Beyond Aesthetics: Packaging Optimisation for Real-world Success

Packaging Optimisation

Packaging plays a very important role in the manufacturing and eCommerce industries. Optimised packaging saves costs, and limits packaging materials wastage. However, the primary focus remains limited to aesthetic design, since stylishly packaged products sell faster than ‘un-aesthetically’ packaged products. As a result, packaging optimisation has often been neglected.

Apart from optimisation, the use of non-degradable packaging materials is a grave concern. Consumers who value sustainability are demanding industry stakeholders switch to biodegradable packaging materials. The market for green packaging is anticipated to grow rapidly, from  USD 271.9 billion in 2023 to USD 393.4 billion in 2028

Thus, packaging optimisation will have to be done mindfully. It will also help save money, and time. So, be sustainable and offer customers and clients a fantastic unpacking experience! 

In this article, we focus on strategies for better packaging optimization and sustainable innovation. 

What is Packaging Optimisation? 

Packaging optimisation is a process that can help businesses reduce packing costs and risks of damage. It also addresses sustainable packaging practices, over aesthetics. This is a deep-rooted shift in strategy among stakeholders.  

But optimising packaging can be understood better only when it is considered as part of the supply chain. Thus, it should be all about using the correct materials to ensure packages are shipped easily to customers. The various supply chain needs of packaging include: 

At each aspect of the packaging process, the overall experience for customers and business becomes most important. 

Benefits of Packaging Optimisation

Packaging optimisation is not just a shipping-related exercise but a choice that can help a business in several ways. 

  1. Using sustainable packaging materials: By optimising packaging, companies have the opportunity to choose materials that are durable and convenient to print and finish as per the house design.

While the material choice allows for cost-effectiveness, the number of units or items that the material can hold is very important. The packaging material should be convenient to use, tamper-evident, and secure, The right one protects products from damage and optimise design as well.

Some common packaging materials choices are  paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, bioplastics, recycled plastic, cotton, aluminium, shrink wrap, cling film, woven sack, jute bags, or intermediate bulk containers

  • Cost reduction: The cost of shipping and logistics typically includes the expenses of packaging materials. When optimising packaging, there is an opportunity to find packaging materials to lower costs and improve packing. 
  • Choice of corrugated paper packing, and structural design lowers the expenditure on packaging materials and optimises space usage. 

    However, lightweight, protective materials are recommended only if they fit into your design and budget assigned for packaging. Another tip is to reconsider the ‘positioning’ of live elements to improve packaging. One can also choose between stickers or customised labels for value addition. 

  • Packaging dimensions: 
  • Shipping is charged based on packaging dimensions. Commonly, the volume is a priority over weight as the dimensions determine the number of units that can go into a container used for shipment. As a result, a reduction in packaging dimensions, however slightly, can bring down costs. 

    Reconsider the packaging material type so that you can reduce the dimensions of your package. The proportions for protection can also be reduced to lower shipping costs and ensure sustainable packaging. 

  • Sustainability: 
  • Sustainability is the new mindset and businesses need to realign their packaging practices with customer demand for less plastic and wastage. A starting point is packaging optimisation, leading to a sustainable supply chain. 

    The need to follow minimal material use should not translate to under-packaging or over-packaging as this leads to the risk of damage to products. 

    Apart from switching to green materials and just-fit packaging, you can create a sustainability narrative for optimising your packaging. This is likely to have a better impact on customers. 

    On the business front, too, this acts as a crucial brand initiative that brings in dividends for customer goodwill and a further reduction in the cost of your business. 

  • Packaging design: 
  • Apart from using the correct materials for optimisation, the packaging design also plays a significant role.  The design process takes into account not only the type of sustainable and alternative material to use but also the sizing and the styling so that it can accommodate the maximum volume. The design elements like brand narratives ensure sustainable packaging optimisation in the supply chain. 

    When designing with the perspective of optimising packaging, functionality should also be prioritised. Many times, products will need to be embossed or debossed foil stamped or given a UV coating on the spot. Hence, the designing team will have to factor in such requirements in the initial stages itself. 

    The design is the final test to optimise packaging. They will attract customers and give a unique unboxing experience even when using sustainable materials. 

  • Packaging testing:
  • It is in this stage the final packaging optimisation value is found. The very first trial is for the optimised packaging to be able to withstand shipping. If it is easily damaged and cannot exist through the rough and tumble of shipping, then your investment in the packaging exercise is lost.

