Eco Friendly Packaging & Custom Packaging

A Guide to 3pl Packaging

Product packaging is more important than most would think. It’s an intricate process of 3pl logistics that is the precursor to the few non-digital touchpoints with customers. Before making any decisions for 3pl providers, clients should deeply understand their packaging requirements and objectives.

Selazar’s innovative approach to the fulfilment process and eco-friendly packaging combined with custom packaging provides more options for clients. We live in an age where people enjoy the aesthetics of custom packaging and appreciate companies’ social responsibility. As eCommerce continues to expand, so do packaging supplies for home delivery. These supplies have a reactionary impact on the planet unless more packaging companies take the initiative to implement sustainable packaging.

 

Table of Contents:

  1. Customer demand for sustainable packaging increases

  2. What is eco-friendly packaging?

  3. What is corrugated cardboard?

  4. What is eco-friendly tape?

  5. What is custom packaging?

  6. How to personalise custom packaging.

 

 

CUSTOMER DEMAND FOR SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING INCREASES

A new study has confirmed that consumers in North America, Asia, Europe, and the United Kingdom want eco-friendly packaging. More than 80% of the survey participants felt that it was important or extremely important for companies to design environmentally conscious products. This survey included over 6,000 consumers in 11 different countries. Three-quarters of those participants said they are currently buying more environmentally friendly products than they were five years ago. Eighty-one percent said they expect to buy more over the next five years.

 

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CUSTOM PACKAGING

Custom packaging is all about brand recognition. One of the main components of brand loyalty is the customer association to the set of values and beliefs with a company. It’s known as “Brand feeling.” How a customer feels about a product increases their affinity towards the brand. So, if a company is Earth-conscious, this further expands those positive feelings of security, respect & social approval. Use branded packaging to expand your marketing practices.

Both eco-friendly packaging and custom packaging co-exist in harmony with one another. Selazar is proud to offer Eco-packaging as standard but understands controlling the unboxing experience through custom packaging can increase sales.

 

WHAT IS ECO-FRIENDLY PACKAGING?

Also known as “sustainable packaging” or “green packaging,” this Earth-friendly fulfilment alternative decreases our carbon footprint. The types of eco packaging supplies associated with green packaging are renewable materials that are safe and sustainable.

For example, the environmental effects of single-use plastics are wasteful and demand more attention from the warehousing industry and 3pl’s. Plastic packaging waste generation in the UK amounts to approximately 2.2 million metric tons.  Plastic pollution threatens our ocean life and contaminates the worlds food chain.

Eco-friendly packaging is more than a simple choice; it’s a sustainable solution for the planet. Using supplies like recycled cardboard and paper for packages and fillers are smarter as well as safer. Using recyclable materials instead of plastic and Styrofoam greatly diminishes our global greenhouse emissions.

So, as governments and countries collaborate on climate change more in 2021 and beyond, green packaging will be a part of that future. Corrugated cardboard is the cornerstone of that sustainable future.

 

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The major eco-responsible shipping option is corrugated cardboard. Corrugated packaging contains recycled materials. It is both recyclable as well as compostable and does not contain any dyes or bleaches like other manufacturing processes. It is also exceptionally durable and easily reusable.

This gift packaging solution is high in demand as ethical shopping has gained more praise in recent years. It’s also great for shipping companies because recyclable packaging reduces overall costs. It’s all upside.

Selazar uses 100% corrugated cardboard for shipping all their orders.

 

 

*Disclaimer: due to increased demand from the eCommerce boom, prices have been periodically increasing. Production for corrugated cardboard has ramped up and prices are projected to stabilise and hopefully reduce over the next 12 months. The confederation of paper industries (CPI) released a statement in February (2021) stating there is a shortage of cardboard due to lockdown and Brexit.

Gummed Tape

As previously mentioned, plastic usage has reached an unsustainable level. Standard plastic sticky tape is made of polypropylene, which is not recycled in the UK. What this does is create an enormous amount of plastic waste in landfills. The alternative to this is gummed tape.

It’s also known as “water-activated tape,” and it has many benefits. It is very strong with enhanced temperature tolerance while also being cheaper, and of course, is environmentally friendly. It is also a good tamper evident solution. Once the tape is removed from the box, it cannot be reapplied.

It is 100% recycled kraft paper saturated with a latex solution and natural latex-based adhesive. The tape is biodegradable, so perfect for landfills. For many reasons, more companies like Selazar are embracing this solution for all their warehouse operations.

 

WHAT IS CUSTOM PACKAGING?

