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Packaging punchlist: How the right design can help shippers save time, money and the environment

For shippers dealing with high damage rates, getting products to customers in one piece understandably is job number one. But in the highly competitive marketplace, choosing packaging solutions that offer adequate protection is only one aspect of a winning strategy for shipping.

Four other factors must be considered when you’re designing packaging: optimizing dimensional weight, minimizing the environmental impact, wowing customers and meeting network requirements for FedEx, UPS, the USPS and Amazon. Shippers that ignore any one aspect of package performance risk losing customers to competitors that take a more holistic approach to packaging design.   


A smarter approach to packaging design

The 50,000-square-foot Pregis IQ (innovation headquarters) in Aurora, Ill., is a one-stop shop for shippers seeking to design and test packaging solutions or to train their workers in the newest packaging technologies. Here’s a look at how the Pregis IQ helps shippers up their packaging game.


1. Ensure product protection: The experienced team of packaging engineers at the Pregis IQ evaluates a shipper’s product line to identify the best approach to protecting products and then puts those proposals to the test. Parcels are subjected to vibration of over-the-road or intermodal travel, compression at the bottom of a stack of packages, drops from as high as six feet and weather extremes ranging from minus-40 to 190 degrees, giving shippers confidence in their packaging solutions.


2. Optimize dimensional weight: When packages take up more room on trucks than necessary, you pay more than you need because of the parcels’ dimensional weight. During its packaging design process, the team at the Pregis IQ helps keep shipping costs low by eliminating wasted space and right sizing packaging materials. Options such as cohesive packaging, automated bagging and smaller shipping containers help optimize freight costs.


3. Meet network requirements: At the Pregis IQ, packaging is designed to meet each shipping network’s standards and guidelines, from FedEx and UPS to the USPS and Amazon. In fact, Pregis IQ is part of the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier (APASS) network, meaning it is equipped to help online retailers adhere to the new shipping standards set forth in Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging Program. Pregis engineers are also ISTA certified and able to provide the required documentation to have your products and package certified according to the organization’s requirements.

In the highly competitive marketplace, choosing packaging solutions that offer adequate protection is only one aspect of a winning strategy for shipping.         

4. Minimize environmental impact: Every damaged product takes a toll on the environment since raw materials and energy are used to manufacture replacement products and ship them through the supply chain. Most shippers aim for a damage rate of 6 percent or lower, but by reducing that rate even further, Pregis can help shippers achieve more aggressive sustainability goals. Pregis also has a wide range of recycled content and recyclable packaging materials, including on-demand paper systems.


5. Wow customers: Pregis helps shippers design and implement packaging solutions that drive customer loyalty by providing a rewarding unboxing experience. Not only are products delivered in pristine condition, but customers will notice the efficient, environmentally conscious package design. Additionally, most packaging materials can be customized to feature a brand’s color scheme, logo and marketing messaging to engage and retain customers.


The five factors of package performance should be on any shipper’s checklist when choosing or designing packaging solutions, and with its proven approach, the Pregis IQ can help shippers check all the boxes.


Learn more about Pregis IQ packaging design and testing services