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Cost Per Pallet - A New Way To Reduce Packaging Costs

Cost Per Pallet - A New Way To Reduce Packaging Costs

We believe in offering high-performance packaging materials that are truly sustainable for the environment and your budget. Given the backdrop of supply-chain pressures, it’s difficult to know how to save money on packaging whilst being more sustainable. 

The traditional approach to cost savings in packaging processes was to seek out the cheapest unit price on conventional packaging products. However, this method isn't the most in-depth approach. In this blog, we're showing how weighing up the cost of materials per pallet can help your cost savings efforts.

Weighing Up Packaging Costs Per Pallet

It can be tempting to select your packaging solutions based on the best price, but a more thorough (and effective) method is to break down the cost of each pallet to see how much you spend. Giving a much more certain basis for decision-making than guesswork, it allows you to quickly identify where you could be wasting money and spot opportunities for packaging optimisation.

This more astute approach gives a far more holistic view of your spending and helps to avoid overlooking the hidden costs that inevitably occur when materials are in use on the packing floor. It could also help pinpoint areas where unsustainable packaging is being used so you can implement sustainable packaging alternatives.

Breaking Down Packaging Costs

Calculating how much you spend on each pallet isn't necessarily as complicated as it seems. First and foremost, identify your most commonly shipped product line and think about the packaging used for it.

Separate each of the components that are used to pack these items, for example, packaging tape,  pallet wrap or layer pads. Then work out the meterage of tape being used, and weigh the pallet wrap and any other high-use items. Compare the totals you get for these items by the amount on each roll to make some comparisons: figure out how many pallets you can wrap out of one roll of film, or many cartons you tape with one roll of tape.

Once you’ve got this data, work in your unit costs per item and you have a transparent analysis of packaging spend per pallet. 

This method of breaking down costs will almost certainly surprise you. In our experience, there are a few usual suspects for over-used packaging materials that you can take action on, to get your cost-per pallet reduced.


Over-Applying Pallet Wrap

Stretch wrap is a vital component in the packaging process of many businesses. While it is an excellent method to secure loads, it is also a common source of waste. This impacts your budget and sustainability goals all while contributing to unnecessary plastic use, which is particularly the case when your stretch wrapping machines aren't being correctly optimised.

While many types of pallet wrap rely on virgin materials, many environmentally friendly packaging alternatives use less plastic overall or use recycled materials. It’s important to understand that the recyclable packaging options may not have recycled content in themselves, but may be the most sustainable solution because the overall carbon emissions used throughout the life-cycle are less

When calculating the cost-per-pallet, you may find that more film than required is used in your packing process. Many possible factors could lead to excessive amounts of film being applied, and many of them can be fixed with surprisingly simple adjustments.

Automated packaging systems like pallet wrapper machines are the easiest way to ensure consistent amounts of film application, however, it’s essential to ensure your machines are optimised to the film being used. If the settings on your pallet wrap machine have been changed, you could be using more plastic and hurting your budget every time a pallet leaves a business. That's why it's so important to ensure you use the correct setting on any automated packaging machines.

Another factor that can be changed to reduce plastic usage is switching from conventional hand-applied pallet wrap to SURGE hand-applied stretch film. Whilst it offers higher strength at reduced plastic usage, it also brings significant cost mitigation opportunities.

Our online audit quickly identifies the type of stretch film best equipped to deal with your products, and our team are always available with expert advice.

Using Too Much Packing Tape

Packaging tape is one of the most commonly used packing products and is certainly the most popular sealing method for dispatch operations. However, choosing the right tape is an essential part of both sealing your goods and your spending strategy. Using a subpar tape or just applying it incorrectly leads to overusing materials.

The difference between various types of tape is usually overlooked, and in our last blog, we broke down the science behind the most commonly used types of adhesive. (link to blog here) 

When considering a versatile tape that can be effectively used for a range of tasks, we highly recommend E-Tape Plus 52, which is a high-performance tape with reduced plastic use. Strengthened with additional adhesive, this ensures less tape can still provide high-quality results.

While choosing a tape optimised for your application is important, how your team uses it can have just as much of an impact. Using the right tool can make all the difference, and the E-Tape Dispenser is an excellent option. With a precise cutting blade and ergonomic grip for comfortable handling, this dispenser ensures consistent amounts of tape are used and waste is cut down.


Over-Relying On Layer Pads

Layer pads are an effective way to improve security for palletised goods, providing a simple method to ensure your items get from A to B safely. However, when taking the cost-per-pallet into account, you may find yourself using too many single-wall cardboard sheets.

Rather than over-using corrugated cardboard layer pads to compensate for load stability issues, addressing these problems with other packaging products can help you save time and money. It could be that your team isn't using a pallet wrap optimised for your application. Or, these difficulties could be resolved with other protective packaging such as edge protection systems. Cardboard edge protection is an affordable alternative to costly layer pads.

What Does This Involve For You?

Even if you're a packaging technologist, undertaking this work on your own can be daunting. However, if you're unsure how to improve packaging costs and save money, that's where we can help.

 Our team of specialists are on hand to help, with our free site audits. We take an in-depth 360 degree of your packaging process and material usage and find savings you didn't know were possible.

To book our on-site audit, get in touch with our team and find out how we help operations across the UK cut their packaging spend and material use.


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