Product packaging is one of the most regional and country specific industries in existence. Some countries prefer plastic materials, while others prefer packing peanuts, cardboard, and bubble wrap. Knowing a bit about what each country favors is a great way to know what to expect when ordering and shipping internationally. It also provides some cultural insights into different territories that otherwise may have been overlooked.
United States Packaging
The United States is somewhat of an “anything goes” type of packaging center. We are essentially a “melting pot” in the packaging industry. Be it B2C or B2B packaging, in most cases, many American companies will use what supplies they have on hand to get the job done. In recent years however, most companies have started to work toward using more eco-friendly packaging materials. From recycled boxes to recycled plastics, and things like air pockets to save plastic, most companies use what they have in inventory. In the United States, packaging differs from company to company with the preference being laid upon the company that is sending out the items in question. Many corporations have begun embracing the concept of creative packaging as well, which leads to higher customer retention and satisfaction rates.
When it comes to Asian countries, materials like packing peanuts that are cheap and easy to come by are often the packaging material of choice. Because packing peanuts are easy to use and cost-effective, they are often the material that is used for international shipping. They are also durable and are great for international shipping because they keep products safe without making the package too heavy and dense. Once again, this can save packaging service providers money in the long run. Packing peanuts and other light materials (such as tissue paper and plastic wrap) are most often used in Asian countries to help save money overall on shipping. Recently, this trend has also been somewhat paired with the eco-friendly wave of packaging materials as well.
Packaging in Europe is more about securing the product being packaged than saving money and reducing the overall shipment weight. In most cases, packages coming from European countries are likely to be packed with a variety of packing materials like plastic, Styrofoam, and other materials that are geared toward making the item safe and secure. Much like the United States, the material used for packing depends on the company that is doing the packaging. However, this is undoubtedly not to say that European packaging service providers are not cost-conscience. Many companies have begun utilizing cheaper (and recycled) materials in their finished products to cut costs and reduce overhead.
As with anything, most material preferences depend on the individual or company doing the packaging. Though there are regional and country norms due to what supplies are readily available, packaging standards mostly depend on the personal preference of the provider doing the packaging. One of the best ways to learn about international shipping practices is to do a bit of research. As time progresses, product packaging and shipping practices of any one area are likely to change.
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