Choosing the right packaging is crucial: from optimizing costs to avoiding shrinkage during transportation, research and decisions focused on packaging design are key to the success of many businesses. Which is why we have compiled a list of the most common packaging mistakes so that you can avoid them and set yourself apart from the competition.


What are the most common packaging mistakes?

In this list, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes that are made in relation to primary, secondary and, in particular, tertiary packaging. In this last category, we can find packaging solutions that are not in direct contact with the product, and their purpose is to protect the goods, as well as the primary and secondary packaging, from the various hazards that might emerge during the distribution cycle. 

A typical example of tertiary packaging is stretch film, whose function is to keep the various secondary and primary packaging units together so that they are easier and safer to transport. 

Tertiary packaging is essential for the transportation of goods, and studying and researching it leads to great cost optimization opportunities for companies. However, some of the following mistakes may prevent you from reaching that goal. 


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Failure to optimize costs

Companies should not only estimate, but also foresee all the variables that can potentially affect costs during the distribution cycle. In addition to accounting for transportation expenses, you must also factor in the costs related to the manufacturing and application of the packaging material. 

One clear example is the hours of use of the baling machine when applying stretch film to the pallets holding the products.

Studying and optimizing the tertiary packaging allows companies to also optimize the use of the balers and, consequently, reduce their usage costs.  

In this regard, it is very important for companies to not only use the machines correctly but also to review and optimize the processes and aim for automation whenever possible to reduce labour costs. It is quite common for small companies to do their baling manually instead of using balers, which often times results in excessive use of stretch film in order to keep the load stable, as well as more man-hours and the generation of more waste, among other things. 

Regarding primary and secondary packaging, good packaging design will imply choosing the right material and size for the product being transported and the distribution cycle. This will allow the packaging size and weight to be reduced.

All of this will result in reduced CO2 emissions and expenses during transportation, since using less packaging material, in turn, reduces the weight and size of the load, optimizing as much as possible the use of the available space in the chosen means of transportation.

Among the packaging trends for the next few years, we can find the optimization of the distribution cycle using Big Data. Implementing this new science to logistics will enable companies to optimize their distribution cycle in regard to their shipping times, distribution routes and reduction of damages during transportation. The analysis of all the data will lead to the development of a more ecological and sustainable package. 


Relying on the same materials and design for too long

The packaging industry is in constant evolution, seeking more sustainable and cheaper materials – especially nowadays

Redesigning a packaging system may imply reducing its size, weight, or the use of more efficient and/or cheaper materials. Consequently, costs are optimized while goods are more efficiently protected. 

A recent example in regard to design optimization would be the efforts of Amazon and its Frustration-Free packaging program for companies that use its distribution channels. Through this program, Amazon aims to incentivize a lighter, simpler packaging that prevents companies from incurring additional costs in relation to the transportation and production of their own packages.

Innovations in materials are particularly important for perishable goods, such as those of the food industry. Packaging trends in this industry include new materials that enable companies to avoid additional costs due to shrinkage while keeping the products fresh for longer. 

Success depends on adapting to these changes and incorporating those that adapt to the needs of the company.


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Not testing the chosen packaging solution

Testing and transport simulation allow companies to weigh whether the chosen packaging solution has been appropriate, and to prevent costs associated with shrinkage and accidents during transportation resulting from a poor packaging. 

Simulation technologies help companies become more efficient, preventing over-packaging and under-packaging scenarios and optimizing the packaging without compromising the safety of the goods being transported. 


Not taking the primary and secondary packaging into consideration

Attaining an efficient tertiary packaging depends on previously performing a study aimed at optimizing both the primary and the secondary packaging. The three systems must be studied as a whole, guaranteeing that they complement each other and that each of them is also efficient when considered separately. 


Failure to seek sustainable solutions

Sustainability is not just a passing fad, but rather an efficient solution for companies. For this reason, another of the most common packaging mistakes is failing to research the sustainable solutions that are nowadays available.

Reducing, reusing or recycling materials are among the most important sustainable packaging trends, which are not only compliant with current regulations but also economically efficient. 

Moreover, generating a narrative of sustainability around your packaging may lead to more positive customer experience, increasing your company’s brand awareness. 

Are you worried about making one of these packaging mistakes? At Safe Load Testing Technologies we have a track record of two decades in the field of packaging simulation, having assisted a number of companies in finding the best solution to their needs. Get in touch with us and let’s talk about how we can help you.

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