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Avoiding damage to goods in transit

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Model AG, CH-Weinfelden - The packaging industry offers secure, bespoke solutions with corrugated board

The transport of all sorts of goods around the world is increasing inexorably, with technical consumer goods and electronic components, everyday products, and even foodstuffs being sent long distances across the continents. However, the high volumes involved also call for corresponding packaging solutions. To protect the goods on their journey throughout the logistics process – be it in the cargo holds of ships and planes, in containers and transport boxes, at transfer facilities and in warehouses – tailoring the packaging solution specifically to the product is absolutely essential. After all, damage to goods is ultimately bad for business, for the manufacturer and the carrier alike. If the product is damaged when it is received by the consumer, or if it looks tattered and shabby on the shelf at the POS, this tarnishes the reputation of all those involved, and can result in declining sales or claims for compensation.

Dr. Oliver Wolfrum, Managing Director of the German corrugated board industry association VDW, estimates that value totalling in the triple-digit millions is still being destroyed in the retail trade supply chain alone every year as a result of inadequate packaging. Above all, the standardised ISO module dimensions are not being adhered to, meaning that only 70% of packaging meets complete and filled layer patterns, something that is essential for the optimum use of space and for preventing damage. “This calls for the expertise of the packaging advisors in the corrugated board industry,” says Wolfrum. After all, the appropriate materials and capabilities are available, and all that would be needed would be to work together closely with the specialists to make sure these are used to deliver customised solutions.

5% rule makes sense
When sending goods to global destinations, logistics experts currently advise spending at least 5% of their value on secure and appropriate packaging. This is an investment that will ultimately pay off, since it will reduce the costs arising from complaints and damage. However, this also requires cooperation from an early stage between the packaging experts and the manufacturers. Ideally, the development of the product and its packaging will go hand in hand from the outset. What is to be transported to where, and how? What does the expected route entail? What carriers and means of transportation will be used? Where will the products be held in storage and in what form? What form do they ultimately have to arrive in at the POS? All of these questions have to be addressed, and answers incorporated in the requirements set for the packaging developer, as this is the only way they can deliver a solution that is bespoke and economical.

Corrugated board – a robust and valuable raw material
Corrugated board can be used in a number of different ways as a basic material for functional and innovative packaging. Manufacturers are now offering particularly robust forms that can meet all of the requirements for protecting products during long-distance transit. And another key factor: once it is finished with as packaging, it can be recycled, since corrugated board and waste paper are highly sought-after as raw materials for paper production.

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