Reusable packaging is nowadays increasingly used in logistics. Reusable packaging ensures that costs are saved. The use of, for example, reusable plastic pallets creates a return flow, where we no longer need to see packaging as a ‘one-time use item’. Such a system involves cost and environmental benefits. To make the most of the benefits, it’s essential that the reusable packaging is properly managed. Below we will explain four reasons why reusable packaging needs to be managed efficiently.

1. Reusable packaging costs more than single-use pallets

The biggest obstacle to the introduction of reusable packaging and pallets is probably the initial purchase price. Although the costs per shipment for reusable packaging have decreased over time, there is still a considerable expense to pay in advance.

Pallets and bins for single use costs between € 15 and € 20, while their reusable competitors cost more than € 75. After about 4 to 5 return flows, reusable packaging starts to render. Reusable packaging often lasts for years, which can lead to huge savings.

2. Reusable packaging is required to be returned

Despite the advantages of using reusable packaging, the supply chain must be taken into account. Problems related to the management of reusable pallets or containers pose additional challenges, such as: need for extra labor and resources for management. In order to provide insight into the reusable packaging, the need for archiving and registration of data entry arise. You want to standardize this process, and the need for additional processes can also arise, such as maintenance, washing, repair and replacement.

Other challenges you may face include: unreliable data entry due to manual (paper) processes. Small businesses can avoid some of these challenges by increasing manpower or by maintaining complex paper registrations. However, these ‘solutions’ are not scalable in the long run, so it is unlikely that this will last much longer. You’ll need to be able to follow reusable packaging within a supply chain in (near) real time in order to manage it effectively.

3. Reusable packaging can easily be stolen

Reusable packaging is a fairly large expense for the logistics department. Rarely, they are tracked and managed with the same level of care and control as the sold products that are transported with them. While the packaging is in some cases even more valuable than the products themselves.

Reusable pallets, crates, roll containers and such have a considerable value, which is why thefts increase. There is a growing market that is thriving with theft and resale of reusable packaging. In particular, plastic items are resold. There is no shortage of unscrupulous elements that are eager to take advantage of supply chains that don’t have their logistic flows in order.

4. Financial deposit when there is packaging in a pool

Large companies would probably be able to afford the heavy initial investments of the purchase and management of containers. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the other hand often choose to share the costs of their reusable packaging (and the associated overhead costs) by pooling. If you’re in a pool, it is important to manage your returnable packaging properly, not only because you try to avoid bottlenecks in the pallet pool arrangement, but also to have to check accounts and check for accuracy.

Use these four reasons to your advantage. Work together with us to manage your reusable packaging. Feel free to contact us to see what’s possible for your company!