An inadequate packaging, means dangerous transportation. An inadequate packaging, means a damaged good. An inadequate packaging, and you can lose your good. Moreover, it means a dissatisfied customer, or worse: a lost customer. Yes, the packaging of your goods is very important, so let’s talk about logistics issues of industrial packaging.
First of all, we need to define what it is an industrial packaging. There is different sort of packaging:
Primary packaging: intended for the final user, the final consumer
Secondary packaging: assembles several goods
Tertiary packaging or transport packaging: designed to facilitate handling, storage, and transport and characterized by the assembly of several goods in pallets.
Industrial packaging: made for the packaging of industrial voluminous sensitive products
As all types of packaging, industrial packaging is designed to preserve, transport, store, inform. But industrial packaging imposes other issues than the packaging of a retail products. First of all, industrial products are sometimes large and big, so the constraints are not the same.
The industrial packer job
The industrial packer is a specialist and an expert. His knowledge is precious. He creates the entire packaging from the beginning . He has to analyze the goods and make a unique packaging for a unique product. He orders the woods to create the packaging. The packer has to respect the specifications of the SEILA (“Syndicat de l’emballage industriel et de la Logistique Associée” or “Industrial Packaging Union and Associate Logistics”). Being a partner of the SEILA is a guarantee of professionalism.
Preserve and conserve the goods
The first logistics issue for industrial packaging is to protect the goods from the external aggressions (impacts, temperature, humidity, etc.). Your industrial goods are precious for your activity and those products are usually expensive. So they have to be protected and there are many ways to preserve your goods.
The industrial products must be wedged for the logistics and the transport. So the industrial packer uses in general rafters and cradles to immobilize the goods, it is a way to limit the vibrations.
To protect the goods, there are also impact detectors. The packer can surround the goods with a confinement cover. The packaging can also be waterproof and isotherm.
Inform and communicate about the goods
The industrial goods can be difficult to move, to transport, to store. So, the logisticians need some additional information to transport the industrial goods, information like the gravity point of the good, the place of the straps so that the product can be easily moved. Moreover, they need to know if the product is humidity-sensitive, or has some other constraints.
This information is defined by the packer. He analyzes the product, and he creates proper packaging for each industrial product. Each packaging is almost unique, because each product is unique. The packer adapts the packaging according to the fragility of the products, the storage time, the transport duration, the destination (transport by plane, by road, or by train). He needs to be careful of the weather conditions too. This information helps all the logistics actors to move the goods properly and satisfactorily, to keep the integrity of the products.
Information about the products also allows to ensure the traceability of the goods.
Move and transport the goods
Botched and careless packaging means unsafe transportation. Industrial packaging needs to be adapted according to the handling, the storage, the transport. For example, for maritime transport, logisticians will use closed crate, known as “full crate”. For road transport, logisticians use generally slatted fence crate.
For road transport, a new challenge comes for logisticians. The 20th of May 2018, the 2014/47 directive about the goods stowage, will force the road carriers to study the stability of the goods, in acceleration and deceleration. The stability of the goods will be determined by the Eumos 40 509 standard. As the Accord for Dangerous goods by road defines, the goods must be properly tied up with suitable means like straps, crossties, or adjustable supports, etc. in order to avoid the movement or the damage of the products.
Finally, industrial packaging is one of the first links in the protection of your goods during transport and storage operations. The packaging is strategic and must make the difference between you and your competitors. It is a major factor for reliable logistics (protection of the goods, security, transport, etc.). It plays also a crucial role in the traceability of the industrial goods. Logistics and packaging represent a key to improve the technical and economic performance of your company. Today, logisticians are also competent to pack your industrial goods. More and more logisticians have their own packer specialist in their logistics team. Ask for information !
To know more about industrial packaging
You can read “Common basic rules in export packaging” make by The FEFPEB Section Industrial Packaging (European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers) : http://www.seila.fr/uploads/bloc_bas/FEFPEB_COMMON_BASIC_RULES_EN.pdf
Go one step further
Today, new type of packaging is coming: connected packaging. Still not much known, connected packaging can have advantages to appeal to the manufacturers and the consumers. Connected packaging is a way to improve the traceability of the goods, also the security, and moreover the customer experience. We can imagine that the packaging becomes a full product, and it can use the augmented reality, for instance. A news topic to follow…