How reliable is your supply chain? As reliable as every link in it – and one critical link is the packaging you use to ship your goods. Working with a professional packaging supplier will mitigate some of the risks – but only as far as you share insightful information that will help packaging specialists recommend the right products. Thus, the Logistic Packaging Experts decided to share with you a few helpful ideas on performing a packaging risk analysis for your entire supply chain.
This risk analysis will help you identify and address vulnerabilities, in collaboration with a trusted packaging supplier. At the same time, you will be able to improve flexibility and the ability to adapt to sudden changes, such as the unprecedented situation we experienced starting with 2020.
First Step in the Packaging Risk Assessment: Evaluate Current Situation
The evaluation of how packaging helps (or hampers) your supply chain must be extremely thorough. You should involve as many stakeholders as possible and rely on data you collect on a regular basis from interactions with vendors and clients.
Here are a few areas you should include in your packaging risk assessment:
1. Perform Stock Taking on Current Packaging Solutions
How many reusable packaging materials do you currently have? Are they sufficient to cover the current demand? What about a sudden increase in demand? What is the condition of these packaging materials and their expected lifespan?
This is just the starting point, but it is like tracing the basic lines of a painting. The outline is barely clear, but as you add more elements to the packaging risk assessment, the definite picture will emerge.
3. Consider All the Touchpoints of Your Supply Chain
How much handling and shipping is involved in delivering goods across your supply chain? Are you a local distributor sending goods from a regional hub to retail stores and supermarkets? Or are you in charge with a large warehouse supplying goods across borders to smaller distribution centers and large B2B clients?
Each extra touchpoint involves supplementary wear and tear and risk of damage for your packages and the goods inside. Thus, as part of the packaging risk assessment, you must map all the use cases for your pallets, containers and shipping totes. These use cases will help your packaging supplier help you optimize your logistic operations (more on this below).
3. Collect Feedback from All Relevant Stakeholders
How do your clients rate your deliveries from the point of view of packaging? Do you have any complaints concerning damaged products, liquids leaking out of shipping crates or other similar problems?
A few incidents are unavoidable, but if you can identify a trend in these complaints, you must highlight this aspect as a major vulnerability in your packaging risk analysis.
Step Two: Consider the Solutions to Fix Vulnerabilities
In our experience as packaging specialists, vulnerabilities across the supply chain directly related to packaging involve:
1. Improving Packaging Quality
Older packaging materials are made of unreliable materials, such as wood, cardboard or low resistance plastic. The latest returnable packaging solutions are produced of high resistance polypropylene or high density polyethylene. These materials are tested and proven to:
- Resist intense wear and tear
- Resist oils, chemicals, fats and various liquids
- Be safe for food contact
- Have a long lifespan.
If a high turnover in packaging material is a key point on your packaging risk assessment, you need to consider replacing older solutions with modern packaging materials.
2. Optimizing Packaging Sizing
In some cases, the key issue across the supply chain is the rising cost of transportation. Yes, shipping companies keep increasing their fees, but this is not the only explanation. In many cases, you are paying for empty space. Many companies do not optimize their packaging to the type of products they ship.
Smart packaging solutions, such as dividers, textile dunnage or custom built containers for your products can effectively reduce the volume per shipment, while containing the same quantity of products.
3. Eliminating Single Use Packaging
Single use packaging materials have two problems: they represent recurring costs for your business and an extra cost for your clients, who have to pay to dispose of them. They also represent a large percentage of the total waste found in landfills.
Logistic Packaging is a reliable supplier, always ready to help you solve vulnerabilities you find in your packaging risk assessment. We can identify the best packaging solutions for you application or even design unique packaging solutions for your company. Send us an email now to start discussing your project!