Packaging For… Logistics
Friday's Industry Tips
It's time to put another industry in the blog spotlight today, where we'll be concentrating on the logistics sector. Logistics is a huge area of expertise for our business, as it is directly linked to the supply chain which we actively work to improve through our products and group businesses. December is an apt time to write about this industry as it is when third party logistics and distribution companies come in to its busiest period due to the volume of product going out to consumers for Christmas. There are certain products that Kite specialises in which are ordered in high volumes by logistics businesses, to ensure packages are sent out on time and with the best protection.
The logistics sector is a high-pressured environment and plays a key part in the supply chain which has a knock on effect on packaging businesses, manufacturers and retailers. Logistics businesses might not be glamorous or interested in bespoke design however they play one of the most important roles in the industry, and are the reason why all your products arrive safely through the post! Today's advice is focused on the role of logistics companies within the supply chain and the packaging requirements it has to maintain an efficient operation. A similar industry to logistics is the warehousing sector, which requires similar efficiency solutions - we'll be looking at that its need and product requirements next week.
Do you operate in the logistics sector? What is most important to you in order to run an efficient operation? We love to hear from a wide range of industries about innovation, queries and more. If you have Twitter, join us! - @kitepackaging
Logistics Industry Packaging Needs
One of the reasons for focusing on the logistics sector this week is that it is currently their busiest season, which directly effects packaging businesses like ours in terms of supplying large volumes of transit packaging. This in turn means that other businesses, such as contract packers are incredibly busy making sure product is wrapped and shipped quickly in time for the Christmas. Logistics businesses often run a slick operation so that each role is assigned and robust procedures are in place to maintain consistency.
However, the packaging needs for this industry remain similar throughout the year as the supply chain remains the same. So what are the top key needs of this sector? Well...
- Bulk Shipping - A large majority of a logistics business role is to package and ship product directly from manufacturers to retailers. You may think that a small high street deli has little packaging requirement, but chances are the product they sell has been produced in high volumes by the manufacturer and moved through the supply chain to multiple sites by a logistics company. This requires packaging that can manage large quantities of product and will be packed on to a carrier truck in the most efficient way.
- Contract Packing - Particularly at Christmas time contract packing companies are under high-pressure to pack large product volumes and ship them out simultaneously on behalf of retailers and marketing companies.
- Speed - These companies tend to operate on a busy production line where each product needs to be wrapped, labelled, and packed in seconds. For this reason logistics companies invest heavily in equipment that speeds up the line and helps operatives.
- Mixed Products - Packaging should always be ordered in advance so that enough stock is available should a big order arrive or a client needs stock sent out quickly. However for logistics companies that service a wide range of sectors sometimes the exact packaging product specs needed are unclear. This is when a good range of various solutions that will fit a range of products is most needed.
- Protection - Because logistics is a third party operation it needs to ensure that the best possible service is provided to retain its customers. In terms of protection, particularly when sending out Christmas gifts, items need to be packaged efficiently but with the right amount of protection to ensure a small returns rate.
Packaging Solutions for the Logistics Industry
Logistics and Warehousing have similar needs, however the variety of products used differs slightly. This post focuses on purely logistics, take a look at the most popular products for logistics and why - then come back next week when we'll give warehousing its very own post.
Pallets are a huge product for logistics as they are an ideal product for moving items around a large facility and for packing a bulk order on to for transit. Plastic pallets offer a great alternative to traditional wooden pallets and are lighter which helps to reduce shipping costs. Extremely durable, they won't splinter like wooden pallets and still offer a four-way entry which is compatible with forklift trucks. Most importantly, plastic pallets are stackable which is ideal for a logistics operation which has an unpredictable flow of work and seasonal busy periods. When the operation is quiet plastic pallets can be stored in very little space in comparison to wooden pallets. They are also ideal if your logistics business has a lot of food clients, as they are much more hygienic, can be wiped down and are favoured by the sector.
Pallet boxes and timber cases are also ideal for shipping bulk orders. Items can be packed straight in to the box and put on a carrier without needing to secure to a pallet first. Pallet boxes are extremely durable which is ideal for items that are sent out in POS packaging, which although eye-catching may not be able to withstand long journeys on their own.
Stretch Film and Bubble Wrap
Stretch film is the most popular product for logistics and warehousing companies. It is extremely versatile and works to not only secure a pallet load but provide weather proofing protection. For businesses that regularly send out high volumes it is recommended that a stretch wrapping machine is used to speed up the process and keep a consistent flow of product. Semi-automatic wrapping machines are incredibly easy to use, wraps four different pallet styles and allow operatives to wrap even a large pallet on their own.
With these machines Kite provides machine stretch wrap which can be loaded in to the machine and manage large volumes as it comes on 1900 metre long rolls. Alternatively, for smaller operations, extended core hand pallet wrap is a key product for logistics as the core provides a hand space for the pallet wrap to be applied tightly and efficiently. Stretch wrap clings to itself so a couple of layers at the least is recommended to secure the items on the pallet.
Bubble wrap is also a popular product for this industry as it provides protections as well as a full packing method. The large rolls Kite supplies means that it can be cut to virtually any size or simply worked off the roll for large items of to give extra protection to a pallet. Our bubble wrap contain a nylon layer which helps with air retention, ideal for long shipping journeys.
When you think of packaging you think of boxes, and we offer an extensive range of all sizes and thicknesses. A great tool for the logistics sector is our mixed pallet tool, which allows you to create your own pallet of boxes. This allows you to choose as many variations of boxes as you like which is ideal if you are packing a variety of different sized items. One of the most popular boxes for businesses with large shipping requirements is the envirobox, it is single wall but provides the same amount of strength and durability as a double wall box. It's lightweight feature reduces shipping costs and benefits the environment.
Next week we'll be taking a look at the warehousing operation - another busy place to be in December. Don't forget the Packaging Doctor is also back, and we'll be revealing a new product - enjoy your weekend!