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.
Get in touch for a quotation
The Incredible Café made of Cardboard
There’s an extraordinary café in Mumbai, India, which has been created by the visionary Indian design studio, NUDES. The interior of the café has been cleverly crafted, using corrugated cardboard, really taking eco-materials to the next level.
The chairs, light fixtures and tables have been layered using a strong triple wall corrugated cardboard, which has then been waxed to protect from heat, humidity and spillages, in order to make it suitable for café use.
In the centre of the café is a mind blowing, undulating wave wall, made entirely from corrugated cardboard!
Some of the pieces, such as the chairs and a table that juts out from the wall, have been crafted in such a way they almost look like hardwood. The layered card walls follow through the theme but also provide acoustic sound proofing.
This project was completed in approximately 7 months, including a 4-month period of prototyping and 3 months of construction. It is an excellent example of how versatile this environmentally friendly material is, and as you can see the sky is the limit if combined with a huge imagination and practical design know-how.
Gift set packaging for Murdock London
Towards the end of 2018 we worked closely with Murdock London, to produce a brand-new range of gift set packaging.
Murdock looked back at their brand heritage, which was built on barbering in Victorian London. They decided that Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol expressed that period and the Christmas season perfectly and so their 2018 winter gift packaging celebrated the spirit of the British Christmas with a respectful nod to Dickens’s most brilliant works, characters and quotes.
The Murdock gift collections were carefully curated to be useful and thoughtful, keenly priced to suit every gift givers pocket.
The gift box range consisted of seven “drawer” style boxes, all with identical printed bases but with the inserts and printed over sleeves changing for each pack. The gift packaging was finished in a premium high-gloss and the sleeves had a large clear window to showcase each product range.
A folding box board was used, which worked well in this case as an alternative to a paper over board wrapped rigid box. Folding box board offers good flexibility when it comes to design and being supplied flat, it saves dramatically on storage and transportation costs.
These packs just had to be folded along the scores and slotted into place and we were happy to produce video tutorials for our client’s fulfilment house showing how each tray and insert worked.
What is Folding Box Board?
Folding box or carton board is a paperboard substrate which is made up of multiple layers of chemical and mechanical pulp. It’s a low-density material with good rigidity, it has a great surface for printing, and it can be structurally designed into a range of shapes and configurations.
What are Folding Cartons used for?
Folding cartons are mainly used for lighter weight products, this includes frozen and chilled foods, confectionary, pharmaceuticals as well as health or beauty products. They are used to produce a huge variety of presentation boxes, cartons and sleeves.
Printed box options
The printing options for folding box board are extremely varied, we can quote on lithographic direct print, screen printing or digital printing. All of which can be used to give high quality, eye catching results. Many special effects can be added such as embossing/debossing, foil blocking, laminating, UV coating or spot varnish. Get in touch for a quotation
- February 19, 2019
Starting a new ecommerce business or launching a new product is an exciting time, and it won’t be long before your attention will need to turn to finding the perfect packaging to partner your product and promote your brand.
With so much to consider, we have tried to break it down into easy to handle chunks to get you started on your journey.
What type(s) of packaging do you need?
First, let’s look at the main functions of the different types of packaging you may need. Often the lines can blur between these types of packaging. The correct solution depends on your product, where you intend to sell it and how you plan to deliver it to your customer. You may need just one option or a combination of them. Consumer/Retail packaging:
This is the primary packaging, the part that will come in direct contact with your product. This could be the bottle or can containing a drink or chocolate bar wrapper protecting the food from contamination. It could even be the plush box your mobile phone comes in or a fancy gift box that an expensive piece of clothing or jewellery is presented in.
The main purpose of the primary packaging is to protect, contain and preserve its contents. It can also be used to relay important product/nutritional information or to just look amazing and really showcase the item it contains – it can tell part of a story and reach out to the consumer.
In some cases where the product will be displayed within this packaging alone, it will be the primary packaging for the product branding and the first real direct interaction your customer has with your brand.
The purpose of this can be to protect the product but also protect the primary packaging in transit.
It all depends on the type of inner product packaging required and where you are selling your product. The secondary packaging can quite often be the main vessel for displaying your brand. It can in some cases also double up and be used for logistical and identification purposes.
The secondary packaging could take the form of an SRP/RRP (Shelf ready or retail ready packaging). You could ship 100 of those chocolate bars to a supermarket and the same packaging can be used to display the bars on the shelf in the store. The secondary packaging could also take the form of the outer box that your bottles or cans are delivered in. Or where the product already has primary packaging to contain it, like a candle in a glass jar for example, it can even be the luxury display or gift box that it’s presented in.
This will be the packaging that is required to safely ship your products to the consumer or the retailer. This element of packaging is more important now than ever especially with the increase in e-commerce retailers. It’s now quite often the first physical touching point you give your customers and therefore needs to deliver not only on functionality but also in appearance.
