Packaging Advice

What is tertiary packaging and how to optimise it (with examples)

4 mins

Nowadays, packaging isn’t limited to the protection of a product alone. It is used as a marketing tool, for building brand equity, and comes in many different forms and levels.

Depending on the product you ship, as well the industry you operate in, there are three consistently used levels of packaging: primary, secondary, and tertiary – each affect how products are packed and shipped.

In short, different packaging materials are used for different packaging purposes.

Primary packaging focuses on the initial containment of the product in question. For example, the bottle that holds your favourite wine.

Secondary packaging aims to protect that first level of containment (primary packaging) from breaking during transit and storage. An example of this would be a protective sleeve around your bottle of wine.

In this article though, we focus on what tertiary packaging is and how you can optimise it for your business.

What is tertiary packaging?

Tertiary packaging is the third level of three types of packaging used to protect manufactured goods for shipping or storing. It is used to protect not only the product but also its secondary and primary packaging.

Protection isn’t the sole use of tertiary packaging, though. It can be used to help with handling, transportation, and information with labelling as well as convenience.

Tertiary packaging isn’t typically seen by consumers since it is often removed before products are displayed for sale. Examples of this could be large cardboard boxes, pallets, and stretch wrap.

Optimising tertiary packaging

When it comes to optimising your tertiary packaging, there are many variables and solutions to consider. From the selection of materials, through to testing, the cost-effectiveness, and sustainability.

In all honesty, there’s quite a lot to consider. But that doesn’t mean you should be put off. Optimising your packaging solution can offer a world of advantages for your business. Perhaps you’re looking for a reduction in damaged returns? It will save your business a fortune. Or maybe you want to direct a strong focus on sustainability? It will likely attract more customers. Nonetheless, whatever your goals as a business, the optimisation of your packaging can support it.

So, to help your business gain an advantage over competition, here is a collection of useful points to help optimise your tertiary packaging:

1. Use bespoke and innovative packaging

One of the biggest money pits for business’ using packaging is an excessive use of materials. Thankfully, with the use of bespoke packaging, you can cut down on materials to save money, without compromising on protection.

Bespoke and innovative packaging solutions focus on getting the most protection from materials, while reducing the volume needed.

For example, custom cardboard containers, as well as foam inserts can be made to fit your product perfectly, without the need for a mountain of voidfill – a fantastic way to prevent overpacking.

2. Explore sustainable packaging materials

Optimisation in packaging goes beyond cost savings and reduced damages. It also includes brand reputation and the effect your packaging has on the environment. Today, customers appreciate a business that share their values - and with research showing 80% of UK shoppers describe themselves as ‘environmentally friendly’, you can guess where we’re going with this one.

3. Test your packaging

By running tests and recording data with real deliveries, you can gain a good understanding of what is and is not working. If you find that even 5% of your deliveries are reported as damaged, you may need to rethink your packaging solution. You never know, even a tape substitution could help protect your products massively. As a result, both your customer retention and profits will increase as a business.

Tertiary packaging solutions from Swiftpak

At Swiftpak, we supply a range of packaging products to suit your business’ needs. From adhesive tape, to stretch wrap, corrugate and pallets, strapping, labelling, and so much more, we have everything you need. We understand you may need further assistance, so offer bespoke packaging solutions provided with over 40 years’ experience. Why not Contact our expert team at Swiftpak today and find out how we can help your business with packaging.