Most people aren’t familiar with the packaging market but it is actually one of the fastest-growing markets because we are looking to ship things more instead of going to the store. On a larger scale, companies are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and lower the costs when it comes to transporting their products. Because of this demand for improvement, it’s estimated that the market will grow by USD 17 billion.
Besides the constant need for growth, scenarios, as we have in 2020 with the pandemic, are forcing people and companies to rely more on transportation. This is why wood packaging is becoming more popular and with the benefits it has, it can be the next big thing in the industry. There are many ways to use it and different kinds for different purposes so it is adaptable for most products.
What Types Exist?
There are 5 main types you can see in industrial use including crates and cases, boxes and bins, pallets, dunnage and reels, spools and cable drums. Pallets are the most used kind and are meant to assist in handling goods that are picked by forklifts. They actually became popular when these machines were made and when companies started using containers for transport which lead to an increase in unloading and loading efficiency.
You will see them in every warehouse system for storage but some are also using them to display products in a wholesale or retail environment. Not every company will buy hundreds or thousands of pallets, they will just hire an agency to bring them. They come with a specific shape but there are many sizes and materials used to make them. When it comes to types, you will come across wooden bearers or block construction.
The bearer has 2 or more parallel bearers that form a frame where the deck boards are attached. There are billions of them used daily and when it comes to material, 85% of them are made of wood and there is a good reason for it. It’s easily repairable, it has high friction that minimizes freight movement, the material is renewable, recyclable, easily customizable, easy and quick to make, good strength for a low price. Find out more here: https://www.shippingandfreightresource.com/what-are-pallets-and-palletizing-in-shipping/
When you have a sensitive product or the trip to the desired location is hard, you will probably use wooden crates, bins, or boxes that will protect it from any damage. A box has panels on every side that provide its structural strength and mostly without any gaps with minimal internal framing. A crate is a bit different, with a frame that creates its structure and it can have holes for ventilation. A bin will have more substantial cladding than a crate and an internal frame for support.
Because the material is widely used, companies are adapting it to their needs like for cable drums and reels to dunnage and casks. Dunnage is mostly used to make space between packages so it can stay firm during the transport. When it is heat sterilized, by standards, you can safely move things all over the world.
What Are The Advantages?
When treated properly, wood is an efficient and highly flexible material that delivers environmental benefits, performance and value. Lower grades of timber are mostly used for packaging but that depends on the company and their standards. One of the biggest reasons why people choose to use wood in these situations is environmental benefits. Carbon footprint can be a problem for some major players in the industry and this is the perfect way to reduce it.
Two main benefits include low embodied energy and carbon storage. This includes lower energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Embodied energy also involves the measure of fossil fuels used when they are manufactured. We need to mention that half of its weight is carbon that is stored until it rots or gets burnt. Click here to read more.
You can look at the average life cycle of pallets or similar products, which is ten years, but it is more important if packaging can be recycled or reused. In its lifetime, it is usually refurbished or repaired a few times which isn’t expensive but it’s better to maintain them properly. Once they expire, you can recycle them and use them as bioenergy or for other purposes.
Types of Wood Used
The majority of wooden packages used are manufactured from hardwoods like maple, teak and oak. Maybe the price is higher compared to others but they are made to last much longer. A good thing is that once you are finished using them, it will be easier to sell them, unlike some softwood. They are very durable and can resist a lot of stress so people tend to use them for heavier loads or fragile items that have a high risk of getting damaged. Teak is probably the best versus termites which leads to less contamination and damage of goods.
If you want to go with a cheaper option and the stuff you are carrying is more resistible, softwood is the way to go. They are not made to last for too long and sometimes they will be used only once and then recycled or discarded. Besides being cheaper, one of the biggest advantages is its weight which is very important for transport. But, they won’t be able to carry massive loads, on the other side, it is easier to lift. This can lower your costs when exporting goods is added to the bill.
Plywood is somewhere in the middle between hardwood and softwood with a cost in between and some properties of hardwood. They are considered lightweight so you will benefit when exports are an issue but they are also much more durable and stronger than softwood types. Another factor to consider is that packaging made of plywood will absorb less moisture compared to solid wood so there will be less influence on the items that are moved. You can notice them being used in many different kinds of industries like the pharmaceutical industry where contamination is a problem or in fresh food transport.