The protective packaging balancing act

When selecting protective packaging, damage analysis and performance should drive material decisions, not cost.

Latest News

SalonCentric: One Beautiful Network
Q4 2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Improvements apparent; work remains
The State of the DC Voice Market
Binzagr implements WMS
Diesel average heads up 1.1 cents
More News

Latest Resource

Refining TMS Integration Outside the Four Walls of the Warehouse
How shippers can use a modern transportation management system (TMS) to successfully integrate across the supply chain ecosystem and create a truly digital network.
All Resources
By ·

When selecting protective packaging, such as air pillows or paper void fill, companies tend to make decisions based solely on material cost. But purchasing the least expensive protective solution can ultimately become a very costly decision, says Ryan Germann, e-commerce segment manager at Pregis.

“We recently worked with an e-commerce retailer who was re-evaluating their secondary packaging to reduce dimensional weight charges,” Germann recalls. “During that process, we discovered that when they experienced a damaged shipment, it actually impacted their bottom line by more than $300.”

That $300 includes the cost to replace the product(s), as well as customer service time, warehouse labor (to process the return and pick the item again), parcel shipping and additional packaging supplies. And, those are just the quantifiable costs.

“Although more difficult to quantify, this retailer’s marketing team noted that a negative customer experience—such as receiving a damaged product—results in lower customer lifetime value,” he adds. How much lower? “Our research found that 73% of consumers who receive a damaged shipment are unlikely to order from the same retailer again.”

For its shipments, the retailer ultimately selected Pregis’ Airspeed HC inflatable hybrid cushioning with square patterned, connected air cells. This proprietary design allows the material to be used for cushioning, wrapping, blocking/bracing and void fill. It also creates a much higher level of protection than air pillows or paper void fill, but takes up less volume, Germann explains, meaning the customer was able to meet their original goal of reducing their carton size.

“The key to picking protective packaging is balance,” he concludes. “Companies need to balance their shipping and packaging costs with customer experience. If an e-commerce retailer shipping more than 1 million orders a year can reduce their damage ratio from 2% to 1%—and a damaged shipment costs more than $300 each and risks a customer relationship as well—then the packaging is ultimately just a fraction of that overall cost.


About the Author

Sara Pearson Specter
Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC. Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Refining TMS Integration Outside the Four Walls of the Warehouse
How shippers can use a modern transportation management system (TMS) to successfully integrate across the supply chain ecosystem and create a truly digital network.
Download Today!
From the October 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its key LTLs to lower transport costs, reduce its carbon footprint and improve service to its 565 store locations.
Q4 2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Improvements apparent; work remains
LM Viewpoint: Collaboration, Now more than ever
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
SalonCentric: One Beautiful Network
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...

26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...