The packaging process is an important part of the shipping and freight industry. Without the right packaging, items will not have the right protection and support during transportation and delivery. This can lead to damaged goods, wasted materials, and unhappy customers.
By optimizing how you package your products, you can see tremendous efficiency and cost benefits to your business and supply chain. How does packaging optimization improve your supply chain? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Packaging Optimization?
Packaging optimization makes the packaging process more economical and efficient to the supply chain. Product retailers seek package optimization to help them pick the right kind, size, and quantities of packing material in order to achieve cost savings throughout the supply chain. This is one of the most critical factors for brand perception and image. Companies like Apple, Starbucks, and Cadbury’s are all considered premium brands for the care they put into product packaging.
Over the last few years, e-commerce has become a staple for many businesses. This is especially true in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where you must have an online presence to be successful and to sell products to your customers. The primary purpose of packaging in the e-commerce industry is to protect the product from the point that it leaves your warehouse to its delivery point at the customer’s doorstep. Packaging not only protects the product but can also help in creating a great first impression with the customer.
Reports say that businesses have seen a 30% increase in consumer interest when they pay close attention to how they package their products.
Benefits of Packaging Optimization in the Supply Chain
One of the most obvious and immediate benefits of packaging optimization is that you can get amplified cost savings. These amplified cost savings are possible because even a small reduction in package sizes can lead to tremendous savings throughout the supply chain. Not only are you saving on material costs, you are also saving on weight for transportation.
It only takes a quarter of an inch reduction in the primary packaging to translate into savings along the supply chain. This reduction means more boxes can be bundled into one shipment instead of needing several truckloads. When you can accommodate more boxes in secondary packaging, this leads to fewer trucks, less transit miles, less fuel use, less packaging materials, and more.
Reduction in Damages
Package optimization helps retailers choose the right packing materials to protect the products they ship to customers. This leads to a reduction in damages because fragile items placed in the wrong type of packaging can be damaged during transit. Even a single damaged SKU can lead to extra costs including replacement, additional logistics support, packaging waste, and administration.
Depending on the types of products you distribute, you may be able to use the same size box for all your products. This will reduce complexity of your packaging process. However, if you have a variety of products, this won’t be an option for you. Trying to use the same sized boxes for your different products will lead to wasted space and reduced efficiency in your delivery process. It is important to find a balance between the complexity of your products and the efficiency of your packaging solutions.
By reducing the number, size, and shape of shipping containers, you can achieve substantial savings in your supply chain.
Minimal Carbon Footprint
Materials like plastic, Styrofoam, and even cardboard are proven to be harmful to the environment as they produce a lot of waste and take years to break down. In fact, one of the biggest causes of environmental degradation is the waste of plastic that is used in packaging. Unfortunately, materials like plastic are the most flexible, durable, and reliable options and they meet the needs of quality primary and secondary packaging.
Although it is unlikely that we will ever eliminate plastic use around the world, it is possible to reduce how often you use it with your product packaging. You can reduce the size of the packaging, limit the use of non-biodegradable substances, and opt for more eco-friendly products when you redesign your product packaging. Not only will these changes minimize your carbon footprint and help the environment, but you will also win points with your customers, especially those who are environmentally conscious.
By proactively thinking about how your packaging can support your product design, you can save thousands of dollars every year. Swedish furniture retailer IKEA saves approximately $1.36 million every year by rethinking product designs from a delivery perspective. By separating their furniture products into several components, they can reduce packaging size by up to 50%. Customers will then assemble the components to full-sized products in their living spaces, which makes the shopping, delivery, and assembling process a win-win solution for both parties.
Let Lean Supply Solutions Help You with Packaging Optimization
If you are looking for the right team to help you optimize your packaging, look no further than Lean Supply Solutions. We have decades of experience in all aspects of the supply chain, from our manufacturing connections, to our courier services. With our software and lean methodology, we efficiently manage inventory, warehousing, and distribution processes, so that you can get the most from our third-party logistics services. We ensure that your customers get their products at the right time, and offer you consistent, accurate, and quality results.
Our services include contract logistics, manufacturing support, consulting and project management, product and order fulfillment, warehouse and distribution, e-commerce fulfillment, pick and pack, and more. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you improve your packaging process!