Custom packaging in the 3pl industry provides an “unboxing experience.” It’s an extension of branding. Branded packaging is more than pretty decorations or labelling. It creates an affinity for a customer who associates with your brand values and brand identity, also known as brand building. It is the same reason people happily wear certain brands of clothes or drink certain brands of coffee, brand loyalty. They may like the iconography of the brand, the public persona, or the way it just makes them feel. Creating an “unboxing experience” for customers with these associations creates attachments to a brand while also being more memorable. Therefore, many companies are embracing it.

Using specific text phrases on a box or leaving a personalised message for the buyer creates a strong non-digital touchpoint leaving a lasting impression. When customers shop in a physical retail store, they can feel more confident about their buying purchase because of the proximity to the product. Buying online can feel a bit more impersonal and detached because of the lack of physical connection to what they are buying. By adding customisations to the parcel that the customer receives, they will instantly connect with a brand. Brands with no customisations rely on one message resonating with all customers.

How can you personalise custom packaging?

There are many customisations you can do to your green packaging. Once you finish this process, Selazar works with you to make sure every custom detail of your boxing needs are perfectly executed and shipped. Canva published an article about custom packaging, saying, “if you have a product that a lot of other companies produce as well, try to be innovative how you display it.  Some of the customisation you can do include.

1. Custom boxing

You want to use a box that reflects your brand. Use packaging that is eye-catching and memorable. Large text, stylish pattern, or a unique logo are all custom differentials. Make it interesting.

2. Add a custom message card

Leaving a personalised message on a small card goes a long way. You could say “welcome to the family” or “we appreciate your service.” It seems a small gesture but goes a long way with customers feeling more appreciated. You could even add a quote that resonates with your product.

3. Be Bold

Using multiple colours and shapes is an effective way to stand out from the competition. Patterns are also very eye-catching.

4. Add an extra gift

When a customer receives something for free, it inspires more excitement and loyalty. By overdelivering, you increase your brand’s commitment. It could be something as simple as a coupon, USB drive with your logo, or link to a free download.

There are many customisations you can use to inspire customers and improve your brand’s awareness. Customised boxes, customised tissue paper, and branded packaging are all good solutions to stand out.

 

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UK PACKAGING

After seeing the possibilities for flexible packaging ideas, you want to make sure to choose a fulfilment partner that can provide green fulfilment solutions. Eco-friendly packaging and customisations should be expected with your 3pl logistics company. Smart packaging and creative packaging can make or break your business. Reach out to us today if you’d like help with your fulfilment and packaging solutions.

 

 

Pick and Pack eCommerce Fulfilment: 3pl Inventory Management

Pick and pack is one of those 3pl (third party logistics) eCommerce fulfilment order phrases that many people may not be familiar with. People may think of the order fulfilment process and inventory management as very simple. At its core, many may think that way; yet there are so many pick pack and ship factors that distinguish good 3pl services from great 3pl services.

A pick and pack fulfilment warehouse does many things. Whether you are a small eCommerce brand or a large eCommerce retailer, it’s vital to understand pick and pack from A to Z. The process of picking and packing not only includes custom packaging but can save your business time and money. So, let’s take a closer look at pick and pack eCommerce fulfilment services and 3pl logistics.

What is pick and pack fulfilment?

Picking and packing is a process of order fulfilment in which a warehouse operator has to pick an item and pack an item. Warehousing picking happens after an eCommerce store gets an order from a customer that’s shopping online. The warehouse fulfilment centre takes the online order digitally, then locates the item through its warehouse management software (WMS). The item is then electronically assigned to a worker.

The warehouse worker will then be assigned the item or bulk items for pickup from a pick list using technology. Companies like Selazar digitally map the warehouse, allowing for the most optimal routes to be taken, saving time and money for the business. Selazar offers no monthly contract to its partners, they have less costs than the competition by charging partners for the time needed for the fulfilment process. If businesses sell out all their inventory by the end of the month, and have no products left in the warehouse, Selazar believes they should not be charged for it.

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Managing inventory for eCommerce fulfilment is an integral part of the pick pack process. Even before an order is received within the warehouse, there is a logistical shelving and storage organisation process. There are different considerations for both size and number of products and ease of access for quicker picking and packing. The warehouse layout is set up in different sections for inputting products, holding products, and packaging products. Somebody must strategically map in such a way that is efficient and logical.

For example, if the pick and packers are taking routes that interfere with the flow of machine operators storing inventory, this will cause hiccups. If there is too much pallet stacking happening, making it harder to reach items, this will slow down operations. In the 3pl business, it’s all about rapid turnaround; therefore, proper inventory management is essential.

What is pick pack and ship?

What 3pl logistics providers do is assist with the entire order fulfilment journey. Whereas a standard courier may only deal with one part of the order fulfilment journey, 3pl fulfilment centre providers like Selazar do more. We include inventory storage, inventory packing, and inventory shipping, all while having a high-tech platform for managing your orders.

