Corrugated boxes within the e-commerce supply chain
With e-commerce growing by 15 – 20% each year, it’s a popular misconception that the manufacture of corrugated boxes must therefore be growing at the same pace. However, this may not necessarily be the case.
There is a vast amount of data being studied to try and verify how many of the e-commerce packages ordered are being delivered in corrugated boxes. It’s also entirely plausible that the boxes we see being delivered are the same boxes that sit on the store shelf holding the product, meaning that in some cases there is more re-distribution of the corrugated box, and not necessarily more of them being used. The public however tend to notice that more parcels are being delivered in cardboard, which in turns leads to the mis-conception that a company is excessively using packaging.
Let’s not forget the primary purpose of the e-commerce box
There are lots of social media complaints around the use of too much packaging within the e-commerce sector, but what is not always considered, is that retailers choose their packaging primarily to ensure their product arrives safely and without damage. It’s possible that in some cases, a larger box is used because a degree of cushioning is required to ensure the products are fully protected in the event of the box being dropped in transit.
Our message to packaging buyers
Although consumers complain about seemingly excessive use of packaging materials, these days brand loyalty can be quickly changed if items are consistently arriving damaged and in need of a refund or return and replacement. Consumers will often scour the product reviews before a purchase, so positive reviews are vital to the successful growth of any business.
Don’t be afraid to use the right amount of packaging for the job. We have lots of off-the-shelf options available for small, one off jobs, but a custom packaging solution will cut down on excessive packaging and better protect your products in the long run.
Cardboard is still the most re-used and recycled packaging option. It’s made from 80% recycled materials and 20% from sustainable forest sources. It is also completely biodegradable.
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With the growing concern over the plastic packaging industry and the effect on our environment, we thought it prudent to highlight the environmental benefits of our cardboard boxes and the other cardboard packaging we have available.
As well as offering cost effective packaging solutions to many industries for storage, distribution and shelf ready packaging, the environmental benefits stem from a use of recycled materials and recyclable content.
At Packaging Supplies our cardboard is made from 80% recycled materials and 20% wood pulp from sustainable forest sources.
As well as the cardboard material being environmentally beneficial, we like our factories to minimise wastage by cutting all our cardboard boxes, trays and packs in the best way possible, so as to ensure waste is kept to a minimum.
When printing flexographically, an environmentally friendly water-based ink is used to add text, logo’s and images to your cardboard boxes.
Furthermore, when packaging is designed specifically around your product, it usually negates the need to add extra protective packaging, such as bubble wrap or packing chips. Therefore, cutting down on the landfill waste even more.
If you would like a quotation on bespoke cardboard packaging whether it be cardboard boxes, shipping boxes, cardboard dividers or fittings, postal boxes or cardboard trays, please get in touch with us.
Alternatively, you can follow this link for our stock packaging lines available through our online shop.
The end user also has a responsibility to dispose of all cardboard materials and recycle them in the appropriate way. Companies that produce a large amount of packaging waste will need to follow the government regulations. To find out if this applies to you please see follow link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/packaging-producer-responsibilities
Corrugated Box Price Increases 2018
What’s it all about, why are my corrugated packaging costs increasing and what will happen during 2018?
After a challenging 18 months, which has seen the price of paper rise at an unprecedented rate, we had hoped by now that the market would see some price stability. However, the corrugated industry, is still struggling with the supply of all containerboards.
What’s causing this?
The UK corrugated market has seen unparalleled growth during 2017, from the uncertainty over post Brexit supply combined with the 15% fall in sterling since Brexit. This has prompted UK manufacturing, which is currently booming, to reassess their supply chain and buy more packaging from within the UK. This upsurge in demand has impacted on the cost of the raw materials for the entire corrugated box making industry.
Because there is currently no planned investment for new Kraft paper mills, the demand is outstripping the supply of raw materials, meaning that box making factories are being let down on material delivery and are having to pay increased prices for the paper that they can source. Furthermore, orders are being cut short with only a percentage of requirements being fulfilled without prior notice.
The huge growth in demand for corrugated boxes added to the peak Christmas period means that lead times are extended as you can only produce a certain amount from a machine on a daily basis. Running machines at high speeds for lengthy periods of time means they become more prone to problems and breakdowns despite a programme of planned maintenance throughout the year.
What’s the solution?
Initially many customers looked to move to recycled papers such as TL2, but this increase in demand has also restricted the supply of such papers and has consequently led to an increase in price for these papers too. Ultimately those seeking to buy the raw materials for the manufacture of corrugated boxes are almost powerless to negotiate on price, if they want to continue to get supply.
Stocks of pulp and paper are very low. The usual q1 slump is not expected so we do not see any improvement in supply or pricing on the horizon.
What changes will we see in 2018?
There are several new recycled paper mills across Europe being commissioned during 2018 but this will only affect supply in the medium to long term. There is currently no planned growth in the production of Kraft papers anywhere.
Consequently, we are heading for some quite substantial increases in price for corrugated boxes in early 2018.
Whilst Packaging Supplies have made every effort to mitigate, absorb and delay this latest increase and fully appreciate the impact on your business, we must however be able to operate a sustainable business whilst maintaining security of supply. Every factory large or small has been affected by these shortages in material supply and will have no option but to review their pricing.
We remain committed to helping our customers deliver cost take out, through product re-engineering and smart use of raw materials and are available to explore these options with you.
The shelf in which produce sit in the supermarkets and other retail outlets is constantly evolving. Retail and shelf ready packaging have become part and parcel of the shopper experience over a large and varied range of industries.
We live in an era of the marketer; everything from strapping to tape has become branded in the packaging world. Why shouldn’t the boxes supplied to stores also offer promotion and generate sales. When you’re walking around a supermarket, brands are looking for any in store touching points they can get! This is why this style of packaging and marketing departments harmonies so well.
What is Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP) or Retail Ready Packaging (RRP)?
The primary purpose of SRP is to ensure that products which are packed in SRP are quickly and easily placed on the supermarket or shop shelf without the need for any unpacking and re-stacking.
Shelf ready packaging comes in many forms and covers all types of packaging specifically designed for retail.
Secondary purpose of shelf ready or retail packaging is to collate and protect your products. To qualify as SRP the packaging should be:
· Easy to identify
· Easy to open
· Easy to dispose of
· Easy to shelf
· Easy to shop
These elements of SRP or RRP will help to successfully move your products through the supply chain.
Effect of Good Retail Packaging in store include
· Good merchandising
· Branding and increased consumer communication
· Less risk on new ranges or products
· Product selection made easier
· Faster store replenishment, some leading supermarket won’t accept non RRP for this reason
Effect on Supply Chain (remember 90% of packaging costs are hidden)
· Sophisticated design enables better design, less damages and refunded items
· Streamlined process
· Maximum amount of product per pallet, less lorries and better for the environment
· Less storage space needed
The Corrugated industry is continuously evolving and through clever design and experience we enable companies to drastically save money and lower their carbon footprint.
Please write an enquiry or call one of our friendly, well trained staff at 01491 834000