The outer packaging will often be a corrugated box, it could be a die-cut postal box with an integral lid. It will need to be strong enough to safely ship the product and protect the inner packaging or product directly.
What is your product?
Yes, we’ll need to know this, to make sure the right materials are used, we may ask what your product is made from, how big it is, what shape it is, how much it weighs and if its fragile. You/we will also need to consider the cost of it.
There are many off-the-shelf options available but, depending on the answers to the above, a custom solution might be necessary for you. Fittings can be produced to keep your product in place and protect from damage during transport. You may also need a more generic void filling solution between your outer and inner packaging, like biodegradable packing chips, air pillows or bubble wrap.
How & where is your product being sold?
This leads us to how you intend to sell your product – this could be online, in store, on the supermarket shelf or in a small boutique shop . . . this will help determine the different levels of packaging you need combined with the best materials. From corrugated to carton board or rigid covered boxes, we can offer you a comprehensive range of suitable options.
Moving on to the aesthetics now . . .
Who is your product aimed at?
The look and feel of your chosen packaging and the materials used to make it will alter depending on your target audience. Age and gender will need to be carefully considered when designing your graphics and colour choices.
If it’s a product aimed at the environmentally conscious, you will want your packaging to reflect this so that it really reaches out to the right people. You may consider a box design that is re-usable or has a multi-purpose use, it could be made from recycled materials or simply fully recyclable. Natural FSC Kraft materials can be used to showcase to your clients how environmentally conscience your product is.
Heavier materials and different print finishes are available for accentuating a luxury or premium product and you may want to accessorize with ribbons, ties or magnetic closures.
If it’s just for shipping, the box may be plain or printed with essential product information and branded for instant recognition.
There’s nothing better than a visual representation or image of what you’re looking for, to help your packaging manufacture understand your vision. It pays to do some research and let us know what you like and don’t like.
Your budget is an integral element to your packaging choices. All too often we come across a client looking for a low number of luxury boxes to contain a relatively low value product at the same cost of an off the shelf shipping carton that’s been produced in large volumes. You must be realistic about budget, not forgetting how important a factor the packaging will be to the success of your product launch and in reinforcing your brand identity.
Considering the cost of the product and the retail price is a good place to start when putting a packaging budget together. Think about where the packaging will be stored also. We offer a stock-holding and call of service for volume orders. This is a great way to keep your storage costs to a minimum while taking advantage of a lower unit price for producing in bulk.
Packaging set up costs & unit costs:
There are different types of set up and origination costs involved too. These fall under one off set up costs and are in addition to your individual box unit price. Your first order of a custom-made pack will often include one off charges for a die cutting tool and a printing stereo or plate. However, with digital print and finishing becoming a viable option for more and more substrates, we can often eliminate some of these set up costs on smaller production runs, which can really help with start-up brands that need to get to market quickly and have a limited budget.
Get in touch with our team for a quotation or further information
- February 11, 2019
As a nation, we are more concerned than ever about our environmental choices, with packaging being one of the largest areas of concern for nearly 3 million Britons. This has resulted in many retailers re-thinking their packaging policies and work towards reducing their packaging waste and make up.
Many big chain supermarkets have already committed to reduce materials such as plastic and polystyrene, along with other unnecessary packaging. Most are working towards using only packaging that can be 100% recycled by 2025.
Sustainable Cardboard Packaging
With all the bad press around packaging, it’s easy to forget that not all packaging is the same and not all packaging deserves such a bad reputation. Cardboard packaging is one of the most sustainable forms of packaging available. The paper to produce corrugated cardboard comes from renewable sources and responsibly managed forests. In many cases it is made from a high percentage of recycled material as well. The paper sourced to produce cardboard in the UK is never sourced from tropical rainforests or other non-renewable supplies.
Recyclable Cardboard Boxes
Corrugated cardboard is also recyclable. A typical box is manufactured from 80% recycled materials and 20% wood pulp from sustainable forest sources. In fact, corrugated cardboard is the most widely recycled type of packaging!
Biodegradable Cardboard Boxes
All cardboard is biodegradable, so although without question, recycling is the best option, for any that does end up in landfill, it is totally biodegradable. This includes all corrugated, carton board, rigid paper over board boxes and cardboard tubes.
Environmentally friendly printing
There have been great advances in using more environmentally friendly, vegetable pigment based, printing inks for branding the packaging.
Until recently packaging printing was dominated by solvent-based inks, but now many are produced without such toxins. Water is being used to replace the solvent carrier element within the inks.
Get in touch with Packaging Supplies for a quotation on your environmentally friendly packaging.
We produced this study corrugated pack, designed to be used as a sales tool, to promote Kellogg’s new Joyböl range of smoothie bowls.
With the “deskfasting” habit already representing 12% of breakfast occasions and the target audience of urban millennials set to be worth 75% of all packaged food by 2025, Kellogg is on the right track to take advantage of both the trend and the long-term predicted behaviours of busy on the go consumers.
