Right-sizing and lightweighting have long been mantras of the packaging industry. However, with the sky high shipping costs and some companies’ needing to switch to costly air freight to get goods on time, it becomes even more crucial.
Currently, we’re hearing that shipping container costs have risen from about $2,000 per containers a year ago to $20,000 or more per container now. This makes right-sizing your packaging of the utmost importance so that shippers can maximize the amount of product loaded into these historically high-priced containers. Then, proper organizing of a container full of right-sized packages will look like a good game of Tetris so that the boxes are packaged in tightly, minimizing the space between each box. Shippers looking to reduce costs – and that seems like it would be just about everyone’s goal in this environment – will be looking to ensure that they aren’t shipping a lot of air!
However, shippers who have had to switch to air freight in order to get the goods they need in a more timely manner are looking even more closely at lightweighting. Air freight is traditionally more expensive than ocean freight, but is priced by weight of the shipment, not volume. Therefore, checking the gauge of the boxes used and ensuring that it is the right selection for the product being shipped is one step to economize.
Obviously, these steps must be taking with the safety of the product being shipped in mind. With the high costs of shipping and the sometimes long wait times to get replacement product, it is more important than ever to package products to minimize product damage or waste.
Freedonia analysts continue to watch these packaging evolutions, particularly as using less packaging and reducing waste have additional sustainability impacts as well.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Packaging area with titles such as Global Corrugated Boxes, Global Pallets, Protective Packaging, Global Packaging & Shipping Tapes, and Global E-Commerce Packaging, and Freedonia Focus reports on Freight Services: United States and Freight by Waterway: United States. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.