During a product’s distribution cycle many variables come into play: the route to be followed, the means of transportation, the specific characteristics of the product in question… This is why there are no one-size-fits-all packaging solutions, but instead, each company will need to find the packaging that is better tailored to the specifics of its product and the distribution cycle.
What are packaging solutions?
Packaging solutions are nothing more than the various alternatives that companies have to package their products and ensure that they arrive in perfect conditions to their destination. More than anything, packaging needs to be safe, so as to guarantee the integrity of the load and prevent cost overruns for companies. Therefore, in order for a packaging to be successful, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- Rigidity and stability: the rigidity of the cargo unit strongly depends on all packaging levels, since both the secondary and the primary packaging, as well as the product itself, can impact the way in which a cargo unit behaves. The transport packaging is considered to provide rigidity to the cargo unit, which is why it is important to attain an optimal packaging so that the product gets to the customer in perfect conditions.
- Strength: the package should be capable of withstanding the forces to which the cargo is subjected during transportation, such as vibrations, drops, temperature changes, pressure changes, accelerations, hard braking, etc.
- Underpackaging or overpackaging: both overpackaging and underpackaging should be avoided. To this end, there are laboratory tests that allow you to know what the optimal amount of packaging is for a particular product and a specific route, whose purpose is for pallets to remain rigid and stable.
“More than anything, packaging needs to be safe, so as to guarantee the integrity of the load and prevent cost overruns for companies”
How to achieve a protective packaging during transportation
Cargo safety will not only depend on finding the best packaging solutions; the means of transportation and the route to be traversed have a significant impact in this regard. In order to obtain a packaging that fulfills all of its protective duties, it is important to follow the advice below during the transportation cycle:
- The cargo needs to be loaded onto the vehicle in a way that it cannot harm anyone involved in loading, unloading and driving the vehicle, as well as pedestrians, the load and the vehicle itself.
- Make sure that you are only loading goods that are safe and suitable for transportation.
- Verify whether the cargo securing plan is available when starting the loading process.
- Guarantee that all certificates can be provided for the parts of the vehicle used to secure the load.
- Make sure that the vehicle is in good condition and that the space reserved for the load is clean.
- Check that all equipment necessary for securing the load is available and in good conditions when starting the loading process.
- Ensure that the vehicle’s floor is not supporting an excessive pressure during the loading operations.
- Confirm that the load is adequately distributed inside the vehicle, taking into account the distribution over the vehicle’s axles and the spaces gaps that can be considered to be acceptable.
- Ensure that the vehicle is not overloaded. When placing a load on a transport vehicle you need to avoid exceeding the maximum dimensions, as well as the maximum gross weights and the gross axle weight rating, in addition to the maximum axle loads to guarantee an adequate stability, steering and braking.
- Guarantee the proper use of any necessary extra equipment, such as anti-slip pads, fillings and weight-balancing materials, lashing bars and all other securing equipment that needs to be fastened during loading.
- Make sure that the vehicle is adequately sealed, when appropriate.
- Verify that all lashing elements have been adequately applied.
- Verify that the vehicle is properly locked.
- Comply with the regulations outlined in Directive 2014/47/EU on roadside technical inspections.
“Cargo safety will not only depend on finding the best packaging solutions; the means of transportation and the route to be traversed have a significant impact in this regard”
Which packaging solutions are better for my business?
At Safe Load TT we have been working in the packaging sector for many years, and we have helped may companies find the best packaging solutions for their products. Throughout our history we have stumbled upon some common problems that we have been able to solve thanks to our services and machinery. These are some of the most outstanding cases:
- Problem: a transportation company that has been using the same packaging system during all of its existence starts having problems when performing the same distribution routes. Solution: the solution involves performing the corresponding study to detect where the problem lies by carrying out a test to verify the quality of the packaging used for the transportation of the products. In order to do this, a compression machine is required.
- Problem: a national brewery starts a new commercial route to distribute its products internationally. It traverses the same distance that it had been previously travelling; all that changes is the route. However, the packaging starts failing with this new route in 1 out of 10 deliveries. Solution: study the route using a Data Recorder and verify whether the transport company was using the correct route. The two routes were simulated with the help of the pitch & roll machine and the horizontal stability machine. It was detected that the transports were performing different routes.
- Problem: as food company opens a new automated warehouse and needs to define the package testing requirements of its customers. Solution: the solution involved registering the events that took place inside the warehouse using a Data Recorder and designing a testing procedure to be reproduced using the pitch and roll machine, the horizontal stability machine and the compression machine (to perform creep tests).
- Problem: there is a company that wants to be an Amazon supplier and have that company distribute its products. In order to accomplish this, it needs to comply with the ISTA AMAZON-6 standards. Solution: in order to comply with these requirements the company needs to use transport simulation machines to perform the compression, drop, clamp, horizontal impact and vertical vibration tests (Amazon Lab).
As you can see, at Safe Load TT we have an answer to any problem related to the packaging industry. If you need to improve your packaging solutions, get in touch with us, and we will assist you.