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Packaging Techniques for Outbound Logistics

Outbound logistics refers to the outgoing of goods from their storage in the warehouse to transportation to various locations and distribution of goods to the end customers. The company to choose the correct distribution channels, maintaining a logical inventory stocking system, a good packaging process, and optimised delivery solutions to ensure the outbound logistics run smoothly and efficiently.

There are several key considerations for a successful outbound logistics operation. These includes:

  1. Warehousing inventory
  2. Processing orders
  3. Picking of products
  4. Packing finished goods
  5. Transporting finished goods to end-user
  6. Scheduling drivers time table and warehouse staff
  7. Working along with third-party transportation companies
Warehouse risks
Image taken from https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/key-performance-indicators-minimising-warehouse-risks/

Key Functions of Packaging

The packaging is considered one of the most essential processes for finished products before shipment. Each package should be designed to adapt to individual customer’s and country’s requirements and their requests. This includes information for the ease of identification of the products for whom it may concern. The convenience and economical packaging material used will be safe for transportation. Other things to consider for a good package must be cost-efficient, easy to handle, and also depending on the end location, if waterproofing is needed has to be taken into account.This is to safeguard finished goods, and also to represents the quality of the goods inside the package.

Packaging for Protection

Protecting the product is the up and foremost important thing to take note of. Proper packaging using the right material has to be chosen to ensure that the goods reach the final destination intact and perfectly without any damages. Products such as boxes, tins, jars, plastic materials need to be properly designed to be able to withstand stress levels such as weight compression, waterproofing, dropping, and shaking when it is in the process of shipping to the end-user.

Packaging for Promotion

Besides the durability of the product, one should also ensure that the packaging is attractive to promote the product. From the placement of the brand name, company logo, the font used, to the artwork including the types of colors used is important as these can attract and ensure that consumers can recognize the company or brand of the product.

Packaging for Accessibility and Functionality

Ensure that the consumer can access the product easily and serving its functions is also another important consideration when designing a package. For example, if the purchased product is a soft item, a consumer would probably pass up the product that is encased in heavy plastic that might increase the cost of the transportation and the packaging due to their heavy weights and instead, favor the one that is sheathed in lightweight cardboard that cost lesser and easier to access to.

Packaging for Environmental Considerations

As many consumers have become more environmentally conscious, there are a lot of companies choose more ECO-friendly material or different kinds of packaging techniques. Such as biodegradable packaging to enhance their business image to the end consumers and offer or motivates a consumer to buy their product or use their services every single time.

Levels of Packaging

Each level of packaging serves a different purpose. It is to advertise and provide clear and sharp information on the outer packaging to others. With the correct and right material, it will preserve and protect the products.

  • Primary Packaging, which refers to the product in its immediate container.
  • Secondary Packaging, which refers to an additional layer of protection that is kept till the product is ready for use.
  • Tertiary Packaging, which refers to final packaging components for storage identification or transportation.

Types of Packaging Materials

The packaging is crucial for any kind of industry,the main takes ups is to protect the package or product from any kinds of potential hazards. This danger can occur anywhere, from the storage in the warehouse to their distribution process, and all other kinds of scenarios that may affect the quality of the products have to be well thought of during the packaging process. Each material used in packaging has to serve a different purpose. There is a wide range of available packaging materials and most of the commonly used are cardboard, plastics, wood, metal, aluminum & paper.

Marking and Labelling

Marking means an identification number, descriptive name,instructions, weight specification, or UN marks required on the outer packaging of hazardous materials or dangerous goods.Labels show the specific of the primary and subsidiary hazards posed by the materials in a dangerous goods package. The specific colors, codes, and pictograms to clearly and immediately identify the type of materials inside the package.These are the important information that are necessary to be displayed when preparing a dangerous goods package for transportation or shipment. Labels and markings related to the materials like their hazardous information in a  package should always be displayed. It is to ensure the shipment is handled properly,cases such as accidents, spillage, and exposure can be prevented at all costs. Therefore, a responsible and cautious person has to be chosen to handle and prepare the package by showing all the correct information and to comply with the safety regulations.

Types of Material Handling Equipment

Materials handling is a logistics movement that includes any process that involves the movement between vehicles, conveyors belt, forklift, pallet jet. The involvement may include automated, semi-automated, manual handling of the equipment.

Material Handling equipment
Image taken from https://www.indiamart.com/aadhyafabtechnologies/material-handling-equipment-services-sales.html

The handling processes must always look into the safety and health of the workers. The company management must determine and come up with a set of policies on the way to handle this heavy equipment. Companies may have to look into each and individual worker’s key health and safety concerns. By planning their skills training and understandings that are related to the equipment they are handling and listen to what are the challenges they may face to help reduce any risk to the workers.

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Carrie Windham. (2020). “Product Packaging techniques” Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/factors-affecting-product-adaptation-3946.html, accessed 25/11/2020.

Federal Aviation. (2019). “Marking and Labeling”. Retrieved from https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/safecargo/how_to_ship/mailing_labeling/, accessed 12/12/2020.

Goh Siaw Lieng, DLSM. (2020). “Essential Warehousing Practices for Logistics Integration”. Retrieved from https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/essential-warehousing-practices-logistics-integration/,accessed 08/12/2020.

Kate Lim Boon Yar, DLSM. (2020). “Effective Packaging for Outbound Logistics”. Retrieved from https://publication.sipmm.edu.sg/effective-packaging-outbound-logistics/, accessed 28/11/2020.

Lawrence Ho Mun Yong
Lawrence Ho Mun Yong
Lawrence Ho Mun Yong has substantive years of experience in military logistics operations, and is currently an Operation Specialist. He holds the Executive Certificate in Logistics Management, and is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Lawrence completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) on December 2020 at SIPMM Institute.

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