UK retailers and UK eCommerce online stores can benefit from outsource fulfilment because it frees up time to focus on other priorities of the business. When you don’t have to leverage more company time on custom packaging, sending, or dealing with returns, you can focus more on the marketing and sales side for example.

Selazar, along with our partner network, streamlines the fulfilment centre process, making it fast and efficient. We can ship products from our warehouses to all areas of the UK, Europe, and abroad. Our pick and pack fulfilment process leverages technology so that customers can get orders within 24 – 48 hours, advocating a better online delivery experience. Selazar makes inventory management a priority.

There are various pick pack order strategies for 3pl services, such as:

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Batch picking means picking multiple orders at a time. When many orders are initially processed, it’s more time-efficient to gather all of them, rather than repeating single runs. For a worker to take a route picking up multiple orders, this reduces travel time around the warehouse. Usually, if a single eCommerce store has multiple orders, it makes more sense to get bulk orders at once rather than for each sale.

Zone order picking

Warehouses are divided into multiple zones. For example, they are divided into categories like larger items, smaller items, etc. Workers will be assigned to all the SKUs (stock-keeping units) in their zone. Another reason for zones is that they can be figured into fast-moving or slow-moving areas for people and machines.

Zone picking is typically used with a high volume of SKUs. When each zone is assigned to a different worker, it allows for more familiarity with the products and efficiency. According to the VWO:

On average, 43% of profits for eCommerce stores comes from returning customers

Piece Picking

The most common method of pick and pack is piece picking. This is when a single order is picked up. Depending on the business, single orders may have very sporadic sales; therefore, it’s the only way to fulfil it. However, this can be largely inefficient, and companies with smaller amounts of sales might be better for smaller warehouses.

Wave picking

Wave picking is a packing warehouse that combines both batch and zone picking. It is a frequently used process that includes piece picking, but in scheduled waves of time. By scheduling these time frames, the orders can be predicted and more productive.

Why is the picking and packing 3pl fulfilment process important?

Picking and packing is such an essential process because it’s key to keeping your customer base happy, and therefore loyal to you. When your 3pl is quicker and more streamlined, the customers receive their parcels faster. Dispatch speed is your completive advantage. This goal happens through smarter operations and accuracy. Selazar currently has a 99.9% pick and pack accuracy rate, even receiving an award nomination for exceptional warehouse management. This system of managing inventory was nominated by the logistics awards 2021.

Pick and pack accuracy can make or break your business. Ecommerce customers now expect to receive their products quicker. Therefore, having a tech-first approach towards fulfilment with a digitally mapped warehouse is where your products need to be stored.

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What is the difference between packing and the unboxing experience?

When eCommerce businesses partner with Selazar, they have two options for the end process of picking and packing. The first is standard packing.

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Standard order packing for eCommerce order fulfilment means that the product is prepared to be shipped. The product is put into a container box, taped, and prepared safely for transit. Nothing extra is done to the product. No inserts or custom labelling.

Selazar standard packing offers space-saving algorithms that make the picking and packing experience more optimised. Our algorithms determine the size and shape of products being combined into a single container. During onboarding, we undertake enabling work called Product Absorption. We get to know your products and everything about them. We’re able to automatically know the minimum amount of space needed and assign the most appropriately sized box with minimal padding for safe shipping.

Unboxing Experience (custom)

Custom order packaging for eCommerce order fulfilment means that your product is specially prepared for both storage and custom branding. Many brands have specific requests for custom covers for their products, stickers, packing inserts, etc. It’s a desirable option for customers who have an affinity for appearance and aesthetics. People identify closely with brands, so this is very important to some companies.

Both standard and custom options are available to Selazar partners when managing inventory. We even use eco-friendly boxes and tape without using any plastic.

Using innovative logistics, custom packaging, moving your operations to a third-party provider like Selazar has a plethora of experience boosting benefits.

 


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What is green fulfilment?

In the modern world, customers and businesses are aware of the ever-growing importance of environmentally friendly products. Not only do customers endorse it, but they prefer companies that use green fulfilment methods. According to a European consumer packaging survey, 90% of UK shoppers want recyclable packaging.

Green fulfilment focuses on eco-friendly solutions for packaging to reduce the planet’s carbon footprint. Green fulfilment examples include things like recycled plastics, corrugated cardboard, and eco-friendly paper.

Pick and pack eCommerce fulfilment is an essential part of 3pl inventory management. Your eCommerce businesses must consider all aspects of pick and packing, custom packaging, green fulfilment, and more. Let us know how we can further serve you today. Contact us here.

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