The Importance of Packaging in International Logistics


If you are a producer that wants to take advantage of the robust global economy, there are a range of processes that you must have in place. Most producers look to experts to help them out. Many producers will hire logistics experts and outsource export tasks, but they overlook one very critical aspect of doing business overseas.

What Are They Missing?

Moving from a national company to an international company comes with a few challenges. One of those challenges is not typically considered until the wheels stop moving because the challenge has become an obstacle.

Optimized packaging is what many supply chain professionals are overlooking, and it is a critical error. The same way packaging optimization fuels the optimization of your supply chain at home, it offers the same optimization potentials for international logistics.

Getting your packaging right is critically important in exporting your goods. A good example of a packaging fail is what a lot of Asian producers have experienced when sending goods to the EU. The EU has some very strict guidelines when it comes to palletized goods and the quality of the pallet. What is working in Asia is simply not acceptable in the EU – and it is holding up goods at customs.

Understanding the Critical Nature of Packaging in International Logistics

If you have a good export logistics team, then you will already have had this conversation with them. However, if no one is bringing it to your attention, this is something that you want to get on right away. The following considerations drive home how important it is to have the right packaging options:

  1. Your goods are about to travel further than they ever have. Once they leave your loading dock, on their international logistics journey, you will have very little control over what happens to them. The quality of packaging is in direct correlation with the condition of your product when it arrives at the destination.
  2. There is a long journey ahead that may include different conveyances. Choosing standardized type packaging can help to curtail costs regardless of the transportation type. Making it easier for carriers can make it easier for your wallet. For example, taking up less pallet footprints by utilizing flexible packaging options can cut down on costs.
  3. If you do not have the packaging that is in regulatory compliance in the gaining country, you risk long delays and possible rejection at the port of entry.

Packaging is a very serious consideration and you must make it a priority for easy international logistics.

The Protection of Packaging

There is a balance when it comes to international shipping, packaging and protection. You do not want to overpack your products, as that will ring up costs across the board, but you do want to make sure that you are using the packaging that will protect against:

  • Spillage
  • Rough handling
  • Unauthorized entry

Making the right impression with business partners around the world, starts with delivering your goods as promised. Damaged goods are a relationship risk you cannot afford, especially with new relationships. Having the right packaging can greatly reduce the risk of loss during transportation.

The right packaging also makes it easier for transportation companies to manage the load, which of course means less hassle for your operation from the carriers.

Standardized Type Packaging

There is a world of packaging options available, but those options may only be acceptable in your part of the world. Pallets, for example are used around the world, but some countries have very strict guidance when it comes to phytosanitary measures. Some countries have ZERO guidance when it comes to phytosanitary measures and others, like the EU, are very strict about it.

ISPM 15 compliant pallets are a necessity if you plan on doing business internationally. You should use certified ISPM 15 pallets just to err on the side of caution and avoid long hold times at customs.

It is not just pallets that have to comply with ISPM 15 regulations, but also dunnage, bracing systems, collars, crates and reels that also fall under the requirements. Making sure your business falls in line with these requirements will make the process (at least getting your products into the country) easier.

Upping the Game

There is a lot to deal with when you are exporting goods but packaging can be simple. Pallet collars are worth investigating for improving protection during transportation, having a flexible packaging option and for cutting costs.

If you have not explored using pallet collars in your packaging, you may not be aware of the benefits that these packaging tools have to offer. Here are five benefits:

  1. They are a simple solution for constructing “walls” around the pallet. These walls help to keep goods from moving around during shipping and prevent spillage even under the most challenging conditions.
  2. They deliver unmatched flexibility in packaging. Pallet collars are basically boards that are hinged together and notched at the top and bottoms so that they can slide together to create more depth. You get to control the height of the pallet walls which means you can use vertical space that is not normally available.
  3. It is a cost-saving option, because pallet collars can reduce the need for other packaging materials.
  4. It can be lidded, which means you can easily keep unauthorized people out of your palletized goods.
  5. They are recyclable, reusable and can meet ISPM 15 regulations when you source them from the right source.

One of the best things about adding collars to  your palletized goods is that you get to do away with other unnecessary packaging and make use of unused vertical space. This can help to reduce your pallet footprint and help to you pack your loads much tighter.

These stackable wonders can help you to make more out of the space you are allotted for transportation. They do not require any tools to assemble and they can easily be dismantled and returned by the end user to be reinserted into the supply chain.

Collars are not only good for shipping, but they are great in the warehouse too. They can easily help you to optimize your warehouse, conserve space and reduce risk.

It is a solution that is certainly worth a look. Whatever steps you can take to ease your transition into the international market are good steps. Learn more about pallet collars and how they can shape the success of your international business relationships.