Custom Boxes: The Answer To Your Products Void Filler Problem

Shipping fragile items such as mirrors, furniture or glass is never easy. To make a profit, you need to ensure that your items reach the customer in one piece, with no damage. However, in the busy world of logistics, that is not always easy. 

In the past, the most effective way to ensure fragile items were transported safely was thanks to void filler such as foam packing peanuts. However, these days, less is more when it comes to packaging. Consumers are seeking out brands who are greener with their packaging by either using eco-friendly materials and minimising waste. So, if you’re looking to remove void filler from your packaging, but still want to keep your products protected, what should you do instead? The answer lies in custom boxes. 

Your void filler problem

As well as being wasteful and not environmentally friendly, void filler comes with numerous other issues. For a start, they are typically expensive to include in your packaging budget. Furthermore, void fillers are incredibly time-consuming, especially when you have multiple items to package and ship each day. 

Another issue with void filler is storage. You need an ample space to store void filler. This space can often be better used to store more goods, or you can use the space for other ventures for your business. 

You can read more about void filler problems in one of our previous blog posts here

Eco-friendly shipping

Studies suggest that by 2050, logistics emissions will account for 17% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the world. As a result, there is now more urgency to find ways to cut emissions in the logistics process, especially as e-commerce continues to rise.  Eco-friendly shipping not only needs to focus on reusable materials but reducing waste in the whole process; from space to fewer packaging materials. 

Keeping packages safe without void filler

The problem with void filler is that it is generally easy to use and can keep products relatively safe. This means it is hard to move away from, especially when there is a risk of eliminating void filler from your packaging. However, to reduce emissions and show off your green credentials to your client base, then removing void filler is essential. 

How to eliminate void filler with custom boxes

The reason void filler is used is because the box is too big for the item. However, you can eliminate this issue by using custom boxes. If you ship a lot of products, then you may think it is not feasible to order multiple boxes in custom sizes. However, by using a box on demand service, you can get the perfect size box for every item, as and when you need it. This means you reduce the amount of space you need for packaging storage too. 

Benefits of custom boxes

  • Decrease waste material

Firstly, it is wise to conduct some packaging test runs to determine how much packaging you actually need to keep your product safe. While you may have once used miles of bubble wrap to cover your wall art or mirror products, you may find that you only need one wrap to keep your product snug in the custom box and safe from any logistic mishaps. 

From there, you can eliminate the use of wasteful bubble wrap and use corrugated cardboard, that is easy to recycle or perhaps corn starch or mushroom packaging to keep your parcel safe while in transit. 

  • More space in lorries

By using a custom box, you only need to take up the exact amount of space you need. There is no excess to account for on the lorry. This means vehicles can pack more products on to each load, reducing the carbon emissions. 

  • Product safety

Custom boxes actually keep your products safer than standard-sized boxes. This is because there is less space for your product to move around in, which means your product is secure during transport. As a result of your products being safer, there is less risk of customers receiving damaged goods. As a result, your business reduces the cost of reverse logistics, returns and product write-offs. Consequently, this all helps to improve your product revenue. 

  • Improved customer feedback

Customers love the packaging that makes their life easier and limits its impact on the environment.  Custom boxes can improve the shopping experience by making reducing waste, making it easy to recycle and customers can know that the cardboard used in custom boxes is already recycled. This leaves the customer with a positive impression of your business and means they are more likely to return to your organisation and buy from you again. 

Circular Economy Packaging: How Is Packaging Playing A Role?

The idea of the circular economy is that we eradicate the linear route from production; to use, to throwing away. We instead loop the waste materials back into materials for use for something else. For example, a company will create a cardboard box to send you your goods, you receive it, and then you put it in the bin, and it goes to landfill. 

With circular economy packaging, that cardboard would be made, used and then either broken down and used for something else or made back into a box. 

World of packaging

In the world of packaging, it can be difficult to understand why all packaging doesn’t get recycled. However, there are complications such as card and paper mixed with plastic or perhaps it’s dirtied with grease. Therefore, there is a transition that needs to take place. One that takes us from the linear culture to the circular economy. 

Everything we buy from a shop or off the internet comes in some sort of packaging. Often it’s difficult to tell whether that packaging goes in the recycling or not.

