How much money are you throwing away with disposable parts packaging? Industry leaders as diverse as MillerCoors, Herman Miller Furniture, and Tesla Motors are embracing reusable packaging (dunnage) as a way to lower labor costs, reduce packaging expenses, and minimize product losses, all while cutting back on landfill waste.

Reusable dunnage increases efficiency and lowers labor costs by reducing the number of times that components need to be handled. Custom packaging systems allow a parts manufacturer to deliver products directly to the end user’s line without them having to be unpacked or reoriented. The parts are presented ready for use, creating a major savings in labor costs to the end user and a significant value-add to the parts manufacturer. 

Making the switch to reusable dunnage can slash a company’s recurring expenses. Disposable dunnage creates a never-ending set of expenses: purchasing, removal, and labor costs for unpacking and disposal. Reusable dunnage reduces these costs immediately.

Smart-designed dunnage can pay for itself in short order by reducing losses from parts breakage, not just during transport, but during packing and use as well. Dunnage systems that fit products precisely provide unbeatable protection during shipping. Units with ergonomically designed grip slots minimize dropping of parts at the point of manufacture and at assembly.

Reusable dunnage results in significantly less landfill waste, and that’s more than good stewardship; it’s smart business. A 2013 survey by Bridgestone America and Bridgestone Retail Operations showed that “the majority of consumers are holding companies and corporations accountable for the environmental sustainability of their products and processes. Individuals are cognizant of “being green” as they shop, as 92 percent indicated a manufacturer’s operational sustainability or a product’s sustainable attributes have some impact on their purchasing decisions.” Consumers are more environmentally aware than ever, and they make buying decisions based on that awareness. Most are more likely to buy from a company that is working to reduce landfill waste than one that isn’t.

With opportunities for cost savings in labor, packaging, and breakage, along with the benefits from reducing landfill waste, is it time for your company to switch to reusable dunnage?

Have you used or considered reusable dunnage or packaging? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section.

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