What is industrial packaging? Industrial packaging, also called tertiary packaging or transit packaging, is the workhorse of the packaging world, designed to protect your products through the supply chain. Although off-the-shelf boxes and packaging solutions are available, packaging that is custom designed to fit the product’s size, shape, contents, and shipping needs bring additional benefits, such as reduced transportation costs and environmental advantages. It is often thought that industrial packaging focuses solely on form and function over aesthetics; however, industrial packaging made with corrugated board offers a blank canvas for elevating your brand with graphic elements.
Benefits of Customized Industrial Packaging
The primary purpose of custom-made industrial packaging is to protect items during shipping and storage. When optimized, it is designed to provide the most protection using the least amount of materials. There are several things to consider when designing industrial packaging:
- Product – e.g., size, weight, fragility, special needs
- Supply chain environment – e.g., temperature and humidity changes, how much it is handled, mode of transportation limitations/requirements, whether it is palletized.
- End-user requirements – e.g., environmental concerns, ease of access and use, compatible with equipment (case erector, forklift)
- Environmental impact
When customized to meet all the product’s and customer’s needs, the industrial packaging solution will provide optimal product protection and save money. Less packaging materials will be used, and less damage will occur, reducing overall costs. And transportation costs will be reduced through optimal-sized pallet loads (when applicable) or lighter loads from less packing materials.
What Materials are Best for Industrial Packaging?
Creating custom-built industrial packaging relies on a combination of materials, depending on the specific needs of the packaged product. Packaging materials may include:
- Wood, used mainly for pallets and skids, may be used for containers and partially assembled wooden boxes.
- Corrugated packaging (sometimes improperly referred to as corrugated cardboard) is the most versatile packaging material, which can be used to replace wood and other bulky materials.
- Solution kits (foam and corrugated packaging).
- Combination materials, such as corrugated with foam and some wood
Custom industrial packaging may employ a mix of multiple materials to ensure the integrity of the contents housed within.
Industrial Packaging Vs. Consumer Packaging
Industrial packaging consists of heavy-duty shipping materials meant to add safety and stability to its contents. Consumer packaging or retail packaging is the primary and secondary packaging for a product. Primary packaging comes into direct contact with a product. Primary packaging for some products, such as food, has regulatory label requirements for consumer use that are not required on industrial packaging. Secondary packaging is used to bundle multiple units or products together and typically isn’t designed to provide much protection. Here are some of the key differences between industrial packaging and its retail counterparts.
- Protection. On the surface, consumer packaging lacks the extra protection found with industrial packaging materials. In contrast, industrial packaging is explicitly created to protect. Consumer packaging offers some protection but must also account for direct retail and consumer needs.
- Marketing. Consumer goods are often packaged using corrugated boxes, folding cartons (cardboard), plastic bags, or other consumer-friendly containers meant for direct sale, whereas industrial packaging is meant primarily for utility; although, there are plenty of branding opportunities. The most common type of industrial or transport packaging is corrugated. Industrial packaging may also consist of plain and durable wood, plastic, or metal containers.
- Volume. Consumer-facing goods typically get packaged as a single item or multi-packs. Industrial packaging can be designed to accommodate higher volumes of goods, such as corrugated cases, for safe storage and shipping. Industrial packaging may also be used to package and protect single large parts and components during transit.
- Costs. Designers trying to minimize the raw materials used in your packaging solution can save costs. A customized package designed for the product being shipped saves costs by using less material and preventing the damage that can occur from stock packaging.
In rare instances, industrial packaging and consumer packaging intersect. This is usually found in only a select handful of industries, such as construction products and agriculture, where the need for product branding is minimal.
Progress Container Display Makes Industrial Packaging Design Simple
At Progress Container, we specialize in designing and fabricating high-quality, custom-fit shipping solutions. Our team has extensive experience developing comprehensive industrial packaging solutions for manufactured goods across industries. We can accommodate volumes ranging from prototypes and sample runs to large-volume production.
To see how our custom-designed industrial packaging solutions can protect your products during shipping and storage, please contact us today.