Staying in business is a complex juggling game of numbers, revenues vs. expenses. As the current economic conditions brought about a shrinking of revenues, most managers are also seeking ways to reduce their expenses. Among the investments that get the ax are those in packaging materials, advertising and marketing. Since reusable plastic containers represent a significant investment, why shouldn’t you choose cheap cardboard boxes?
A False Economy in Many Ways
Cardboard boxes were popular for decades. Easy to set up, easy to crush and dispose of and very cheap, they used to represent the standard packaging material for almost all types of products.
But then reusable plastic containers appeared on the market and they proved to be sturdier, more reliable and adequate even for overseas shipping. They are still the number one packaging solution in all industries and for good reason. A single plastic container can be used for hundreds of shipping cycles. Cardboard boxes are single use. Thus, you will get practically no return on investment on them. By contrast, with reusable plastic packaging, you get not only full ROI, but also a low total cost of ownership.
Smart Savings Go Beyond Money
The most difficult part of emerging from an economic crisis is bankability. It is followed closely by brand reputation and customers’ trust. When a business cuts investments in elements of the customer experience – such as professional packaging – then customers lose faith.
Speaking from experience in working with customers, Logistic Packaging experts have put together a list of key reasons why cardboard boxes are not the solution to keep your business going.
1. Low Resistance to Mechanical Shocks and Stacking
There is nothing more disheartening for your customer than to open the trailer door and see the products they ordered toppled and crushed inside. Cardboard boxes offer minimal protection, rather, no protection at all during rough journeys.
Reusable plastic containers, by contrast, are tested and proven for their endurance and their high static and dynamic load capabilities. They form stable stacks and keep your products safe from mechanical shocks, vibrations and various contaminants.
2. Clients Are Burdened with the Cost of Disposing of the Boxes
Once the products are unloaded and transferred in storage or on the store shelves, your customer is left with a heap of cardboard boxes. Thus, they will have to pay for their recycling or disposal. Just as you are trying to cut costs, so are they.
And this is why you should do them the courtesy of shipping their orders in reusable plastic containers. Once the merchandize is unloaded, the empty packages go back in the trailer and are returned to you. Since many of the models are foldable or collapsible, you will not pay a lot of money for the return journey.
3. Handling Requires Lots of Work and Leads to Losses
Cardboard boxes are not very sturdy and are not recommended for handling with automated logistic equipment. They can tear and crush easily, so you have to use manual labor for handling them.
This means extra work and extra costs plus the (quite frequent) accident leading to damaged products or even labor accidents. By comparison, reusable plastic containers are designed specifically for handling by forklifts and other automated warehouse vehicles with minimal human input.
4. You Will Need Supplementary Display Packages
You cannot really display fresh fruit, bottles of juice or other products in your store in boxes made of cardboard. They don’t look professional and it would be pointless to customize them with your brand image.
By contrast, most reusable plastic containers are designed to look good, not just be strong and reliable. They are available in a wide range of colors, can be customized with your company logo and, thus, can be used from the warehouse to the store shelf, without other intermediary packaging involved.
5. Your Business Will Generate Lots of Wastes
Waste is something that can tarnish your brand name. As consumers become more aware of the issues of sustainability, recycling and judicious use of natural resources, they penalize companies that generate a lot of waste by not shopping from them.
You can reduce your overall quantity of waste significantly if you opt for reusable plastic containers. They are fully recyclable or even made of recycled materials. Since plastic is more valuable than cardboard, a higher percentage of old containers get recycled compared to cardboard boxes.