While often an afterthought, adequate knowledge of and attention to packaging design provides several invaluable benefits, such as- reduced damage rates, optimal container utilization, material reduction, and a smaller environmental footprint. All of these effects ultimately add up to potentially significant dollars saved.
Despite this, many exporters still leave packaging design to the Chinese factory. However, many of these manufacturers are ill-equipped to predict the hazards of international freight, including moisture and temperature change, top-load compression, fork-lift handling, and the like. Further, to meet their customers’ relentless price-demands, manufacturers often use packaging as a starting point to creatively extract cost from a project. Moving to inefficiently sized stock boxes, or lower grade corrugated are all-too-common practices that appease importers’ price demands, but end up costing the customer on the back-end. In fact, by designing more efficient packaging, simple boxes can become one of the best ways to reduce costs from Chinese suppliers.
For these reasons, it is critical that an importer be fully aware of the packaging requirements that their product and supply chain demand. Optimizing corrugated board thickness, stacking patterns, case head space, and all other packaging factors on a primary, secondary and tertiary level leads to a smoother delivery of goods and a stronger final margin.
Patrick Kinnamon formerly worked for a Fortune 500 global retailer and importer.
For more information on how to reduce costs from Chinese suppliers: http://www.iapriweb.org/