professional packaging solutions

The Evolution of Professional Packaging Solutions: from the Wooden Crate to the Plastic Container

Professional packaging solutions are a recent element of the supply chain. As long as communities were self-sufficient, they would have little need to trade goods and seek products from distant places. But the telegraph, the steam engine and the industrial revolution changed all that. People became aware that there are many other foods, clothes and household items being made in other cities and other countries. And they wanted to have access to them.

Wood – the First Raw Material for Long Distance Packaging Materials

Soon enough, the wooden crate or barrel became a staple in stores. Merchandize of all kind – from fresh food to fine silks and home appliances – came packaged in wooden crates of various sizes.

This was the beginning of professional packaging solutions: a reusable material that suppliers could get back and reuse for several shipments. However, this was not an ideal or reliable packaging material. In time, wood absorbs liquids, becomes heavier, and splinters.

Also, the content of the crate was usually stamped on it and could not be erased. Thus, after several uses for different types of merchandize, it was almost impossible to identify the current stamp, hence the contents of the crate.

The 20th Century Brings the Corrugated Cardboard Box

As paper mills became more and more sophisticated, they could produce various types of materials – including corrugated cardboard. And soon enough, the supply chain discovered its benefits.

Corrugated boxes were light. Product labels could be stuck and peeled off quite easily on them. It cost less to produce this type of boxes that wooden crates. And while wood still remained a staple among professional packaging solutions for decades to come, the king of long distance shipping became the corrugated box.

The Age of Environmental Responsibility Changes the Rules of the Game

Over decades, corrugated boxes became a staple image in warehouses, store backrooms – and landfills. The low production cost and reduced sturdiness (compared to the wooden crate) determined companies all over the world to discard them without thinking twice.

It all changed in 1991. One of the most powerful economies in Europe, Germany gave a law requiring businesses to separate and recycle up to 90% of their packaging materials. Following this example, more and more countries made it illegal to send packaging materials to the landfills.

Suddenly, the corrugated box was not so cheap anymore, since a business had to pay for its elimination. It was time for a new type of material for professional packaging solutions: plastic.

The Rise of Professional Plastic Packaging

By 2005, various industries expressed a growing demand for reusable plastic packaging. Over the years, the first adopters of these professional packaging materials had discovered their benefits:

  • Versatility

Plastic can be easily injected into any shape and size. Thus, companies no longer had to look hard to find a professional packaging to fit their needs. They could order plastic packaging manufacturers to design and produce custom packaging according to their specifications.

  • Resilience

Professional packaging solutions made of plastic can carry heavy loads while maintaining a compact size and a low own weight. This feature became more and more important as shipping costs were going up.

  • Low Total Cost of Ownership

Plastic packages can be used for a long time in many shipping cycles without needing repairs or replacement. At the same time, they can be washed and sanitized in industrial washing stations in a short time.

  • Branding Opportunities

Plastic containers, totes and pallets can be produced in a wide range of colors. Also, the client’s logo and company name can be easily printed or hot stamped to increase the visibility of their brand image.

  • Recycling

All professional packaging solutions made of plastic are 100% recyclable. Some of these containers and pallets are already made of recycled material. Thus, the plastic packaging industry is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

At the present, plastic packaging is the number one type of professional packaging solutions. However, research and development teams, like the R&D team of Logistic Packaging, are continually looking for more reliable, efficient and sustainable raw materials.

Logistic Packaging is ready to help you select and implement the most adequate professional packaging solutions for your business. Send an email to our experts or schedule a live Skype video call to discuss your project!