Understanding the Essentials of Contract Packing

In operating a commercial business, there should be synergy and collaboration among different businesses that provide allied services. For example, a company may need another company to put their products into their packaging. But the service does not end there. The contract packer also assembles the client’s products and sometimes stores and distributes the products. It is an excellent collaboration because most companies cannot invest in expensive packing equipment and facilities, whereas a packing company is dedicated to helping their clients use their equipment and expertise to manage the company’s supply chain through them.

Packing services

A company that provides packing services can handle cardboard package design, military-grade packing, liquid dispensing and packing, shrink-wrapping, and blister packing. Some contract packers have the facility to help a client design an attractive and cost-effective packing system for their unique products.

Today, contract packing is a vital service for wholesale, retail, bulk manufacturing, industrial equipment, cargo shipping, and original equipment manufacturing.

Types of contract packing services

Contract packers provide a range of services; thus, companies can specify their specific packing requirements. You can find them below.

  • Package design. Contract packers typically ship the product directly to their client’s customers or retailers. They can provide packaging design, which combines product protection and brand promotion. In addition, they can do graphics for the brand and package sizing for branded and custom packing.
  • Package testing. Contract packers ensure that the products reach their destination safely. They will do customised or standard testing methods to ensure that the packaging they produce is effective and of high quality.
  • Product packaging. Product packages usually undergo several processes that end up with the assembly and physical packing of the product. The service may include packing specific to a product, such as flow wrapping (using a protective film), blister packing, printed cardboard, filling, shrink-wrapping, and clamshell packing.
  • Labelling services. This service is usually part of the shipping process, but it could also be a separate service. The manufacturing and shipping of consumer goods should meet strict inventory controls. The package labels help in this aspect through radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging and barcoding.
  • Shipping services. Some clients outsource the packing and do the shipping themselves. However, other manufacturers subscribe to more services—packing, labelling, storing, and shipping. They can also offer package tracking services.

Contract packing machinery

Contract packers use different types of machinery that typically operate automatically, allowing them to finish contracted projects quickly, so their turnaround times are shorter, which benefits their clients. Contract packers use about 20 types of machinery. They have air cushion machines, sealers, capping machines, and several others. They use automated bottling lines to bottle various liquids and auger filling machines to pack dry products such as seeds, vitamins, powders, and other small items.

For blister packing, they have thermoforming machines. Each machine has a specific packing task and maybe a part of an entire assembly line. For example, some packing machines make plastic bags and pouches, simultaneously filling the bags with the product (solid or liquid) and sealing the bags.

The contract packing process is complex. But contract packers provide manufacturers with a safe and faster way of delivering their products to their customers.