The importance of packaging in International Trade
We often talk about packaging as a coordinated system where products are prepared to be transported safely from the site of production to the site of consumption.
The goal of a packaging system is to facilitate the collection, packaging, and classification of goods for shipment, as well as to protect them from physical and environmental risks during storage and transportation. One other purpose of packaging is to motivate the consumer to purchase the product, by ensuring the buyer that the goods are in the same quality conditions as the day they were produced or picked.
The various purposes that packaging serves are divided into two categories: structural and modern functions.
Structural functions have to do with the physical aspects of the product. These may include:
- Compatibility: The packaging must be compatible with the product in order to avoid transmission of aromas or contamination of the goods.
- Contents: The packaging must have a particular capacity in order for the product to be properly distributed in the container.
- Conservation capacity: Proper packaging should preserve the product’s characteristics.
- Practicality: The packaging must be easy to assemble, fill, and close.
- Convenience: The packaging should facilitate handling by merchants and carriers.
For perishable or fragile products, packaging must also fulfill certain other functions, such as being able to separate, isolate, cushion, affix, and seal the goods.
On the other hand, modern functions are related to the presentation and display of the goods. The goal of these functions is for the product to be able to sell itself.
“Good packaging emphasizes the product’s features and attributes, and differentiates it from the competing products on the market”
Transportation is a key factor.
Transportation plays a key role in the globalization of business. Any company hoping to expand into new markets depends on a reliable supply chain and the appropriate distribution channels. It is helpful to know the range of services provided by transportation companies in order to be able to load and secure your freight properly.
When packaging goods for export, it is important to consider the following factors: mechanical stress, environmental stress, biological stress, and chemical stress.
The packaging must protect the freight; allow for stacking, lifting, moving, and securing; and provide information about the cargo and its handling restrictions.
In addition, the container itself is a mode of transportation. In order to optimize space, freight is often stacked. If the cargo is packaged properly, it can travel by air, land, or sea and arrive at its destination in the same conditions as when it was loaded, regardless of how long it was in transit.
Mixed cargo (which contains items of various compositions and sizes) must be classified from lightest to heaviest, so that the heavier items can be placed on the bottom level and lighter or fragile items can be stacked on top. The packaging must be able to resist changes in climate and withstand movement throughout the entire transportation process.
Tips for simple packaging
Using the right kind of packaging is a key element to the success of your business. The main rule to follow is that packaging should be suited to the nature of your product.
- Determine the type of container to use. It is very important to create a good seal, especially for cardboard containers, where the thickness and fluting are determined based on the weight that the package will support; to determine this, you can perform free fall and stacking tests.
- Package each product separately. When packaging fragile items, be sure that they are kept as separate as possible in order to mitigate the risk of damage.
- Use sufficient cushioning material to ensure that the contents will not move while in transit. There are many packaging materials available to protect your goods: bubble wrap, molded packing foam, corrugated cardboard, etc.
- Seal the package carefully. Use a strong adhesive tape for cardboard boxes. This will fulfill two key functions: it will close the box and prevent the container from being broken into during transport. It is very important for the tape to have perfect adhesion and optimal tearing. You will want to use strips of tape with the appropriate length based on the size of the box.