As business returns to work after the festive break, we’re taking a look at our 7 Top Tips for your 2023 Supply Chain and Fulfilment Packaging.
We’re often asked at this time of year to help advise manufacturing, logistics and supply chain businesses with their packaging plans for the year. This includes planning for more eco-friendly and sustainable packaging products; more efficient packaging and fulfilment machines to improve ways of working; and running no-obligation packaging audits to evaluate products, processes and performance.
To help companies plan their packaging for 2023, we’ve developed these seven top tips:
- Switch to paper. Ditch the plastic.
- Our range of clever paper packaging products help ecommerce and fulfilment teams make the move from plastic to paper for their tapes, void fill and mailing bags. Helping deliver a better customer experience and a more sustainable solution. Paper packaging is often made from 100% recycled material, and is usually fully recyclable in customers’ household recycling collections.
- Less is more. Nano not mega.
- When it comes to wrapping pallets, we like our customers to use less plastic film per pallet. We work with many national logistics companies and manufacturers who are wrapping hundreds of pallets per day, and we’ve helped them significantly reduce how much pallet film they use. The pallet wrap experts here at Wessex Packaging audit current methods and challenge the use of thicker pallet film, that warehouse teams often think is needed to give a tighter hold and more load stability. In reality, this thinking is outdated and newer innovations such as PowerWrap® High Performance Machine Stretch Film use less plastic by being a nano film, made of polymer layers, rather than the more traditional thicker ‘mega’ films.
- Save space. It helps the planet.
- Our advice for fulfilment teams is not to ship and store fresh air! The use of plastic bubble wrap is still the case in many ecommerce fulfilment centres, and given that bubble wrap is mainly air, it makes no real sense for us to stock it, ship it to a customer, for them to store it, then the end customer have to try to dispose of it environmentally. That’s why our tip for a paper alternative to bubble wrap is HexaWrap®, a paper roll with honeycomb style cells that interlock when wrapped around a product. And as one 250m roll of eco-friendly HexaWrap® can be stretched to approximately 450m, it’s a great way of being more sustainable, and saving an awful lot of space!
- Recycle a great first impression.
- Customers appreciate packaging that can be easily recycled when they receive ecommerce goods in the post, or when they buy in-store. Clearly identifiable recyclable packaging needs to be unambiguous and as customer-friendly as possible. That’s why we recommend cardboard and paper packaging where possible – it’s an easy option to put straight in the right recycling bin! For companies that are still using polystyrene or biodegradable loose fill pellets, our advice would be to use protective paper to pack boxes with. This removes any confusion that end customers often have about what to do with messy loose fill, which often they don’t realise can sometimes be composted.
- Don’t put your back out!
- Packaging is more than just boxes, tape and pallet wrap, it’s also about the packing and packaging process. That’s where our experience of how to wrap, pack, protect and transport goods in transit comes into full effect. We know about the ergonomics involved in these fulfilment processes and understand the risks to the well-being of warehouse teams, and indeed, the risks of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) from poor posture and manual handling. Our no-obligation on-site demonstrations of our ErgoPack mobile pallet strapping machines, and MSD risk assessments comparing manually wrapping pallets, versus wrapping using the WRAPIDO® hand pallet wrap system, help evaluate the risks and opportunities.
- Review and challenge your KPIs.
- We really recommend that every warehouse, distribution centre and fulfilment team has some packaging KPIs each year. These should include not just price, but materials, sustainability, supplier support and partnership, and process measures. We have longstanding customers with whom we work and partner with and make sure we all deliver on all KPIs. We make packaging a core part of the commercial business.
- Think outside the box.
- And finally…we encourage everyone to think outside the box! Not every business has the same needs, products or processes, and that’s why we ask questions and welcome all suggestions to help encourage continuous improvement across all areas of packaging and product protection. After all…we are Clever Packaging People!
Do get in touch and see how we can help with all your packaging requirements.
We look forward to working with you in 2023.
Email us on [email protected] or call 01935 474 217
Wessex Packaging. Your trusted choice. Since 1975.