Product Packaging Logistics: 3 Tips for Companies in 2021
Working with overseas suppliers can lower your packaging costs, but doing it well requires seasoned professionals versed in supply chain and logistics.
A retail packaging supplier produces product packaging that protects your product and promotes it to your customers. But it also helps you ship packaging from Point A to Point B. A knowledgeable packaging supplier navigates the murky depths of importing and exporting so you can focus on doing what you do best: design great products and run a business.
**This video shows why it can be especially beneficial to partner with a packaging company that can add you goods to their shipping volume**
Shop for Overseas Savings
When your product requires intricate printing designs, rigid boxes, and high-end poly boxes, you may turn to overseas printing markets to drive down costs. But going it alone without an expert by your side may have the opposite effect.
Dealing directly with overseas packaging sources may net you a better deal on paper but can introduce a sea of problems that end up costing you money. Working with an overseas supplier can lead to long wait times and subpar products, leaving you without recourse to recover your lost investment.
Partnering with a U.S.-based retail packaging supplier gives you the best of both worlds. You have a supplier that meets most needs, but when they cannot fulfill their duties, they’ll connect you with overseas suppliers who can.
These U.S. suppliers maintain relationships with overseas printers. Their partnerships eliminate obstacles you would encounter when importing from overseas on your own: the language barrier and the knowledge barrier. Without knowledge of the exact design and dimensions your packaging requires and the ability to communicate using industry-specific vernacular, you open the door for mistakes.
When working with Chinese manufacturers, it’s also essential to know who you are engaging with. A massive number of factories is always turning out varying degrees of product. When working on your own, selecting a quality overseas packaging company turns into a game of chance.
Even if you hit the jackpot and find a quality company to work with, they may not take on your volume. The best overseas factories are in high demand and maintain talent and capabilities that help them churn out products faster. They attract business from Big Box retailers—and they know it. They prefer prominent manufacturers to low-volume commissions from startups and small- to mid-sized companies.
Your retail packaging supplier already maintains long-standing partnerships with these suppliers. They represent millions of dollars in business to these larger factories, making them more willing to take on your business at a competitive price.
Working Well With Overseas Suppliers
An excellent packaging company can help you map out a long-term vision for your packaging. They will work with you from design to testing and delivery, and they only partner with reliable printers to do the work.
Your packaging company employs people with design and engineering skills so they can do the legwork upfront. Once they nail down the design and dimensions of your packaging, they can contact their Chinese suppliers to fill the order. Because they’ve worked with these suppliers before, they are familiar with the overseas company’s specifications, increasing the likelihood that they’ll supply your order correctly the first time.
Your packaging supplier also represents a significant volume of business. By adding your orders to this volume, you receive better rates, priority production, and access to the overseas company’s expertise.
Related Content: How Printing-Packaging Companies Help Resolve Retail Pains
Multiply Shipping Savings
Small companies that try to manage the logistics of importing finished product packaging may get caught up in a snare of shipping contracts, rules, and regulations they don’t fully understand.
Landing a favorable shipping contract may be an obstacle you’re unable to overcome. If your freight volume is minimal compared to Big Box retailers, shippers will charge you more.
The shipping rates for LCL (less than container load) and FCL (full container load) vary depending on the carrier, trade route, time of year, and your contract. LCL shipments do not carry the same weight as FCL shipments, leading to higher prices and delays. Carriers delay LCL shipments as they wait for enough goods to fill the container. This can take days or weeks, opening your cargo to damage as it sits in port.
A packaging expert adds your order to their volume, meaning you pay less money out of pocket and have fewer worries about import regulations, Customs compliance, and the other nuances of international freight forwarding. Additionally, once your shipment arrives, your retail packaging expert maintains a warehouse to process and palletize your cargo and a transporter to deliver the packaging to your doorstep.
Designing a great product and putting it in powerful packaging is the first step. But when working overseas, navigating the logistics of getting your packaging to your doorstep is essential. A quality packaging provider with the right network ensures your overseas shipments arrive as specified, without a single hitch.