The automotive industry has one of the most complex models of a logistic loop. We discussed the various types of players in this industry in a previous article. Now, we want to show how important returnable packaging is for the internal logistic loop in the automotive industry.
As you know as a professional working in the automotive industry, the need for optimization has reached the highest levels. Every cost that can be eliminated should, while delivery times are increasingly shorter. The pressure of competition is incredible high, while consumers are more and more careful about how they spend their money.
Returnable Packaging Is the Main Link of an Optimized Supply Chain
Now, what is the role of returnable packaging in the optimization of the automotive supply chain? Let us return to its internal logistic loop. Each part that goes into a car moves from the manufacturing plant to an intermediate assembly factory and then reaches the final assembly line.
All these parts and semi-finished components need to move from one point to another in a precise quantity and at exact times. There must be no delays and no disparities between the ordered and the delivered quantities. And this is where returnable packaging intervenes to make these requirements possible.
Here are the reasons why:
1. Returnable Packaging Has Standard Designs
Standardization is crucial when you want to bring several companies into long term collaboration. They need to be able to calculate the materials demands, adapt their loading bays and material handling equipment using the same units of measurement.
Returnable packaging have standard footprints (EURO and ISO), which allow precise planning of loading capacity and stack arrangement on warehouse shelves and in the trailer. Moreover, some transit packaging for the automotive industry – Galia boxes and VDA-KLT boxes – standard designs with codes. This means that you can order exactly the same product from any professional packaging producer in the world.
2. You Can Implement Lean Manufacturing Practices
Kanban, Just In Time (JIT) and other lean manufacturing principles allow the automotive industry to maintain a steady flow of parts and components in the internal logistic loop. Each plant and assembly line knows exactly how much it needs to order, and how fast the parts are used up in the manufacturing process.
All returnable packaging for the automotive industry can be integrated in this type of supply flow. They have integrated label holders which allow clear identification of the contents (type of product, number of pieces), a critical aspect of Kanban practices.
Moreover, many models have a special base designed for use on conveyor belts or in other automated assembly line systems.
3. Returnable Packaging Can Be Customized with Dividers
In some instances, a type of products is delivered to one plant in Galia boxes and another type of products is packaged in the same boxes and sent elsewhere. This is possible thanks to the many customization options for returnable packaging:
Thus, the same box can be used to transport small parts in large quantities or sensitive products, such as freshly painted rearview mirrors.
4. Special Materials for Special Requirements
Modern cars contain many electronic parts and components. Everything is controlled by sensors, from the ignition to the exhaust system. As you know, electronic devices are extremely sensitive to electrostatic discharges.
To prevent them during manufacturing, storage and shipping, automotive parts manufacturers choose special returnable packaging materials:
- ESD plastic pallets
- ESD VDA-KLT boxes
- ESD foldable containers.
If you need to pack and transport very heavy items, a special range of VDA-KLT boxes has a reinforced base to offer extra strength and loading capacity.
5. One Product, Many Use Cycles
A batch of returnable packaging for the automotive industry can move within the closed logistic loop for years before it reaches the end of its lifespan. These packaging materials are designed to withstand intense use without suffering damages or breaking down completely.
Thus, companies can save a lot of money by getting more use out of their returnable packages. A low total cost of ownership plus full ROI means a double advantage for any automotive parts supplier.