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  • Writer's pictureOlivia

How Has Transit Packaging Changed the Game for Logistics?

Transit Packaging

According to a Morgan Stanley estimate, Amazon has been rapidly expanding its logistics business over the past ten years and now delivers more than half of all Amazon deliveries in the US.

Given its current delivery volume in the US, which is 2.5 billion compared to FedEx's 3 billion and UPS's 4.7 billion, Amazon is on track to surpass both of these companies.

Whichever name you like to give them, shipping boxes, outer cartons, transport outers, or any other sort of transportation packing, they are all typically comprised of cardboard and corrugated board and created to ensure that items arrive at their destination intact. Product protection is the main factor in determining the structural layout of transportation packaging, but size and logistical effectiveness also play a role.

The unboxing experience is vital for online-purchased goods, and the shipping box is frequently the customer's first contact with the item. The branded product and its outside packaging are typically seen as one entity by consumers, hence the marketing potential of transit packaging should never be undervalued. Transit packaging is equally as important to the unwrapping ritual and the molding of the consumer's entire brand experience as premium sales packaging.

The perception of a product or brand can be improved by using unique inlays, interior print, and other innovative shipping box ideas. Shipping cartons are essential to B2B trade as well, therefore this does not imply that they are exclusively vital for online retail. Whether used to transport accessories, ingredients, or spare parts for wholesalers, transit packaging is essential to many businesses; without it, operations would halt completely. The same is true for pickup orders; goods supplied in bulk to distribution facilities will continue their journey in boxes made just for them.

What are the different levels of packaging used?

There are three widely acknowledged "levels" of packaging. Not every shipment makes use of numerous levels of packaging, and occasionally only one level of packaging serves the purpose of several:

● The product is housed in the primary packaging. Although it offers containment and safety, it may not be suited for transit. This is often what customers see when they buy a product, and it works both as a marketing and safety tool. There is a large range of shapes and materials available for this packaging.

● For use during shipment, secondary packaging includes one or more primary packages. Secondary packaging helps with handling, unitization, confinement, and damage avoidance. This is also the packaging used in some circumstances, such as online retail, to distribute products directly to customers. Bags and cartons are typical examples of secondary package types. Boxes can be stackable, collapsible, foldable, or nestable and can be one-time use or reusable shipping boxes. Bags can be bulk sacks, multi-wall bags, or envelopes. This group can also include crates, barrels, and specialized containers for unusual goods.

● In order to facilitate handling, unitization, transportation, and damage avoidance for products, tertiary packaging is used to group secondary packaging. The standard transit packing for moving bulk goods to distribution and retail locations is called tertiary packaging. Tertiary packing frequently serves as the support for flat unit loads during shipping. Pallets and skids are typical designs; they are typically made of wood or plastic. They can be nestable or rackable, single-use, or reusable. Slip sheets, which are often made of kraft or corrugated paper with lips that fold up to hold secondary packs in place, are also used for this purpose. Trays, which likewise exist in a variety of materials and designs, can be utilized for lighter loads.

What to Look For in Transit Packaging?

The success of how goods are transported through supply chains and their level of protection can be greatly influenced by transit packaging. Packaging must adequately avoid damage, make the most use of available space, use eco-friendly materials, and have considerate end-of-life plans.

Durable design

Every "contact point" in transportation raises the possibility of product damage, hence packaging is essential for safeguarding the good as it moves through the supply chain. The worst-case scenario for those involved in the supply chain and the environment is product damage.

Resources and GHG emissions from replacing damaged goods are substantially higher than those from packaging. Reduced additional shipments from returns and replacements are another benefit of damage prevention. Bring items to market safely by working across the value chain to ensure damage prevention at these many stages. Innovation and testing are essential to reduce product damage during shipment.

Material efficiency

A strong emphasis on protection may result in over packaging and the use of excess dunnage materials. End users are increasingly witnessing this waste firsthand as a result of the home delivery of e-commerce packages. Particularly when the material isn't recyclable or reused, this can harm a company's reputation. Finding the "sweet spot" between protection and material reduction should be the goal of sustainable transportation policies. To do this, businesses need to be aware of their damage rates and make investments in packaging material optimization and continual development.

Volumetric efficiency

Inefficient utilization of the space where extra air is being delivered and over-boxing can both result from a lack of configurable boxing options. More products may be carried in a single load using efficient box and container space that is lightweight, lowering GHG emissions from pointless additional shipping and weight. It further decreases the need for packaging materials. This system-wide optimization, which also lowers transportation costs, is made possible through open communication between brands, suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors.

Sourcing and End of Life

While transportation and packaging optimization are key aspects of sustainability for transit packaging, sourcing, and end-of-life are equally crucial to take into account. Materials that are produced ethically and sustainably, or that contain recycled materials, have advantageous properties from a sourcing standpoint. Favorable packaging is that which is reusable, recyclable (with access to the collection and an end market), or compostable from an end-of-life standpoint (where access to composting exists).

The overall environmental effects of various company types vary. To estimate net impacts across the value chain, one must always consult a life cycle assessment tool for packaging, such as COMPASS, and take into account the full life cycle effects of packaging design decisions.

All participants should take into account the usage of renewable energy and energy efficiency when transporting, producing, and packing goods. Businesses should concentrate on increasing the efficiency of the areas where they have the greatest influence while attempting to balance those impacts with other sustainable decisions and expenditures. Collaboration is essential in finding best practices for materials and formats since transit packing involves participants from all points along the value chain.

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