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07/02/2014

What is Returnable Packaging?

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The Returnable Packaging Association (RPA) defines ‘returnable packaging’ as packaging which includes “...reusable pallets, racks, bulk containers, hand-held containers and dunnage that move product efficiently and safely throughout the supply chain. Reusable packaging is typically used by manufacturers/processors and their suppliers/customers in a well-organized supply chain, with very tightly managed shipping loops. Returnable packaging is constructed of durable materials such as metal, plastic or wood and is designed to withstand the rough handling of a typical logistics system.” So, what does this all mean? Let me break it down. The process begins with a ‘returnable pack’ – which is a vehicle that will go to the point of destination and come back. For example, a semi –truck you see on the highway is a returnable pack. Even the Space Shuttle is a returnable pack! Now, this is looking at the process in a large, outside sense. Returnable packaging is broken down into smaller components — the containers inside a returnable pack and the dunnage inside the container holding a part.

The Returnable Packaging Association (RPA) defines ‘returnable packaging’ as packaging which includes “...reusable pallets, racks, bulk containers, hand-held containers and dunnage that move product efficiently and safely throughout the supply chain. Reusable packaging is typically used by manufacturers/processors and their suppliers/customers in a well-organized supply chain, with very tightly managed shipping loops. Returnable packaging is constructed of durable materials such as metal, plastic or wood and is designed to withstand the rough handling of a typical logistics system.” So, what does this all mean? Let me break it down. The process begins with a ‘returnable pack’ – which is a vehicle that will go to the point of destination and come back. For example, a semi –truck you see on the highway is a returnable pack. Even the Space Shuttle is a returnable pack! Now, this is looking at the process in a large, outside sense. Returnable packaging is broken down into smaller components — the containers inside a returnable pack and the dunnage inside the container holding a part.

When a vehicle, whatever it might be, (car, truck, semi-truck, ocean liner, airplane or even the Space Shuttle) returns back to the manufacturer to pick up more products to then deliver to the same destination, we have what is called “milk run” in logistics terms. A variety of industries use milk runs, they are a perfect fit for returnable packaging. If implemented correctly, returnable packaging cost savings can be tremendous. You no longer have to worry about old-fashioned cardboard clogging up the production line. In addition, dumpsters full of such unneeded waste only make your company’s carbon footprint even larger, not to mention the costs of expendable packaging going into the dumpster every day. When utilizing returnable packaging, companies cut down on material waste, as well as total costs, by recycling packaging rather than just using it once. The money spent on purchasing disposable packaging month after month will now go directly to the profit line! In addition, a returnable pack can pay for its self in as little as 7 trips! To see how returnable packaging can save your company money, click here. Not only will you be saving money with returnable packaging, but you’ll be getting excellent quality part-protection as well. Returnable packaging containers have specially designed interiors to protect the parts it holds from breaking or damaging. Part protection is one of the main focuses in the design process for returnable packaging, so there is no need to spend time inspecting parts for damage anymore. Returnable packaging can be utilized by any industry given the wide variety of shapes, sizes and material structures of its receptacles. Bulk containers, steel racks, sleeve packs and boxes and totes are a few of the returnable packaging products that companies can efficiently use in their production line. In addition, any of these containers can be outfitted with custom dunnage.

Amatech specializes in designing and manufacturing the interiors of these containers, and even the containers themselves. We will work with your company to provide the ideal solution for your packaging needs. To safely hold the parts being shipped, we use Coroplast corrugated plastic, special foams and many other materials in our operations. If your parts are delicate or sensitive to scratching, we offer laminates, Class A foam, and many other tools to accommodate and protect any part during transit. What are you waiting for, returnable packaging is secure, cost-efficient and an excellent standard. Go Green! Use Returnables!

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