Therefore, another consideration is what kinds of messaging and information they want to display. 

Right-size packaging

Right-sized packaging is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s ensuring that only the minimum amount of materials surrounds packaged goods. The paper and pulp industry will have to move into this space. It’s quite common to open up your latest delivery and find that the box is mostly empty space and your product is only a small part of it. Not to mention the air-filled plastic that keeps it in the corner of the box. 

Landfill and Recycling

Our landfill is, with any luck, soon to be a thing of the past. With packaging becoming more recyclable, there should be no need to send anything to landfill. The way that the packaging industry will contribute to the eradication of items going to landfill, making it usable again. Even just by reducing the size of packaging can radically reduce the amount being sent to landfill. 

Who is responsible? 

Part of making the move towards the circular economy is recognising who is responsible and ensuring there is accountability.

Packaging companies have a responsibility to improve their packaging. Not only this, but consumers have to choose products responsibly. In addition to this, it’s important that consumers are holding the pulp and paper industry accountable for their actions. For example, if the products are placed in the wrong sized boxes causing unnecessary waste, then the consumers must call them out on it. 

The David Attenborough Effect

In recent years, the UK watched David Attenborough nature documentaries about the impact of plastic on the oceans and other ways humans are damaging the environment.

The newly named ‘David Attenborough Effect’ describes the impact these documentaries had on the public. It opened eyes to the issues. Therefore, they’re more likely to hold companies accountable, and the pulp and paper industry will experience more pressure on them to step to the circular economy challenge. 

Uniform collections

One of the challenges that the UK faces when trying to recycle packaging is the vastly different council recycling solutions.

Unfortunately, each council in the UK recycles differently. This means there is a vast amount of confusion when it comes to packaging. If we are to meet our recycling targets set by the UK Government, and achieve a circular economy, the UK will need to set up a uniform collection system. 

This will mean that all residents have the same number of bins and rules for using them. In addition, the rubbish will get recycled in the same way. Therefore, multiple recycling plants across the UK can help with increased loads or excess waste if there happens to be a spike in waste in a neighbouring council. However, this is still something the UK needs to campaign for. 

Circular economy packaging

Circular economy compliant packaging is entering the pulp and paper industry. This will mean that companies will have to be on top of creating reusable and recyclable packaging as well as right-sized packaging solutions. 

Your business can help to make sure your packaging fits into a circular economy by choosing sustainable solutions that your customers will love. The first step can be towards eliminating plastic from your packaging and only using recyclable, reusable products such as paper and cardboard. Ensuring your packaging fits into a circular economy can not only help the environment but can be a key selling point of your brand as more and more customers look for sustainable plastic-free brands. 

What Effect Is The Circular Economy Having On The Paper Industry?

As we become more mindful of our actions, we are choosing more suitable and environmentally friendly paper solutions while trying to minimise our use plastic.

This is likely to impact the paper industry in many different ways. When we consider all the different ways we use paper for, there is a huge amount to evolve into the circular economy. We will no longer be a throw-away society. 

Let’s look at how the circular economy and the paper industry are going to impact each other:

What is the Circular Economy? 

The circular economy is the idea that we can create products that do not end up in a landfill.

Instead, we ditch the linear approach of making something and then throwing it away. Instead, it’s replaced with making something, repurposing it and then reusing the materials again. Consequently, it minimises waste and allows for more sustainable use of resources.

What effect is it having on the paper industry? 

A change to how we approach manufacturing is obviously going to impact the industry. However, this new economic model works alongside businesses. Therefore, we can look at how the circular economy affects the paper industry in both positive and negative ways.

Changing designs

By designing the packaging for recycling and reuse, the design of materials would have to change. As we’re moving away from plastic, more pressure is on cardboard and paper packaging. The EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive sets the percentage of packaging that must be recycled to 65% by 2020. Therefore, the paper industry has to think about redesigning their products. Not only this but how to close the circular loop every step of the way. 

Using different materials

By aiming to make the materials recyclable or reusable, the right materials are vital. Therefore the paper industry needs to invest in changing the makeup of their products. In addition, it must still be cost-effective and economical.

It might even be the case that the paper industry will have to adapt to a high cost of materials. Not only this, but they might have to consider new ways to deal with the by-products of production. 

