Andrés Birlain
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How Important Is Packaging From a Logistics Point of View?

By Andrés Birlain | Wed, 07/28/2021 - 09:10

We are in a stage in which the market is becoming increasingly competitive and packaging is becoming increasingly important. It is evident that packaging is positioned as one of the best tools to differentiate a brand and streamline processes from handling to shipping. Packaging has a significant impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain, where improvements can be achieved in the development of processes, uniting a logistics and packaging concept.

To achieve these improvements, a system is needed to coordinate the preparation of packaging for efficient handling, transportation, distribution, storage, and recovery, reuse or disposal, giving value to the consumer as a return on investment and, therefore, greater profits.

While packaging logistics is a fairly new concept that has been developing over the last few years, it is now gaining attention from the industry.

What is the Task of Packaging Logistics?

The control, organization and optimization of packaging processes are the responsibility of packaging logistics, which needs to be coordinated with warehouse and transport logistics. These three areas have in common that they represent a merger between production and distribution.

 

For example, if logistics is developed as a field of activity that plans, implements and controls processes, and we understand that packaging contains, secures and protects products, then packaging logistics encompasses the entire production process until it reaches the end user.

An important element that cannot be disregarded is the objective of the packaging’s designers to protect shipments. However, from my logistical and operational point of view, the main objectives and challenges of packaging are to allow efficient handling during the transportation of large quantities of goods throughout the distribution chain; to save costs by reducing packaging and unpacking times, and to reduce storage costs by optimally calculating and taking advantage of the necessary space, ensuring at all times the protection and preservation of the products. Therefore, each product requires a different type of packaging, which is based on their physical characteristics and fragility.

However, one of the main problems for some packaging is its short life cycle, which means a high environmental impact because soon after its creation, it adds to the waste that damages our environment. If reusable solutions are employed, this waste becomes a resource with a longer life cycle to ensure maximum sustainability and minimize both the carbon footprint and CO2 emissions in the supply chain of the different industrial sectors.

Packaging logistics should be understood as an overall approach, merging the logistics process and organization with the packaging process and design. Both areas interact with each other, complementing and adapting ergonomically, covering production, transportation, the final consumer and even the disposal of the packaging material.

Photo by:   Andrés Birlain