implementing customized returnable containers for cables solved a client's operational problems

Customized Returnable Containers for Cables Optimizes Auto Aftermarket Supplier’s Operations

The automotive aftermarket sector has one of the most challenging supply chains. There is a constant demand for various car parts, from the very large to the very small. For suppliers in this sector, one of the key issues is keeping their operational costs under control. In this case study, customized returnable containers for cables prove to be the ideal solution to an auto aftermarket supplier’s logistic and operational problems.

The Client’s Issue: Complex and Expensive Shipping Operations

Our client supplies parts and components for a wide range of popular European, American and Asian car brands. They sell their products both to car repair shops and through a chain of stores to car owners.

This means that their typical shipments from the central warehouse to distribution hubs near the stores consist of items of all sizes and weights, some of them with specific packaging and handling requirements. The company uses an assortment of standard Galia and VDA-KLT containers, as well as ESD containers.

However, the crux of the problem is the shipment of various types of cables used for car repairs and maintenance. None of the packaging the company uses is a good fit for these products. Thus, the cables are usually placed together in large containers, which are incompletely filled. Upon delivery, the employees must spend extra time separating the cables by type and repackaging them into other storage boxes.

Logistic Packaging Experts Analyze the Client’s Problem

From the very beginning, our packaging specialists identified several problems in the client’s shipping activities:

  • Lack of specialized packaging for one of the most in-demand products they are selling
  • Increased transportation costs, since containers with cables are never filled to capacity
  • Extra costs with manpower for unpacking, separating and repacking the cables upon delivery
  • Damage to cables with specific packaging requirements, packed together with other cables.

All these problems generate operational costs and unnecessarily complex activities at the local distribution hubs.

Our Specialists’ Solution: Customized Returnable Containers for Cables

The sheer variety of the types of cables the auto aftermarket supplier sells makes it impossible to use standard sized packaging for shipment. Thus, our packaging specialists recommended designing together with the client a range of customized returnable containers for cables.

After discussions with the client, we came up with three types of dimensions, which solve the packaging needs for any combination of cables the company needs to ship to stores and distribution hubs.

The key benefits of these custom-sized packaging solutions we pointed out to the client are:

  • One batch of products is made of ESD materials, to be used for cables which must be protected from electrostatic discharges
  • The containers have a sturdy build and can be stacked in the trailer
  • Each container can be equipped with various types of dividers, including textile dunnage and separating layers
  • The containers are foldable, allowing the company to save storage space and costs on return logistics.

Supplementary Customization Simplifies the Unpacking Operations

Apart from creating customize returnable containers for cables, we also suggested to further personalize them with identifying elements:

  • The company name and logo
  • Printed instructions for handling the cables
  • Project number identifying the type of cables.

The Client’s Feedback after Implementation

The auto aftermarket supplier decided to go ahead with the design and implementation of the customized packaging for cable harnesses. Several months later, they provided an overall feedback from corporate headquarters and the warehousing teams.

The new packages simplified the shipping and distribution activities. The company also noted a decrease in shipping and return logistics costs, allowing them to consider an extension of their warehousing facilities.

Logistic Packaging can recommend the best packaging solutions for your products. If standard ranges are not a good fit, our specialists will design unique packaging solutions incorporating all your requirements. Send us an email to start discussing your packaging projects with our consultants!