In some cases, other manufacturing processes can use industry by-products. The great thing about the pulp and paper industry is that it is from a renewable source. Trees will continuously grow. Making paper also increases the viability of the material for fuel. For example, weight-for-weight you can get more energy-burning paper than you would from wood. 

Increasing innovation

The great thing about paradigm shifts in industries is that it opens a whole new opportunity for innovation.

Whether it’s creating new materials or researching into smart packaging – there are opportunities for the industry to make a break-though. It can change the way we live our lives. Innovation can be the difference between creating packaging that allows 100 items to be transported and 1000 items to be transported. 

Although the paper industry will see the innovation initially as costly, investing in research and technology can help save money. Even simply reducing the size of the packaging in relation to what it’s holding can make a difference. 

Shaping infrastructure

There is no doubt that moving towards the circular economy is going to impact the paper industry infrastructure. Manufacturing will streamline and by-products collected. The infrastructure currently used to bury waste will need repurposing as there will, hopefully, be less need for it. 

Education

The paper industry and stakeholders will need to increase the knowledge and understanding within the workforce. Educating the public will also improve the uptake of the new packaging. Often consumers end up picking the cheapest option. Education shows that recycled and reusable packaging and paper not only meets CSR targets but doesn’t compromise on quality and usability. 

Circular economy and paper industry

The circular economy aims to benefit the paper industry. There will be some initial hurdles and costs. However, it means that as a consumer, we can choose the best companies to provide the most environmentally friendly packaging. It’s obvious that we’re going to run out of landfill space. With countries like China no longer accepting our rubbish, we need to come up with solutions on the ground.

Therefore, moving from a linear to a circular business pattern allows us to close the loop and cut out waste and resources loss.

What Is A Linear Economy? Why Are We Moving Away From It?

The linear economy is straight-line thinking. It’s the idea of making a box, using it, and then sending it to landfill. It is one straight process from beginning to end.

Conversely, a circular economy is one where it’s not a start-to-finish process but is a continuous cycle. Instead of your box going to landfill, companies recycle it into something else – like another box! Then it’s used again. So why are we moving away from the linear economy and towards a circular economy

To move away from landfill 

It doesn’t take an environmental scientist to understand why burying our rubbish just buries our problems. Waste buried in landfill can sit there for years. All the oxygen escapes as it’s compacted over time. As a consequence, the microbes that remain are anaerobic. They release methane. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. It contributes to the unnatural warming of our planet. Therefore, if we don’t stop burying our rubbish and start making something useful out of it – we’ll only contribute further to the climate crisis!

To save money

You can save money by reusing old materials rather than manufacturing new ones. For example, you can take a box and process it into a brand new box. This reduced or completely irradicates the need for landfill. In addition to this, you don’t need to have new materials. This reduces pressure on the land to grow trees for cardboard. 

You can also use waste to create energy instead of landfilling. Because we will always have waste – it’s basically renewable! For example, burning non-biodegradable waste can heat water to produce steam that can turn a turbine — turning the turbine results in the generation of power. This saves money on energy and landfill.

There is a standard to set

By adopting the circular economy approach, it sets the example for the rest of the world. The UK should work out a reliable and sustainable approach to manufacturing goods. Then this can be the template to follow anywhere else. After all, the environment does not adhere to human boundaries – it’s all connected! We need the world to pull together.

It doesn’t cover every stage 

A bonus of the circular economy over the linear one is that it improves every stage of the process. It considers the implications of travel, packaging, and other qualities that are inefficient. 

Packaging can be a great example of this. By using clever packaging, recycling is made so much easier. It only uses the necessary resources, and it reduces the cost of transporting goods. Smart packaging that reduces the amount of empty space inside makes delivering items more efficient. Wasted space is a waste of fuel. Therefore, getting the right sized packaging is important. Thinking about these elements help the circular economy knit together.

It’s not sustainable

The definition of sustainable development is ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability for the future to meet their needs.’ By making products only to bury them in the ground, it’s a huge waste of resources. Considering that most resources used to manufacture goods come from a finite resource, we cannot go on using the linear economy. 

For example, plastic is made from oil. We are using oil at a phenomenal rate. It’s likely that we only have around 50 years of oil production left until we run out. Oil is formed from the decaying bodies of animals being compressed over 100’s of millions of years. Definitely not something we can wait for!

