The sixth edition of the ISTA European Packaging Symposium held at the facilities of ITENE in Valencia (Spain). Brought together more than 100 professionals to debate about the future of packaging for distribution, with 20% more attendees than the previous edition. This time the event was sponsored by DS Smith-Tecnicarton, Sealed Air and NonSlip Iberia.
The symposium was focused on the challenges of transport packaging from export to e-commerce fulfilment. e-Commerce, according to several speakers, will grow up to 6% until 2020.
During these days all the experts analyzed how to improve distribution processes, because currently there’s a high percentage of online sales products that arrive with damages in their packaging.
Specifically, according to a study on e-Commerce offered by Smithers Pira in the initial presentation of the symposium, 11% of the consumers stated that they had received the product with damages, and 18% with deficiencies in the packaging. In this sense, 55% declared that they would not repeat their purchase with the same company in case of having received a damaged product; and 39% will not repeat in that commerce in case the packaging itself contains any damage.
This demonstrates that the logistics and packaging system of the products influences in the purchase decisions, so the experts agree that taking care of these processes impacts directly on the economic performance of companies.
Another major challenge of packaging for e-commerce is related to the distribution of fresh products. In other presentation, Martin Seburschenich, Packaging Consultant of UPS Germany, commented that the most relevant information for the design of packaging in this area are “the supply chains and the temperature that the product experiments in its transit. The geographical coverage of each product requires different thermal requirements, as well as seasonal shipping", he said.
Allan Dickner, packaging manager at IKEA of Sweden, talked about how packaging and product design work together in his company. In this sense, Dickner commented that "by 2020 there will be more than 30 billion objects connected wirelessly around the world" and this will provide feedback directly from the products to measure and adjust the packaging performance and the transport and logistics process. For IKEA, "the worst case scenario from the point of view of packaging sustainability is a damaged product", Dickner said.
Juan Luis Miranda, Operational Excellence Director of Coca Cola European Partners, also participated in the ISTA European Packaging Symposium, noting that for the well-known beverage brand it is very important "to optimize the logistics systems and distribution of its products, from the departure to the arrival, and minimize costs of damaged products during the distribution process" he said.
In this sense, packaging optimization is based on the development of tests that reproduce the risks faced by the products during their distribution process. Joan Alcaraz, Project Manager of Packaging Optimization at ITENE confirmed that "the reality of transport is multiaxial, which means that the vibrations that occur in loads do not occur only vertically or horizontally; so all axes must be reproduced". Alcaraz pointed out that ITENE has the technology to perform a more accurate simulation of the distribution process, and he made a practical demonstration of it at the Transport Simulation Center of the research centre.
On the other hand, Stefan Wenner, director of Packaging and Logistics at the multinational HP, explained how they can save more than 2 million dollars a year with the use of innovative semi-chemical paper that allows "the product to arrive in better conditions, because the boxes are more resistant to moisture", he said.
It was also important the contribution of the Japanese Hiroshi Wada, Senior Manager of Preventive Conservation of the National Museum of Tokyo, who presented his research on the transport of art works and museum pieces, which is made with special trucks. On the other hand, Antonio Cebrián, Marketing Director of DS Smith-Tecnicarton, presented on the second day of the conference his company innovation and business model.
Next ISTA European Packaging Symposium will be held in March 2019, announced at the end of the event.
The International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) is an American Organization with an international recognition focused on the specific concerns of transport packaging. ISTA is the leading industry developer of testing protocols and design standards that define how packages should perform to ensure protection of their contents during the ever changing risks of the global distribution environment. As a nonprofit, member-driven association it sets the standards for optimizing the resources in packages that are designed to be survivable, sustainable and successful. Worldwide, ISTA is the most trusted, knowledgeable and respected authority in predictive package-performance testing helping its members develop more effective packaging.
ITENE, local organizer of the Symposium and ISTA Europe Board Chair, works worldwide in the design, construction, implementation and training in packaging engineering and transport simulation. The Research Center has extensive experience on problem solving and offering customized solutions from a holistic view of the supply chain. ITENE´s transport simulation center owns the most advanced equipment to analyse packaging behavior normal and extreme conditions, whether if transport is carried out by land or sea.