Packaging is one of the most important aspects of delivering a product to market and there are many considerations that must be evaluated when a particular type of packaging is being developed. This is especially true when the product is a food item or anything that is to be consumed internally by the customer. The packaging does much more than attract the attention of the potential customer, such as done with breakfast cereals in getting the attention of children. While sales are very important when success of a product is evaluated, the truth is that one bad safety issue can change any concept of a successful product. Defective product lawsuits are expensive for all companies, especially when an ineffective safety feature of product packaging creates serious injury or death.
Perishable Food Products
Food products fall into a class of their own when packaging requirements are applied. While some items are not necessarily perishable in short order, other products must be handled with great care. This is especially true for products that can ruin quickly. Refrigerated containers are necessary for perishable food products, which increases transportation expense for all transported items. This applies to fresh fruits and vegetables as well as packaged processed and frozen foods that are shipped in bulk. Even the hint of a product recall can be very serious for a manufacturer in terms of lost inventory and sales, along with potential damage claims from customers sand suppliers. Perishable products that come from the factory in ineffective or unlawful packaging affects all of the suppliers along the delivery chain and not just the unfortunate customers. Food products that have long shelf-life are not always a time priority and can often be shipped via the most cost-effective mode of transportation.
Nonperishable manufactured product packaging is not as restrictive as perishable consumables for obvious reasons. That does not mean that there are not challenges and legal concerns when they are being prepared for shipment to the market. Some products contain dangerous chemicals and must be protected during shipment as well for the safety of all handlers and potential customers. Some goods can still be damaged in transit and not necessarily become a problem other than a write off, but products that can create contamination if they are released usually must be handled with safety as a priority as well. The product may not ruin, but damage can extend well beyond the product when proper packaging and shipment procedures are not followed. And, just as with perishable products, the extra care needed to properly transport a volatile product can also increase the transportation cost even if it is just by the extra necessary manpower.
There are many manufactured products that can be shipped in the least of protected conditions other than what is necessary to maintain the product until arrival at the store. However, there still may be some packaging requirement codes that must be followed. These items typically are the least expensive to ship unless size and weight are a factor in determining shipping costs. Large expensive items often require additional safety measures in transportation, and the time necessary to transport a major piece of equipment can enhance the shipping cost as well. The most important factor is to keep safety and legalities in mind when preparing any product for transport to the ultimate sales destination or warehouse.