In addition to this, on the grand scheme of things, England is relatively small. We’re not going to have the room for new rubbish tips. Therefore, it’s not sustainable to keep doing so. Not only this, but when you fill up an area with rubbish, you cannot build on top. It likely to compact over time and the dip which is not stable. And I’m sure you’d agree you’d prefer not to live on top of a rubbish tip!

It’s time to improve the efficiency and move away from the linear economy

We need to start considering each stage of the production of our goods. When we start to see where there are significant inefficiencies and waste, we will see an increase in productivity. Not only this, but it will boost the investment in technology that will perform these changes. This also links to the increase in the number of jobs in the industry. The more brains involved in solving the global issue, the closer we’re likely to get to a fully circular economy. 

Do you still have questions about how packaging can be part of your circular economy? Contact us today for more information.

5 Circular Economy Benefits You Need To Know About

Have you ever opened the box of your latest online purchase and discovered that it’s mostly empty space? Where do the materials for latest gadget come from? Would you be okay with having a landfill near your house? 

We no longer live in a linear world. Before, we’d make a product, use it and then send it to landfill. Now it’s got life after use! In a circular fashion, the product can be repurposed back into something useful. This saves money on the next generation of products and cuts out the harmful repercussions of vast amounts of landfill. So, lets get onto some circular economy benefits.

It helps your planet!

Firstly, it shouldn’t come to a surprise that putting all our rubbish in the ground isn’t good for our environment. When it’s all compacted down under the soil, all the oxygen is squashed out. Without oxygen, the microbes that thrive in the ground are anaerobic, meaning they respire without oxygen. 

When they begin to break down the rubbish, they release methane as a by-product of living. Methane is one of the more potent greenhouse gases responsible for the unnatural warming of the earth. Therefore, by avoiding sending waste to landfill, you’re avoiding contributing to the climate crisis.

Not only this but think of all the harmful chemicals that would be in your waste. Old mobile phones contain toxic metals. Bottles of old cleaning materials contain dangerous chemicals. Plastic packaging breaks down enough to be soluble. As a consequence, when rainwater moves through the landfill, it filters into the water that we drink. Therefore, it’s a health hazard. 

Raw materials are finite 

Secondly, have you ever thought about where the materials for your latest purchase come from? Some materials, such as metal and plastic, are from raw materials in the ground. If we chuck them away without reusing them, it’s a waste of these resources. Plastic is made from oil and oil is becoming more scarce.

As a consequence, miners are taking more risks to find it. This often included destroying forests or polluting the land and sea. Reusing sources is clearly a no-brainer!

Opens up jobs and innovation

Not only does the circular economy help your environment, but it brings economic benefits too. By opening up a whole sector dedicated to the recycling and reuse of waste materials, we create thousands of jobs. 

Also, we must create solutions for a circular economy. By encouraging the reuse and recycling of our waste, we are encouraging innovation. Have you ever heard of the ‘David Attenborough Effect’? It is when David Attenborough’s TV documentaries make people talk about the environment. Now, people are demanding an explanation as to why we aren’t investing in the circular economy to save our environment. 

Improves relationships 

Recently, China put its foot down and refused to take our rubbish. For years, we’d been shipping waste plastic overseas because we couldn’t cope with it. China themselves are struggling to save their own environment and took the step to save themselves from more tragedy. Therefore, it’s becoming more important for the UK and countries alike, to deal with their own waste. By pledging to move into a circular economy, they are stepping up to tackle problems head-on!

Saves money

From growing and cutting down trees to manufacturing it into cardboard, the process is costly. However, if the cardboard is already made, we can reprocess it back into useful cardboard. As a consequence, it reduces the number of trees cut down and the amount of manufacturing in the process. Less manufacturing, less cost. Don’t forget – less landfill too! 

A landfill is expensive. Each year, councils across the UK have a landfill allowance. One council alone can spend up to £4 million in landfill tax. And this excludes the cost of building one! Not only this but fines of £150 occur for every tonne of biodegradable waste (waste that breaks down easily like food) over their allowance.  Every year this allowances reduces to meet UK Government targets, the allowance can be as much as 100,000 tonnes. It’s not that hard to see how much it would cost a council in fines to go over by even just one percent. 