The bold and eye-catching colours used in the branding of the Joyböl were screen printed both inside and out, onto this made to measure, corrugated box and divider set to produce a good quality yet visually appealing pack.
So why was Screen Printing the perfect partner for this job?
Our client was looking for a relatively low production run to trial, but they didn’t want to compromise on the print quality, it was important to reflect the brands vibrant colour scheme through its packaging. Because silk screen printing is a slower production process to say litho printing, it was a more efficient process to use than some of the other methods at our disposal and therefore offered the best price to achieve the desired quality. A box like this can also be digitally printed for excellent results but on this occasion, the blank size was too large for that to be an option.
As you can see from the image, silk screen printing was the perfect partner for producing the high- quality imagery and accurate colours required for this particular job. Did you know you can also silk screen print 4 colours process with or without specials?
For the best finish when screen printing onto corrugated, a clay coated board will be used, this will allow for a smoother more even surface to print to. Our team can guide you to the correct combinations of material and print.
It’s Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day!Yes, you heard right, it’s officially Bubble Wrap appreciation day, which is observed on the last Monday in January every year.
Did you know bubble wrap was not intentionally created for bubble popping pleasure?
That’s right, the truth is Bubble Wrap was originally created from two shower curtains being sealed together, the inventors then tried to market this as wallpaper! Next, they tried to market it as greenhouse insulation (some people even still use it in this way today). A year later the inventors discovered its true calling and it’s now used worldwide to cushion and protect fragile items in shipping or storage (as well as bubble popping pleasure of course).
Each year there is even a Bubble Wrap brand ‘Young Inventor’ award that encourages finding new ways to use Bubble Wrap outside of packaging. These young inventors work hard every year to try to create the newest Bubble Wrap craze.
How can you celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day?
You could spend the day finding as many different ways as possible to pop bubble wrap (there are a quite a few), or you can get online and order a big role of it for all your shipping and storage needs, we have bubble rolls in lots of different roll widths, plus a huge range of bubble bags. You can order them all here in our online packaging shop.
We’ve looked back at the UK Packaging Awards of 2018 and found this innovative flat wine bottle and box worth a mention. The bottle itself was inspired by the “Amazon generation” of shoppers and created to fulfill online orders of wine that can be delivered seamlessly into the home.
Not only is it a new shaped space saving bottle, it’s inventors claim it’s made from 100% recycled PET and is slight and strong enough to be sent by post.
Considering 33 billion bottles are consumed globally per year, the space saving design of this bottle could have an immediate and positive impact on reducing carbon emissions through logistics.
You can see it here packaged into a corrugated postal box with a die cut fitting to hold it perfectly in place.
What’s this go to do with Packaging Supplies?
Well apart from loving the flat wine bottle concept, we produce postal packaging for all types of products that are sent through the post by online retailers. We can make boxes and fittings to perfectly suit your product and we can either supply these branded or left plain Kraft or white.
Get in touch for a quote on your postal packaging.
Over the last couple of weeks’, we have blogged about just a few of our most popular and essential packaging products, however these are just a few of the 1000’s of items we have to offer.
Here’s a run-down of a few more of our most popular products:
Cardboard Bakery Trays – These versatile cardboard trays are another extremely popular item. They are widley used by bakeries for food items, and can be used to display many other products. The trays have been designed to stack on top of one another with carry handles for ease of transportation. Next day delivery is also possible.
Gable & Takeaway Boxes – Used for take away food or food deliveries as well as being a unique option for low cost gift packaging. We currently have 2 types of gable box on offer, one of which has a fold down handle allowing for stacking, making it even more suitable for food delivery.
Archive Box & Lid – Sturdy, stackable archive boxes supplied with a hinged lid and hand holes. Our archive boxes come flat packed and are quick and simple to erect.
Bags – We have an extensive range of polythene bags, such as clear polythene bags, cellophane bags, grip seal bags, write on bags, bubble bags, clip close handle carrier bags, patch handle bags and white vest carrier bags.
Protective Packaging – as well as the bubble rolls and loosefill packing chips that we have already advertised, we offer many other products for protecting your goods in transit, these range from tissue paper to corrugated rolls, layer pads, centrefold sheeting and pallet tops sheets.
Visit our shop to see the full range of packaging available
On the eleventh day of Christmas, Packaging Supplies gave to me – Takeaway Food Packaging
We have a great range of Ecoware products all available for next day delivery. Our Ecoware range includes compostable coffee cups and lids, natural Kraft takeaway boxes and food trays, compostable PLA cutlery, soup bowls and lids, smoothie cups and lids, portion pots and lids, deli containers and straws which are either paper or made from biodegradable material.
Made from Ingeo™ Bioplastic PLA, our Ecoware range is 100% compostable and biodegradable, made from a plant based renewable material, these products have an 80% lower carbon footprint than tradition oil-based plastic cups and containers.
Order your environmentally friendly takeaway food packaging before 2pm for next working day delivery.