container testing services estimate this occurs 17 times to a package during its journey through the supply chain.
Retailers can potentially counteract this problem with the use of Shockwatch Stickers and Tip N Tell indicator labels but even then the packages are still vulnerable as packages will often travel through many different sites and locations to get to their final destination.
The big takeaway here is that online packaging should not concentrate on look and appearance, rather protection and it’s ability to withstand shock and vibrations.
Improvements in Packaging Efficiency
Packaging Companies are always looking for ways to further improve their packaged products. With a view to improve sustainability and improve supply chain efficiency.
Ideal solutions usually are the ‘correct size’ for the total supply chain meaning they provide adequate protection whilst not over packaging the goods and taking up un-necessary space.
What Improvements Can Be Made?
Some retailers have recently signed up to the Multis service. This is a way to tempt buyers with incentive vouchers and store credits.
Here buyers must combine multiple items and purchases into single orders and thus single shipments. It’s difficult though as it obviously adds sizable extra costs to inventory management as well exposing retailers to additional ”picking & packing’ errors.
Other companies are looking at reusable packaging options that don’t finish up in the recycling bin!
So in theory the customer keeps the packaging and reuses it.
The problem here is that retailers with huge product lines and SKU codes are finding it difficult to use a ‘one size fits all’ packaging solution.
Some of the more creative solutions look to leave empty bulk packaging for couriers to collect in order to create a kind of reusable packaging fly wheel. This though is a logistical challenge with pick ups being expensive and requiring the active participation of the consumer,
What Efficiencies Can Be Made?
It is essential to optimize transport costs. Delivery to a customer is what gets all the attention but the trailers that deliver to distribution centers are essential too.
Here inbound efficiency management is required. Companies do not want to be paying for empty space on pallets or in cases. Correctly designed packaging with products like metal foil laminate and export cases can make all the difference before a product gets anywhere near a customer.
As well as weight considerations its also packaging dimensions that are important. By removing waste packaging and saving space the expense per item reduces.
We are also witnessing a move to rectangular packaging in order to further save space.