Finally, another example of how to save money is by repurposing waste food. Over 1.9 million tonnes of food ends up in the bin in the UK each year. If we stopped food from going to landfill, we could save food and money. We could give food to those who haven’t got any. In addition to this, waste can go into making pet food. Not only this but a process called ‘Anaerobic Digestion’ can make energy from this waste. 

Circular Economy Benefits

The possibilities really are endless. With so many innovations, it’s a wonder why more people aren’t adopting the circular economy approach. We’re doing our bit by ensuring all our packaging is capable of being reused and recycled. We have clear labelling and offer advice to our customers on saving money and materials. So if you want to find out more about our approach to a circular economy, get in touch. 

Custom Cardboard Packaging: The Top 5 Benefits

Every business and every product is unique in its own way, and your product packaging should reflect that.

Many e-commerce companies use standard packaging solutions for their entire range of products, which can be wasteful both in terms of cost and materials. When it comes to packaging, there is no one size fits all approach, and the rise of custom cardboard packaging has opened up a huge range of opportunities for e-commerce businesses across the globe.

Custom cardboard packaging has become an integral part of modern branding, shipping and customer engagement. There are many benefits to switching your e-commerce business to custom cardboard packaging, and today, we’re sharing our top five.

Brand Reinforcement

When a customer receives a package from your business, they should instantly know who it is from and what it is they’re about to open. It should build excitement that their new product has arrived, and custom cardboard packaging can achieve exactly that. 

When you choose to go custom with your packaging, you can make sure that every box contains your logo, colours or imagery in pride of place. This reinforces your brand before your customer has even opened the box and seen your product. As your branding becomes more familiar and well known, your customers will only need to catch a glimpse of your branding image or colours to be reminded of you and your products.

A Unique Shopping Experience

It is the little things that really make a big impact when it comes to packaging, and when you choose to ship your products in custom cardboard packaging, it can change the way your customers perceive you for the better. Custom boxes will create a more engaging shopping and shipping experience, and when a customer receives a product in a custom box, it shows an increased level of care. 

The overall experience for the customer is more positive and will leave them feeling as though they are having a unique shopping experience throughout the entire process.

Environmentally Friendly

With a rising focus on the impact that businesses have on the environment, it is important that e-commerce companies are doing everything they can to reduce their footprint. By choosing custom cardboard packaging, you are choosing to invest in materials that are recyclable and biodegradable. 

As well as the materials themselves, custom boxes also help to reduce wastage by being uniquely designed to fit your products perfectly. This means there is no need to stuff larger boxes with other packing materials for smaller products, and a reduction in the amount of plastic or other materials needed to ship your products. Your products will also take up less space in transit when they are effectively packed, which in turn reduces the number of vans required for transport. 

Save Money

Many people have the misconception that custom cardboard packaging is going to be more expensive than using generic boxes, but this often isn’t the case. Custom cardboard packaging can actually save e-commerce businesses money in a variety of different ways. When you choose to use on-demand packaging, you will eliminate the need to bulk buy various sizes of boxes and guestimate the amount you will need.

 Instead, boxes can be produced as and when you need them. Cardboard is an extremely lightweight choice when it comes to shipping materials, which can also save money on transit costs. Custom boxes can also save you money by being designed to perfectly fit your unique products without wasted space. More of these packaged products will be able to fit in vans and shipping containers, making it cheaper to ship more products at once.

Fully Customisable

When you chose custom cardboard packaging, you are choosing something that is fully customisable and can be created to suit your exact products and brand perfectly. This often means your packaging can double up as an effective marketing tool and be used to drive future sales and encourage new customers. Your custom cardboard packaging can be made to stand out from competitors and be eye-catching and visually pleasing, as well as being practical for your products.

Cardboard is an excellent material choice for custom packaging as it is highly flexible and can be cut into any size or shape using glue, tape, staples, or whatever works for your products. The customisable options for cardboard packaging are endless, and a product packaging company will be able to design boxes that suit and support your business effortlessly.

