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7 Ways To Survive Peak Packaging Season

  • 29th June 2023
  • 7 min read

It is never too early to start preparing your business for peak packaging season. Afterall, it is a critical period marked by increased order volumes, tighter timelines, and the need for efficient, cost-effective packaging solutions. 

At the end of 2022 it was estimated that there were nearly 60 million eCommerce users. Additionally, in 2021, global parcel volume reached 159 billion in 2021 equating to 5000 parcels per second.

At Titan Packaging, we’ve got a wealth of experience in delivering streamlined, sustainable packaging solutions for eCommerce and retail customers across a wide range of industries. This is why we’re perfectly placed to equip you with the essential strategies and tips to not only survive but thrive during peak packaging season. 

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Competition is rife, and preparation is key to getting through peak packaging season relatively unscathed. In order to get the foundations right, you should analyse any historical data to forecast demand accurately. This should include any sales trends, previous marketing campaigns, sending time and more. 

Once you have this information, you can create a detailed strategy that includes inventory management, packaging material procurement, and staff allocation. You can also identify whether you need any  additional packaging materials or automation including  tape dispensers, pallet wrap machines or dispensers or voidfill machinery to speed the packaging process up. Planning ahead ensures you have the right processes in place and necessary resources, helping you avoid any last-minute panic, shipping delays and disappointed customers. 

Don’t forget your packaging designs 

When it comes to packaging, you don’t need to compromise on sustainability, brand experience and cost. Finding the right balance isn’t always easy, and your packaging design shouldn’t ever comprise the safety of the product during transit. 

One way to get the design right is to review your packaging and identify opportunities for optimisation. From materials to box sizes, you should aim for maximum material efficiency, and product protection. Consider using right-sized boxes, eliminate excess fillers, and explore alternative packaging materials that offer the same level of protection while reducing waste and costs.

When you work with expert packaging consultants, such as Titan, we can help craft the perfect unboxing experience that eliminates waste, prioritises product safety and leads to cost savings.

Reduce the likelihood of returns

Customer returns are inevitable, but you can reduce your returns rate by ensuring your packaging is strong and durable enough to survive the transit journey. According to Shopify, 20% of retailers and third party logistics providers reported that products damaged in transit increased during peak packaging season, so it’s critical to cover your back.
You should also ensure your packaging is designed to allow for easy customer returns, in the event that a customer no longer wants the product. Strong, durable packaging is key to decreasing your returns rates and product damage. 

Strive towards sustainability

If there’s any time to look at how sustainable your packaging is, then it’s when you’re reviewing it ahead of peak packaging season. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you may have noticed that sustainability has slowly moved its way up on every business's agenda and is now everywhere. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

According to the Royal Statistical Society, only 9% of all plastic ever made has been recycled. And when the UK gets through 5 million tonnes of plastic every year (2.25 million of which is packaging), it’s clear that brands need to take action. 

Thankfully, there are several incentives and regulations now in place, to help companies take a step in the right direction. For example, the Plastic Packaging Tax is reducing the amount of non-recyclable plastic that ends up in landfills, and more organisations are opting for responsibly sourced materials. We’re also seeing more and more retailers embrace Extended Producer Responsibility in order to further reduce their impact on the environment. Find out how to ensure your packaging is sustainable in our guide. 

Properly train your employees 

Training your team to safely and effectively package your products is critical for a wide range of reasons, and should be done regardless of peak packaging season. 

Through training, you can ensure consistent product quality and brand integrity. Proper training equips employees with the necessary skills to adhere to packaging standards, such as selecting appropriate materials, following labelling guidelines, and maintaining consistent dimensions. This also enhances operational efficiency and productivity, as employees can operate packaging machinery proficiently, handle materials effectively, and follow streamlined processes. 

This training will also ensure safety and compliance in the workplace, which is critical, especially if your packaging process involves the use of machinery, tools, and potentially hazardous materials. Working with an experienced packaging consultant such as Titan Packaging is a great way to ensure compliance, consistency and safety in your packaging. 

Embrace automation and technology

Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and the truth is, automation can be a game-changer in supporting your business, especially during peak packaging season. Investing in automation technology (don’t worry, we’re not talking about anything close to Skynet!), such as automated box-making systems, labelling machines, and conveyor belts will improve efficiency, reduce labour costs, and minimise errors. 

Not only does this mean you can increase order volumes whilst maintaining a high level of packaging quality, it also means you can free up your team’s time to focus on other areas of the business and further develop their skill sets. Again, evidence that AI, robots and automation may not really be stealing our jobs….  

Work with packaging consultants (AKA Titan!) 

Working with a single source packaging supplier comes with a wide range of benefits, from reduced admin and invoices, to better pricing and streamlined deliverables. 

When stress levels are running high during busy periods, the last thing you want to spend time on is managing different materials from several suppliers. Having a packaging partner that can negotiate pricing, guarantee brand consistency and  ensure your packaging materials are delivered exactly when you need them will not only ensure  peace of mind, but customer satisfaction. Check out the benefits of working with a single source packaging supplier. 

Preparing for peak packaging season may seem like a big task, but when you have packaging experts by your side, getting through one of the busiest times of the year will feel like a breeze (from a packaging perspective anyway!) 

Get in touch with one of the experts at Titan Packaging today.

Written by: Samantha Hanson Procurement Director

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