We all know how important packaging is to protect products from damage when in warehouses and during transit. Businesses are investing a huge amount of money into packaging to ensure their products aren’t damaged when they reach their destination.
The global logistical packaging market might cross USD 40,205.9 million by 2032. Predictions are that the packaging sector will grow at a CAGR of 4.6% between 2022 and 2032. These numbers put the importance of logistical packaging in the supply chain into perspective.
So, let’s find out what logistical packaging actually is! This refers to the packaging of products in a way that prevents damage both when they are stacked up in a warehouse or shipped. It ensures the products reach their destination in their original condition. Moreover, it also ensures proper handling and distribution of products.
That’s just the gist of it! The importance of logistical packaging extends beyond everyday activities within the supply chain. Did you know it can enhance your products’ marketing and branding?
Let’s find out more about logistical packaging.
Types of Packaging
Most types of packaging can be classified into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Let’s explore them in detail.
Primary packaging is a type of covering that’s in direct contact with the products. It is also referred to as consumption or sales packaging. Depending on your business model, you can have multiple primary packaging solutions.
The main purpose of primary packaging is to protect the products and prevent damage to their ideal characteristics. In addition to offering protection to your products, it enables customers to recognise your brand items. Primary packaging is the first image your customers get of your products. Other functions of it include keeping the product in optimal condition, attracting new customers, and building brand loyalty.
Primary packaging is usually of less importance in terms of protecting your products, and other daily warehousing activities. Why so? It’s because it will be covered with secondary or tertiary packaging during shipment for guaranteed protection.
Secondary packaging groups together different types of primary packaging to form a single product. It is also referred to as group packaging. It makes storing, handling, and distribution of goods easier. Secondary packaging usually involves securing several units of a product together by bundling them. It mostly comes in the form of large shipping boxes.
Secondary packaging increases efficiency. It’s designed to contain or combine a specific number of units into a single unit. Depending on your business model, you may or may not want to have eye-catching secondary packaging. However, it should help with the identification of what’s inside it. Generally, a cardboard box or other similar materials are used for secondary packaging.
Tertiary packaging is the final and largest piece of packaging. It is to secondary packaging, just like what secondary packaging is to primary packaging. The most common forms of tertiary packaging are plastic pallets, wooden pallets, and shipping containers. It’s the outermost packaging layer, grouping together primary and secondary packaging. It enables products to be moved in a warehouse at scale.
With tertiary packaging comes a major challenge. It must occupy minimal space while also ensuring maximum protection of all goods. Moreover, if the tertiary packaging is too heavy, it becomes difficult to move around products even if machines are used in warehouses.
Functions of Packaging in Logistics
Listed below are the primary functions of packaging in logistics:
Needless to say, the most important function of packaging in logistics is protecting products. It can offer protection during different stages of the supply chain. Packaging protects your products when they are in a warehouse as well as during transit.
Packaging safeguards the goods against several external factors, including contamination, damage, temperature variation, and more. It ensures the final products are intact and in optimal condition when they reach their final destination. Packaging, if done right, can help you avoid additional costs that may arise from damages.
Another important function of packaging in logistics is that it helps your customers identify your products. Product identification is the initial point in the race to stand out from your competitors. Product packaging gives you a chance to display essential information about your items. This information can include your product’s price, key features, manufacturing details, etc. It makes identifying and tracking your items in the supply chain easier.
Packaging can help you contain and organise your products in a logical manner. It can also assist in preventing the mixing of products while storing or during transit. Packaging secures your goods, preventing damage during shipment. Eventually, you can ship your products to the end customers in their optimal condition. Logistical packaging is crucial for all businesses involved in the distribution and shipment of goods. It ensures not only the safety of your products but also the workforce responsible for handling these products.
Logistical packaging can make it easier or more challenging for you to handle and ship products. It will mostly depend on your packaging process, the types of packaging materials you use, and several other factors. Packaging solutions are designed to offer convenience when you store, handle, and ship products. Packaging facilitates optimal use of warehouse space. It can also increase transportation efficiency by simplifying the loading and unloading process.
