The importance of having a packaging standard

I had an email from a customer today and he attached some pics of an order he has received from a vendor in South Eastern China. All the master cartons were crushed and heavily damaged. Fortunately the contents of the package were soft goods and intact and I imagine he was able to salvage most if not all of the order.  Seeing the damage to his order at a time when he is considering moving his retail packaging to China ( he is doing it in the US now) makes him nervous and he expressed this to me as follows:

 “This why I am a little hesitant of packaging in China.  It would have been devastating to have them ( products)  fully packaged and damaged as they are in the pics.”   

Packaging is sometimes just as important as product.  If your product arrives damaged because of shoddy packaging then you cannot sell it. It is worthless. To avoid this it is always a good idea to discuss packaging at length with your suppliers.  Always ask them to send you a swatch of the grade of master carton they plan to use.  Many vendors in China will use the cheapest cardboard they can find, usually 3 ply or  recycled cardboard which tears like paper and will not hold up over a month in an ocean container laden with moisture. Product will be easily damaged if shipped in cartons like this.  You should always specify to your vendors the quality of master cartons that you want them to use ( 5 ply, non-recycled is the best). It is a good idea to send them a swatch and ask them to source it.  You may have to pay extra for a higher quality master carton but it is worth it, I would think, to avoid situations like the one my customer has just encountered.  You should also make sure the vendor puts enough desiccant in the container, and in all 4 corners of the container. These containers pick up an incredible amount of moisture in the 4 -6 weeks it takes your product to get from  the FTY to you distribution center.  You really have to anticipate this when you work out the details of your order with your supplier. Do not neglect packaging. If you do then you may find you have nothing to deliver to your customers.

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One thought on “The importance of having a packaging standard

  1. Really good post. I do not think we have ever requested a desiccant in the box… I will add that to our list…

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