Whatever type of business you run, there is no doubt that, at some point, you will use industrial packaging of one type or another, whether that’s small, personalised cardboard boxes or large, food-grade bulk bags. But with such a wide range of items on the market, how do you determine the right packaging for you?

There are a few things you need to consider before you start to look.

Is the packaging to be used once or does it need to be reusable, for example? What about custom design? Does the packaging need to have your logo on it or to be an unusual shape or design? What about your green credentials? If you want your business to be seen as one which takes sustainability and the environment seriously, you need to think carefully about the industrial packaging you choose.

Once you’ve determined your criteria, such as size, shape, durability, reusability and materials, reach out to your existing suppliers to see if they can fulfil your requirements. If not, you need to try elsewhere. Remember that the packaging you use to ship your goods in says as much about your brand as the products themselves. You don’t have to get the finished product from a single supplier, of course, and you might source the material from one supplier and ask another to cut and prepare it for you.

Be diligent about the detail too.

While it may appear that you can source simple plastic bags from the internet quite cheaply, you’ll be surprised at the variations available. If you’re ordering in bulk, getting the small stuff wrong can be a costly mistake. Things to consider in this scenario might be how many openings do you need and along which edges, and does it need to have a gusset at the bottom, so that it can stand up independently. Also, what about the grade of the material – is it able to cope with the weight of the products you plan to use it for? How will they fit into your production process? Do they need to be supplied flat in a box or would it be easier if they were on a roll? These are the sorts of details you should consider for any packaging that you’re sourcing.

If you can’t find an off the shelf solution, it might be time to try the customised route. Although this will, in general, bump up the costs, it might be worth it. The customisation can take many forms, from simple branding printed on existing off the shelf products to specific shapes and sizes. If you do choose the custom route, while it might take some time and cost to get the finished product right, you can often cut costs later by ordering in bulk once the design and die cutting tools, for example, are already in place.

So, while buying a cardboard box to transport trinkets or bulk bags to ship sand might initially seem quite simple, it pays to make sure you get the specifications right the first time around, as it’ll save you a bag full of time and money in the long run.

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