Packaging improves product handling in several ways. It prevents damage from external factors, ensures the optimal use of warehouse space, and reduces the risk of handling damages. Packaging makes it easier to stack, store, and handle products.
It can help you process customer orders more efficiently, ensure quick and safe transportation of products, and reduce lead times for delivery.
Lastly, the better your product packaging, the more cost-efficiency you achieve. With logistical packaging, you can prevent damages, minimise storage space, and ensure optimal use of the warehouse area. Cost efficiency across different stages of the supply chain is possible with effective packaging. Reduced shipping costs are another benefit of logistical product packaging.
Packaging's Crucial Role in Supply Chain Management
Logistical product packaging is a crucial aspect of supply chain management that impacts several elements of a supply chain. Here are the key roles it plays in supply chain management:
Your product’s packaging conveys important information about the product to your customers. This information includes its content, barcodes, usage instructions, and other details. Why is this information important? It’s crucial because it can help you in tracking these products and inventory management. It also facilitates communication between different personnel in the supply chain.
Logistical packaging allows your products to stand out from among your competitors’ goods. When your items are packed in an appealing way, they can attract more customers. It communicates your brand’s identity to the consumers. That’s not all! A powerful packaging design can create a distinctive brand image, one that your customers recognise and remember. Eventually, it will influence your customers’ purchasing power. You can use brand-specific colours, logos, and other elements to enhance your packaging design.
If you are in the business of handling and selling perishable items, logistical packaging can help you extend the shelf life of these products. It can also help these goods maintain their freshness. Logistical packaging also protects products from dust, light, humidity, and exposure to other external factors. For example, you can use air-tight containers or vacuum-sealed bags to store food products to prevent them from spoiling.
Another important role of product packaging is how products are handled in a supply chain. If you want to find out how goods are grouped, bundled, and handled within a supply chain, product packaging can help you determine that as well. Standardised packaging is commonly used for products with similar attributes. It will help you easily manage inventory and efficiently ship those goods. If your products are well-packaged, it can help you reduce the time and effort you put into handling and loading/unloading the goods. Apparently, it leads to reduced costs.
The type of packaging (materials) you use will influence your transportation choice and how much you pay for it. If your product’s packaging is lightweight and space-efficient, it will reduce your shipping costs.
Maintaining the safety and security of your products is another important role logistical packaging plays in supply chain management. Advanced security features, including RFID tags and tamper-evident seals, can help prevent theft and tampering with your goods. Proper packaging is particularly important for products that have a high value and are more sensitive.
The importance of logistical packaging in today’s supply chain cannot be overstated. Packaging does not merely keep your products safe during transit; it’s an important aspect of supply chain management. Logistical packaging ensures cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Moreover, it enables you to reduce waste, prevent damage, and minimise shipment costs. Logistical packaging ensures your products reach the end customers on time, with their original condition intact.
In today’s time, packaging has evolved from its basic functions, offering more strategic advantages. Logistical packaging can provide you with opportunities for brand recognition, product identification, and enhancing customer experiences. Furthermore, more businesses are adopting eco-friendly packaging solutions, promoting sustainable practices. To thrive, businesses must recognise logistical packaging as an integral part of overall business strategy.
What are the logistical aspects of packaging activity?
Aspects of logistical packaging include sorting, filing, packaging material handling, document management, and printing of shipping labels. Logistical packaging can also include storage, transportation, distribution, and other activities influencing the time and cost of packaging.
What concerns are there about logistical packaging?
Major concerns about logistical packaging include adverse environmental impacts with over-packaging and excess materials, under-packaging leading to damages, lack of automation technologies, product protection, and rising packaging costs.
Is packaging a logistics activity?
Yes, packaging is a logistics activity connecting the production and distribution of products. It constitutes the entire packaging process and not just the materials used for packaging. It also includes tertiary activities, extending from operational functions to branding purposes.