Many companies have already replaced one-way packages with reusable packaging materials, but not all of them notice the expected improvement in their shipping and logistics costs. This can be partly explained by the over-enthusiastic estimations made by logistic managers and, sometimes, encouraged by the packaging suppliers. However, these situations are usually rare and quickly corrected by the arrival of the first actual data on costs and savings made.
On the other hand, there are companies who fail to implement the best practices in using the reusable packaging in a manner which allows the company to enjoy the promised and proven benefits of these modern packages. Most of the mistakes companies make are so simple, that they were never taken into account, or put under scrutiny when analyzing the reasons why shipment costs do not decrease according to the financial projections made when the new packaging materials were implemented.
Today we will discuss the most common mistakes which prevent companies from getting the most out of reusable packaging materials:
1. Incorrect Application of the Label
Shipment companies have automated label scanners which help process a large quantity of packages, thus reducing the handling costs they charge. However, if the customer does not place the label correctly on the reusable package, their batch of containers and boxes will have to be scanned manually, thus raising the handling costs.
The best places for the label or Placard label holder it at the top left or center side of either the long or short sides (preferably on both of them). The label scanner is usually in a fixed position and thus, if a label is placed towards the bottom of the container, it will not be scanned.
2. Failure to Make Provisions for Product Returns
Modern reusable packaging improves the safety of products during shipment. However, accidents can and will happen, even with the best care used when packing an order for customers. Therefore, in the estimations for shipment costs, the calculation should always include the possibility that certain products will be returned by the end customers and even that a part of your packaging materials will get damaged. Even if insurance will finally cover all or part of these costs, they must be a part of your estimate.
3. Using Different Types of Reusable Packaging in Grouping
Grouping allows companies to save costs when shipping various products in one trailer. If you have small quantities of different types of products, the best solution is to use a special type of container, called the Hog Box, which allows grouping different materials without the risk of deterioration. Packing each type of merchandise in its separate tote or box will lead to difficulties in placing them on a pallet. You will need to use various load securing accessories and materials in order to create a stable stack, which will of course add to the final cost of your shipment.
4. Adding too Many Layers of Packaging
You can never be too cautious when it comes to securing your products for a long overseas journey. However, adding too many extra packaging beside the basic reusable packaging will make your shipment heavier – which means more expensive transportation costs. And, of course, the extra packaging materials will also add up to the logistics costs your company will incur.
5. Using Unreliable Weighing Equipment
On many occasions, the reason for inaccurate estimation of shipment costs is the weighing equipment which is poorly maintained and calibrated. If you want to keep a close control of your logistics costs, it is not sufficient to implement reusable packaging, but also to make sure that every device and item involved in calculating shipment costs is in good working conditions and offers accurate information.