In order to keep the lifeline of the economy running, the upsurge of domestic & global trade, multiplied by E- commerce, has increased the transportation of goods to unprecedented levels. There is a rising number of companies whose business model focuses on product shipping, and one of the keys to their success lies in an often-ignored factor: attaining an optimized packaging that sets them apart.

Packaging 360 organized a webinar on 8th October to focus on the technology aspects of recent advances made in the field of package testing through simulation & optimization for packaging transported through carious modes like air, sea & road. Another highlight of the webinar was an analysis & case study presentation from a leading logistics solution provider.

Mr. Carlos Mora, Sales Manager at Safe Load Testing Technologies, Spain, an international leader in providing solutions for package optimization was the invited speaker at the webinar. He chose to elaborate on Packaging optimization which consists of a series of processes by which it is possible to find the right packaging design for the goods to be transported and the chosen route.

An optimized packaging must therefore strike a balance between safety and cost reduction in order to guarantee a stable and safe shipping & handling, while being eye-catching when arriving in perfect conditions to the customer’s doorstep.

This process can be applied to all levels of packaging:

An optimized primary packaging, which is the one that usually gets to the end user, must use the necessary amount of packaging material to protect the product it contains.

The optimization of secondary and tertiary packaging will be essential in guaranteeing the goods’ protection during their transportation, avoiding over-packaging and under-packaging.

In summary, having an optimized packaging design depends on defining the size, the materials to be used, designing the structure of the package and testing it to verify whether it complies with safety criteria.

This last step focuses on the simulation of hazards that might compromise the integrity of the loads during the distribution cycle (vibrations, shock, crushing, etc.) with the purpose of evaluating their performance and resistance. In this context, transport simulation machines allow companies to simulate these forces under laboratory conditions and design an optimized packaging that can withstand the distribution cycle.

Mr. Ramratan Singhi, CEO SURE Group, gave a presentation on E Commerce Logistics: challenges & package developments. According to him, E commerce logistics is all about SPEED. An online platform like Amazon Prime Promises Deliver times as low as 2 hours for within City deliveries. This results in very tough package handling environment. Package has to encounter hazards of shocks and Vibrations. Sorters Operate at very high speed creating intense force on Package. There is lot of Manual Loading /Unloading at Last Mile which means Packages could be mishandled.

E-Commerce Logistics in India follows the good old POSTAL Delivery model using Bags for Middle mile. The bags are “Stuffed” in Trucks or sent by AIR, in quite haphazard manner. This makes job Package Designers and testers very tough as it is difficult to calculate forces acting on cartons / packages. DAMAGES Inside Bags to outer packages are common and tough to identify. There is plenty of Manual Loading and Unloading process, since this is very Cost Effective for country like India since cost of Manpower is lower compared to developed world.

Hence, there is an opportunity to develop package designs based on optimum use of all levels of packaging.

The webinar concluded with a couple of interesting Q&A & a panel discussion.

Watch the webinar, right here!

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About the author

Dr R Rangaprasad

Dr.R.Rangaprasad is a polymer & packaging professional with over 25 years experience. He has served as Consultant at Indian Institute of Packaging Mumbai & as Director at SIES School of Packaging / Packaging Technology Centre. Between 1995 & 2007, He was associated with Product Application & Research Center of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). He has also conducted training & knowledge workshops at leading FMCG companies in the area of design of polyolefin materials for packaging sector.

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