    The testing phase will check the ‘correctness’ of the optimisation and save time and money.  By testing durability and performance, you can consider packaging material varieties for optimised packaging design. The testing will check for pressure, vibrations, and shocks, considering different scenarios in the process of shipping. 

    The tests will establish if the packaging is good for a specific product. Additional tests will expose the products to further humidity and other natural elements to consider the total integrity of the packaging. 

    These multiple trials and tests will establish the flexibility and the fragility of the packaging. Based on the results, the package can be further optimised by working on tweaking the material for further resistance to damage during the tough shipping stages. 

    Strategies for Better Packaging Optimisation

    The goal of packaging optimisation is to make packaging more efficient by focusing on making it thinner or lighter. Here are some strategies for better packaging optimisation: 

    • Design: The primary approach is design as it impacts everything else in the process. Choose the right design team for your business category or niche. 
    • Materials: Select the right materials. Biobased packaging material can improve the shelf life and quality of food products.
    • Dimensions: Consider the dimensions that are most popular in your category. This will ensure your packages are in the standard sizes and can fit into commonly used transport methods.  
    • Minimise packaging waste: The primary goal is to ensure optimised storage space for products, but it should not mean packaging waste. The more minimalistic the package, the lower the waste generated.  
    • Technology: Use technology to understand your packaging needs. You can pack the same orders from different channels together to save packaging material. 
    • Carbon footprint: Sustainability in packaging can help reduce your company's carbon footprint. 

    Sustainability in Packaging: The Latest Need for Businesses

    The world of logistics and consumers themselves are looking for sustainable consumption. Hence, aligning with market needs is the primary requirement for any business to remain competitive. Besides, it is a direct investment in environmental protection. Analysts state that  82% of respondents would be willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. 

    For businesses, sustainable packaging has become the latest need as it helps businesses to reduce their natural resources consumption and improve their ability to create better products and services in the long run. In the long term, sustainable packaging prevents a business from investing in packaging elements/style fads using non-degradable materials like styrofoam and similar products. 

    Importance of Packaging Design

    Packaging design has grown in importance as businesses succeeded in taking a brand position using the right elements of packaging and design. Some of the reasons businesses need to focus on packaging design are: 

    • Packaging design helps create a brand identity and communicate the value of a product in split seconds
    • It creates a special unboxing experience 
    • It influences branding and marketing and begins with using the brand or industry colours
    • It protects the product from damage during shipping and transfer, apart from external factors like humidity causing fungus growth and other issues.
    • Identifying a product from the packaging design can help it stand out from the competition.
    • Packaging design communicates the product's value and purpose  
    • Packaging influences purchasing decisions as consumers' behaviour and purchasing decisions are strongly influenced by packaging design. 

    SR Packaging: For All Your Packaging Optimisation Needs

    Shiprocket Packaging is a packaging solution the shipping provider offers small and medium-sized businesses with the aim of optimising fulfillment. The platform offers businesses several packaging options made from 100% recyclable flyers and corrugated boxes that are sustainable and environment-friendly. 

    Some ways Shiprocket Packaging addresses packaging optimisation needs are: 

    • Using quality packaging material for damage-free shipping 
    • It reduces weight discrepancies with its advanced order management feature
    • Its package master is the key solution as this dashboard-lead feature helps users to synchronise inventory with packaging material. As a result order processing is faster and it is also possible to check on the packaging inventory simultaneously.
    • Mapping SKUs is another distinctive Shiprocket Packaging solution. It maps stock-keeping units to packing materials for better order management.


    Packaging optimisation is thus, not a standalone enhancement feature, but an integrated segment of shipping and logistics. Every packaging optimisation enhancement directly affects the branding, shipping capacity, and consumer unboxing experience. Hence, care should be taken to choose the right packaging design facilitators. Such providers are business enablers as they are passionate about using sustainable materials and packaging design for an environment-friendly unboxing experience for users!


    1. What is PEN in packaging?

    PEN is defined as Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN) , a polymer from the polyester family that has a similar constitution as PET. This material displays the characteristics of plastic and helps protect packages from moisture. 

    1. Why is carbon dioxide used in MAP packaging?

    Carbon dioxide is used in map packages as it works like an antimicrobial agent. Along with nitrogen, it creates an anaerobic environment preventing the growth of microorganisms. 

    1. What is meant by MAP packaging?

    MAP stands for Modified Atmosphere Packaging and is a method used for ready-to-eat foods. The use of MAP extends the shelf-life of food products and retains the freshness as the atmospheric condition is recreated within the package by a mixture of oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon dioxide.