7 Signs You’re Ready To Talk To A Product Packaging Company

For any e-commerce business, one of the most crucial components for a product’s image and sales is its packaging design. How a product is displayed and presented to customers is vital for its success, and it is vital that your products are packaged in a way that makes them stand out from competitors. A product packaging company can help you to create packaging for your business that is not only eye-catching and encourages sales but is also economical and makes commercial sense. 

Whether you have never used a product packaging company before or have redesigned your packaging many times over the years, there are a few signals to look out for that may mean you’re ready for a packaging overhaul.

You’re Heading In A New Direction

One of the biggest and most obvious signs that you’re ready to talk to a product packaging company about a packaging redesign is if your business is taking a new direction. It is very common for an e-commerce business to start out as one thing, and then naturally shift into something different further down the line. This is just the natural progression of running a business and often means your original packaging no longer fits with your brand.

Packaging that once worked very well for your products could now be completely off pace and disconnected from where you see your business progressing to.

It’s Been More Than Five Years

Things change quickly in the packaging and design world, and if your existing packaging has been around for over five years, then it is probably time for a refresh. The chances are your product and team will have evolved slightly over the years, and it is only right that your packaging reflects these changes. 

A product packaging design company will be able to encompass any new business values into a new packaging design, with the aim to strategically position your products in a way that is relevant to your customers.

Your Packaging Is Costly

Some product packaging can be very expensive and often results in your products being more expensive to customers than perhaps they really need to be. Consumers want to pay for the product and not the box, it comes in, but when you choose custom packaging solutions, it can become pricey. 

Innovations such as on-demand packaging are available from a product packaging company such as Ribble Pack and help e-commerce businesses to manage their packaging spend. Boxes are produced as and when they are required reducing the need for ordering supplies well in advance and guessing how many boxes you will need. 

Your Competitors Have Changed

If you aim to position your products and brands as a leader in your industry, then it is vital that you are keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to. If your competitors have changed their strategy, or new competitors have emerged over the years, then a packaging redesign could be required to keep you ahead of the game. 

There Are Issues For Retailers

It is becoming increasingly popular for retailers to be demanding change when it comes to product packaging. With many products trying to stand out in a saturated market, it is a struggle for retailers to delight consumers within their aisles and online. 

Shops and the aisles within them have become increasingly fragmented, and a product packaging company can help your products to fit with what both retailers and consumers want to see. 

Your Packaging Is Wasteful

There is a rising focus all across the globe for companies and individuals to operate in a more economical and environmentally friendly manner. Excessive packaging often leads to a lot of waste, and conscious customers will often choose products with less packaging and more ethical processes. Choosing to use technology such as Automate will result in less waste as you only create the packaging you really need, as and when you need it.

Products Are Not Well Protected

The last thing you or your customers want is to get your product home, only to find it has become damaged in its packaging. When you have packaging that isn’t the exact size required for your products, it can lead to them being damaged in transit. If your existing packaging is not properly protecting your products, or you have to use a lot of additional packaging to fill box space, then it will not give a positive impression of your business. 

A product packaging company will be able to help you to get boxes and packaging solutions that are designed to perfectly fit every one of your products to prevent damage.

6 Stunning Bespoke Ecommerce Packaging Designs for Inspiration

When it comes to e-commerce, companies have become more inventive in recent years about the packaging they use. It’s no longer enough to send a product in a plain cardboard box. Instead, you need to think about your brand and the message you want to send when a box from your company arrives with your customer., creating bespoke ecommerce packaging is one way to do that.

Inspirational packaging design

Once you have your branding down, you can start designing your packaging.  Here are six inspirational packaging design ideas to get you started:

  • Colour

Colour is a powerful tool when it comes to sending a message about who your company is and what it stands for.  It allows you to catch your customer’s eye when the package arrives and helps ensure it stands out from the crowd.  Right now, blended colours are especially popular as are black and white designs, which can allow you to create intricate and intriguing designs that make people look twice.

An example of the use of black and white can be seen in the Allsorts packaging, which came out a couple of years ago and allowed the sweets to stand out against all the others on the shelf.

  • Minimalism

If you do go for black and white, one of the things to remember is to keep things simple.  Black and white packaging makes a statement, and you don’t want to confuse this by making it too busy.  Minimalistic packaging works well in lots of ways. It sends a message that your company is open and honest, for example, and that you don’t focus on style over substance, something more and more customers want to see right now.

