Will Ever Expanding E-Commerce Change Packaging Machinery?
More and more products continue to be available to purchase directly online, rather than heading out to the store. This now includes a race between several well-known companies to see who can do the best job of offering online grocery shopping and delivery or curbside pickup. Though some items are still regulated or even prohibited from being sold online, it is not hard to imagine a day when anything and everything will be available for purchase and delivery through the magic of e-commerce. But can the growth of e-commerce truly influence the manufacturing of packaging machinery?
The growth of e-commerce can have an effect on the type of package used on both individual products as well as groups of products. Rather than a pallet of bottles or other containers prepared to ship to a store for display, companies may now design a package knowing that many more units of single or small groups may be sent out. Anytime the potential for a change in packaging exists, the packaging machinery used to prepare products also has the potential to change.
The most obvious change may likely result in end of the line equipment, such as case erectors, bundlers, palletizers and other machines that prepare items for shipping. Again, if e-commerce leads to shipping direct from a warehouse or production floor, such items may change from cases or boxes of 8, 16, 24 or more to single items or user-friendly bundles of 2, 3 or 4 items. However, it is not just end of the line equipment that could see change from e-commerce.
Along with the growth of e-commerce come other consumer trends which together could help foster new package and container types. Consumers are looking for sustainable processes which do not take a toll on the environment and create little to no waste. Consumers also want convenient packaging wherever possible as well, including resealable or reusable containers. These trends working together could foster a move away from certain types of packaging, or they could force a change in the processing and design that would help create less waste and more convenience for the end user. As an example, the recycling of plastic has been a trend and an issue for a number of years now, with some arguing that even with recycling, plastic creates way too much waste for our planet to handle. Part of the solution has been to move away from plastic and look at other container materials. For others, smaller plastic bottles are used to create less product and container waste.
While not all changes will affect packaging machinery like rinsing machines, liquid fillers or bottle cappers, a trend toward smaller containers or a different packaging material can require modifications to existing designs that will eventually become the norm, should such trends continue. While e-commerce is unlikely to hurt a packaging machinery manufacturer, it will almost certainly lead to changes in the types of equipment that are built more often and could very well lead to completely new ways of preparing products for delivery.
To learn more about the packaging equipment manufactured by Liquid Packaging Solutions in the La Porte, Indiana plant, browse the LPS website or call Toll Free at 1-888-393-3693 to speak to a Packaging Specialist today.