While some CPGs have to deal with altering their primary package, especially in the case of leakers, most efforts are focused around improving the secondary package to survive a supply chain with multiple touches and up to 30% returns for damaged goods.
There are a variety of reasons for the need to change secondary packaging (see chart) with half of the respondents citing smaller pack counts and almost 30% looking at reducing carton size and unnecessary filler. Box on demand gets a lot of attention, but the process is slower than traditional cartoning line operations.
And while corrugated and molded pulp are expected to grow, according to “E-Commerce 2018: Think Inside the Box,” a whopping 72% of those polled “are looking for materials with greater durability to prevent product damage.”
All involved in the study know things need to change. And that e-commerce has totally disrupted traditional production and packaging operations.
“Our entire distribution center is not working for us any longer for direct orders and e-commerce sales” said a Project Manager for a fragrance firm.
“E-commerce products need to be more durable and stronger to survive the distribution channel” remarked a Packaging Engineer of nutritional supplements.
Some of those in the study are already taking steps to achieve a more efficient supply chain. “We did some special packaging for international shipping; added protection on the shipper and more appealing visuals on the primary package,” offered a Project Engineer for a nutrition company.
But many are still trying to figure it out. “We just went through packaging redesign for consideration of e-commerce; we need to protect the fitment, but it’s still showing signs of fragility issues,” said one Sr. Packaging Engineer for an industrial products company.
For more information on the impact of e-commerce on CPGs, 3PLs and packaging OEMs, download the FREE Executive Summary below. PMMI members can access entire 56-page report here.