With minimalism, because there isn’t anything to distract the eye, you need to think about the colour(s) you use, and the typography but function is important too.  There is no point in keeping the packaging design simple if the packaging itself isn’t fit for purpose. Beauty brands are experts at minimalist design and worth looking at for inspiration.

  • Typeface

Beauty products are good at typeface too.  They tend to keep it simple (space is often a premium) but use creative placement to add a twist to the design.  An example is Thomas Kosmala, who wrapped the typeface around their packaging rather than have it placed on just one side.  It’s an approach that can be used on any type of box, regardless of whether it is packing the product itself or being used for shipping.

  • Images

Images can also be used on product packaging or packaging used for shipping.  They can be as simple as your company logo or more involved. If you have the budget, speak to an illustrator to come up with something unique for your company.  Vintage imagery is particularly popular right now, and it’s definitely worth seeing if this will fit with your brand. Remember, it doesn’t have to be too literal, but it does need to be eye-catching.

  • Themes

Whether your use images or not, it’s essential to try and stick to a theme with your packaging. This links back to your brand and the need for consistency.  Use the same colour, or range of colours, in your packaging and the same typography.

If you do use images, remember, you don’t need them all to be the same, but they do need to have something in common in order to tie your look together.

  • Inclusivity

Recently, Lego began a pilot for braille bricks. A similar approach can work in packaging and designers have been working on this.  You could, for example, include braille text on your boxes or consider using fonts that are better for those with dyslexia to read.  

  • Quality and consistency

Once you decide on your design, you need to make sure it runs through all of your packaging from boxes to bags. The quality of your packaging matters too. This doesn’t mean you need to blow the bank, but it does mean buying the best packaging you can within your budget.

To make sure you get the best quality, look at ways you could save money on packaging. With Right Size, for example, you get good quality cardboard boxes at an affordable price because you only produce the boxes you need when you need them. You can also print directly to these boxes, meaning you can add a design without the added costs that other companies might charge.

Reduce Packaging With These Simple Fixes

If you operate an e-commerce business, packaging is something you can’t avoid but reducing packaging is becoming even more important .  Whether you’re sending your products onto suppliers or onto consumers, it has to be packaged in a way that keeps the goods inside safe and secure until they reach their final destination.   So can reducing packaging work?

The risk here is that, in an effort to make sure your product doesn’t get damaged in transit, you use too much packaging which can end up costing you money that you would much rather see going to your bottom line.

In manufacturing, Forbes magazine identified packaging as one of the three best ways to cut costs, and the same applies if your business is online.  How, though, do you reduce the amount of packaging you use? Here we look at some six simple fixes for reducing the packaging your business uses.

  • Review your packaging

Before you start to reduce your packaging, you need to know just how much you use.  Look back over the past three or six months and work out how much packaging you used – and how much you spent on it.  

Then, look at how much packaging you keep in reserve and whether any of it has been sitting there for more than a month; if it has, it probably means you don’t need it. Don’t forget to look at additional packaging material such as bubble wrap too.  

  • Decide on the packaging you need

Take a look at the goods you sell and decide what type of packaging is best when it comes to shipping. If you sell clothes, for example, mailing bags may be better than boxes and probably won’t need much, if any, additional packaging materials to keep them damage free.  

You might need to use additional packaging materials for fragile items, which will also most likely need to be shipped in cardboard boxes.  As well as the material, consider the size. If you ship smaller items, you won’t need big boxes; if you ship items in bulk, you will.

Finally, think about how you store goods in your warehouse. Do you use cardboard boxes for these that are then discarded? Can they be replaced with reusable plastic crates?  These not only reduce the packaging you use (internally) but reduce your costs (though there may be an additional initial outlay).

  • Only buy what you need

Once you know what packaging you need, work out how much stock you think you’ll be shipping and buy just enough to cover these sales. This way, you won’t be left having paid for packaging you don’t need, and you won’t be tempted to over-pack an item.  

Better yet, consider investing in a system such as Right Size that lets you customise your packaging to perfectly fit the items you’re shipping and create exactly the number of boxes you need at any given time.

