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Guide to Optimizing Protective Packaging for Different Industries

Navigating protective packaging is vital for industries like e-commerce, automotive, and 3PLs. This blog highlights how tailored solutions reduce damage, enhance efficiency, and support sustainability.

Selecting the right protective packaging can significantly impact business operations. With considerations such as minimizing damage rates, improving throughput and aligning with environmental initiatives, it's essential to evaluate your options carefully.    

The most effective solution is not one-size-fits-all. A customized approach is essential whether you are in the consumer-centric world of e-commerce or the vast landscape of third-party logistics (3PL).  

Let's explore ways tailored protective packaging solutions can meet the nuanced needs of each industry. 


As one of the fastest-growing industries in the post-pandemic world, e-commerce has grown profoundly in the last few years. E-commerce platforms are rapidly replacing traditional in-store shopping as customers have become accustomed to the convenience and ease of comparing retailers. As such, goods are now delivered directly to the customer’s doorstep, and the unboxing experience plays a significant role in the overall impression of a brand. 

With consumers becoming progressively environmentally conscious, there is a growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions. A new market study from Pregis sheds light on how today’s companies define and prioritize sustainability in packaging and fulfillment, along with the challenges that arise during the process.  

Innovative products like Pregis EverTec™ Cushioned Mailers and  Pregis AirSpeed® HC Renew PCR enable businesses to fulfill sustainability initiatives and meet customer needs without compromising product protection.  

The Pregis EverTec Cushioned Mailer provides unmatched product cushioning without sacrificing recyclability. These beautifully brandable mailers can be taken straight to the curb after transit, resulting in a conveniently sustainable product that eliminates end-of-life confusion for consumers. 

With 80% post-consumer recycled content, HC Renew PCR reduces carbon emissions by over 40%, fossil fuel usage by 65% and water usage by 70% compared to virgin resin cushioning.* 

Additional needs are reducing damage rates to enhance customer satisfaction bolstered by impactful online reviews. Finally, as the number of shipments in B2C is higher than in B2B industries, e-commerce employers need to optimize ergonomics for warehouse employees.  



Industries like automotive rely on machinery and are dependent on the availability of spare parts. Without access to spare parts, automotive and aerospace manufacturers are risking not only productivity loss but also reduced lifespan of products that need replacements. According to a Grand View Research report, the demand for spare parts is steadily increasing, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.0% from 2023 to 2030. 

With this growth comes the key challenge for Pregis’ automotive customers: scaling packing operations to meet increased demand for spare parts. Another challenge is maintaining top-tier protection of delicate surfaces during manufacturing, assembly and transport. Yet product protection doesn’t mean manufacturers must compromise on sustainability goals. In this case study, learn how Pregis assisted a leading national semi-trailer manufacturer in achieving optimal surface protection while reducing environmental impact. 


Third Party Logistics (3PL) 

Also known as order fulfillment, a 3PL works closely with e-commerce and similar customer-facing industries to help them outsource logistical operations. They assist with various business aspects, including warehousing, supply chain management, and order processing. As such, 3PL businesses play a key role in nurturing the dynamic relationship between the retailer and the customer. 

Pregis and a large third-party logistics provider came together to redefine value, drive social responsibility, and elevate their customer experience through Pregis AirSpeed® HC Inspyre packaging solution. The high-pressure air cushioning solution not only reduced their packaging costs but also aligned with their value-added customer approach and corporate mission to better people’s lives. 

Satisfying both retailers’ and customers’ needs puts pressure on 3PL decision-makers to introduce high-quality protective packaging that end-users will appreciate while reducing costs for the retailer. The challenge becomes even more multifaceted when considering working with different retailers that have a variety of customers with different expectations. 

A national e-commerce 3PL company initially selected a low-cost void-fill system from a different provider, leading to product damages and operational inefficiencies. Seeking a resolution, they turned to Pregis, implementing an on-demand inflatable Pregis Airspeed® system, an on-demand paper Pregis EasyPack® system and a Pregis Sharp®  bagging system. The results included significant productivity increases, saving approximately $120,000 annually, $60,000 annual material savings and damage reduction equaling $120,00, in addition to space optimization and enhanced safety.  


Perfect Protective Packaging for Your Needs 

If your business operations are facing similar challenges, the Pregis team of dedicated experts is highly skilled in finding the right solution to solve your business challenges. At the Pregis IQ (Innovations Headquarters), our packaging engineers are ready to address your top packaging design concerns: damages, sustainability, labor, packaging efficiency and material testing.  

Contact us today for custom-tailored solutions to meet your needs. 

*As measured by third-party life cycle analysis considering product lifecycle phases, materials, manufacturing and end-of-life.