When it comes to your company’s supply chain, there are a lot of moving parts. If your company has fallen into an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mindset, the benefits of reusable transport packaging may have fallen off your radar.
According to the Reusable Packaging Association 2020 State of the Industry Report, the global packaging market reached an estimated $950 billion in value this year with approximately $200 billion of that constituting transportation or transit packaging. In total, only about half of the $200 billion global transport packaging market is considered reusable transport packaging.
Unlike other packaging, reusable transport packaging is made to be used repeatedly and over long periods of time. Of course, unlike packaging that can be sent and forgotten, utilizing reusable transport packaging requires a management system that will track, recover and return the packaging back to you to be used again. If you are already considering to begin implementing reusable transport packaging, Alpega has a management solution.
As previously mentioned, reusable transport packaging is designed with reuse as a priority. According to the Reusable Packaging Association, pallets make up the largest portion of the reusable packaging market. However, other reusable packaging includes:
Because reusable packaging needs to withstand distance and reuse, it’s often made of wood, metal and/or plastic, or a combination of these materials. Reusable packing isn’t the same as recycled packaging, however. While reusable packaging can often eventually be recycled, the primary purpose is to reduce the amount of new packaging that is created, while packaging designed as recycled packaging won’t necessarily be used more than once.
While up-front cost and management are often deterrents for companies, there are a lot of positive impacts of reusable transport packaging that create a positive return on investment.
Large, bulky and fragile items are especially difficult to ship and can require costly specialized packaging. Because reusable packaging is designed with long-term use in mind, they’re inherently more durable and capable of withstanding rough handling, so the products inside are better insulated against any impact or force that could cause damage.
Rather than paying for specialized packaging to be designed and manufactured as many times as necessary, reusable packaging can be designed and manufactured once to move as many goods as necessary over time.
Because reusable packaging is made once and used many times rather than having many packages that do the same job once, less raw material is used in production and less waste ends up in landfills and recycling centers. According to Reusable Packaging News, a study conducted by the Reusable Packaging Association and Franklin Associates found that, on average, reusable packaging required 39% less total energy use, produced 95% less solid waste and generated 29% less total greenhouse gases.
From saving money on creating new packaging over time, reduced waste management costs, improved worker safety and efficiency throughout the supply chain system, the cost benefits add up immediately. Especially during the current economic climate, businesses are trying to save money in any way they can. The up-front cost, time, and effort provide long-term savings across the board.
If your company is considering reusable transport packaging, there are a couple of things to take into account.
Technology today has made it possible with a wide variety of new systems and processes to streamline supply chain management, including putting a reusable transport packaging program into use. Alpega’s RPM software puts the control in your hands by helping you successfully manage and track assets throughout the supply chain.
For more information or to get started, reach out to the Alpega team about RPM software today.