  • Cut back on additional packaging

One of the best things about systems such as Ribble Right Size is that they allow you to cut down on additional packaging.  The same applies if you buy boxes that are as close in size to the products you want to ship. This is harder if you buy in bulk because you can end up with too many boxes that aren’t a good fit, meaning you’re much more likely to use boxes that are too big and fill up any empty space with bubble wrap or packaging peanuts.

  • Change your mindset

Using the right sized-packaging and reducing the amount of additional packaging material aren’t difficult changes to make but they could well mean you need to change the way you work.  The same applies to your employees too. So, while it might be quicker and easier to reach for the first available box when preparing an item for shipping, instead, you’ll need to look for the box that best fits the product.  

  • Reuse and recycle

Think about how you can reuse packaging too.  Can used packaging paper be shredded and used as packaging material, for example, or can boxes used by customers to return items be reused when you send out your next order?

By taking these simple steps, you’ll be able to not only reduce the amount of packaging you use but cut your operational costs (including warehouse space and transportation).  You’ll also be reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and your carbon footprint, both of which are good for not only the planet but your reputation.

Boxes Are Affecting Your Transportation Cost in Logistics

When it comes to logistics, online companies generally spend more on the transport of goods than anything else; some industry experts estimate transportation costs in logistics can run as high as 50%.

This is especially true of ecommerce sites whose business model relies on being able to get their products to their customers as quickly as possible and who don’t have the benefit of bricks and mortar stores where people can ‘click and collect’ their purchases.

How packaging can reduce transportation costs in logistics

Packaging is incredibly important when it comes to shipping goods.  It needs to be strong, sturdy and able to protect what’s inside, making sure it reaches its destination in the same condition as it left your warehouse (and keeping your customer happy).  

Typically, this has meant online stores using standard-sized boxes and protecting the contents with additional packaging material such as bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts.  While this may go a long way to reducing the risk of goods being damaged in transit, it also goes a long way to increasing your transportation costs in logistics because you are basically paying to ship air.  

Every cubic inch of your packaging that doesn’t contain your product and contains packaging materials instead – or nothing at all – is costing you money.  You can save this money by reducing the size of the boxes you use for your packaging.

If you ship large quantities of goods and have your own delivery trucks, reducing the size of your packaging means you can get more boxes into each vehicle.  The more boxes you can get into a truck, the fewer journeys you need to make, and the less you end up spending on fuel.

If you use a courier service or Royal Mail to ship your goods, you will generally be charged by either size or weight.  Reducing the size of the packaging will, therefore, automatically save you money.

As reducing the size of your packaging also means a reduction in additional packaging material you’ll also save money if you are charged by weight; your packages will weigh less because they are not only smaller but contain less unnecessary packaging material.

How to protect your goods when you reduce your packaging

Many companies don’t use less packaging, even though they know if they can reduce their transportation costs in logistics because they are afraid their goods will end up getting damaged in transit. It isn’t necessarily the case, however, that this will happen.  In fact, if you use the right type of packaging, you could end up with a higher level of protection that you had when using traditional boxes.

A lot of traditional packaging boxes, for example, are what is known as a single wall, which isn’t that strong in reality.  Others use corrugated cardboard which is stronger but can still buckle or tear in transit if not handled correctly, which is why additional packaging materials are used.   For packaging to help reduce your transportation costs in logistics, you need to look at it in a different way.

Think, instead, of using bespoke packaging.  Look for companies who are able to make boxes that fit the items you are selling, including those that offer box on demand systems. These not only produce boxes that perfectly fit the goods you want to ship but do so only when you need them. This means you aren’t paying for packaging you don’t need or having to worry about where you need to store it.    

Other ways packaging can save you money

As well as saving you money on transportation costs in logistics, getting the size of your packaging right can also save you money when it comes to warehousing.  The less packaging you use, the more goods you can store in less space; as most warehouse costs are calculated in square footage, the less you use, the less it will cost.   

There are staffing efficiencies too – smaller boxes are easier to handle and often quicker to move by your warehouse teams.

Using systems such as box on demand can also save you money because they automate the process of producing boxes as and when needed.  Firstly, you don’t need to find space in your warehouse to store them, which will save you money as we’ve already seen.

In addition, you save time – and more money – because a machine puts them together rather than a person who can probably be better utilised somewhere else in your business.

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