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Logistical Packaging For Food Marketing Systems

Diana Twede, Bruce R. Harte
Published 2011 · Business, Engineering

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This chapter discusses logistical packaging and its role in food marketing systems. Logistical packaging is called by a number of different names, such as distribution packaging, transit packaging, industrial packaging, intermediate packaging and shipping containers. The term logistical packaging is used throughout this chapter as it stresses the importance of integrating packaging with all of the activities in a supply chain. Supply chains range from hand delivery of a neighbour’s garden vegetables to the importation of exotic and rare processed foods, using specialised trans-global distribution systems. Farm markets, conventional grocery stores, restaurants, fast food take-outs, food service institutions and direct marketing systems are supplied by a myriad of operational variations. They are also supplied by a wide range of package types, sizes and formats. Logistical activities in a typical processed food supply chain begin at the farm. Commodities are transported to factories in bulk, or semi-bulk, packages, where the food is processed and packaged to add value. Unit loads are transported to wholesalers or retail distribution centres (RDC) where orders are picked into mixed loads, delivered to retail stores and broken down for retail display. There, consumers buy an assortment of packages and transport them home, where all of the packages are emptied, discarded and either shipped to a recycling facility or collected and transported to a landfill. This process is shown in Fig. 4.1. Packaging affects the cost of every logistical activity in a supply chain, and has a significant impact on productivity. Transport and storage costs are directly related to the size and density of packages. Handling cost depends on unit loads. Inventory control depends on the accuracy of identification systems. Customer service depends on how well the packages protect products and how easy the package is to open, display and sell. The environmental impact depends on the materials, method of manufacture, reuse and disposal of the packaging. The first section of this chapter discusses the functional requirements for logistical packaging to protect, add value and communicate. The second section discusses how packaging is related to the physical activities in factory operations, in transit, in warehouses and in retail stores. The third section discusses testing and evaluating packages for shock, vibration and compression performance. The final section describes the most common logistical packaging forms: corrugated fibreboard boxes, shrink-film bundles, plastic totes, stretch wrapping and pallets.
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