Posted on July 29, 2010 by Dennis Salazar

Application Appropriate Sustainable Void Fill Packaging

It’s a picture reminiscent of “Where’s Waldo?” but can you find the missing component in the photo below? A stand for a bag-making machine shipped to us in this box filled with shredded corrugated and twisted paper void fill. Both are excellent and very green products for that type of application. The problem is that a small rubber foot slipped off of the stand during shipment and we had to search through the void fill to find the missing component.

The Right Green Void Fill for the Total Application

We tend to talk a lot about application appropriate green packaging but that is not just about the packaging materials being used. Among other factors, it is also about who is using it, where it is being used, how it is being used, the volume of packages being produced and what is being shipped. The best, green packaging product for shipping an ornamental glass vase is probably not the same green packaging product we might recommend for shipping a machine stand like this. I love shredded corrugated and paper based void fill but whenever shipping products with small, expensive and/or removable pieces, there are probably better options to be utilized. Namely, void fill and cushioning packaging options that do not make it easy to possibly lose critical components.

Replacement Cost for Lost Components

Years ago I worked with a company and learned that in addition to the lost good will and positive shopping experience, they experienced an eighty dollar cost, above and beyond the cost of the missing component which in most cases had a value of less than five dollars. We recently worked with a distributor of high value, small size goods and their “product lost” claims dropped by over 80% when they switched from a loose fill product to an inflatable pillow void fill solution.

Whether product and component loss is real, perceived or even intentional, the cost to you as the shipper is very real and it can quickly make the packaging product cost almost insignificant.

Void Fill Cost versus Price

In addition to the green aspect of any given packaging product, we must also evaluate the true cost rather than just the basic price. Considerations such as shipping cost, storage space, labor costs and even product loss have to be factored in order to perform an accurate cost comparison and analysis.

Let us know if you would like us to help you determine the best and most cost effective solution for your packaging challenges.