Industrial packaging plays a huge role in the protection and delivery of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) mining products and spares, the protection of these products is crucial for its transit journey and is often forgotten by the mining equipment supplier. Often, last-minute efforts to get cargo shipped can lead to inflated project costs.
“Selecting the right packaging solutions partner requires consideration in terms of solution design, quality of service and delivery. There are multiple technicalities that play a role in the relevance of selecting your industrial packaging solutions provider and it is imperative that both ends of the spectrum are analysed to deduce the benefit of such a service, its relevance and its value add,” says Alex Baisch, CEO of PackSolve, one of the largest, black-owned, diversified industrial packaging groups in the South African region.
Key considerations OEMs should discuss before selecting a solutions partner include; the product, its value, its destination, the mode of transport to reach the final destination and any budgetary requirements that may affect the final solution. The packaging service provider should ensure that final products are intact and in a good condition. Together the OEM and packaging partner will determine what solution will be required and what special care the cargo should be treated with in consideration with its final destination.
Choosing the right solutions partner
Choosing the right industrial packaging solutions company is critical for manufacturers, especially considering that cargo travels long distances, whether it be into African countries or globally. Factors such as weather, geography, mode of transport (road, rail, air or sea) as well as logistics should play a significant part in the decision to partner with the right company. The packaging partner should have the skill and experience in providing the right solution when analysing all the above factors.
It is imperative that manufacturers understand the full scope of services being offered by the packaging partner, which can typically comprise of two types of services. Firstly, full turnkey ‘In-House Solutions’ which present customer-specific solutions, normally based on the customers premises, where solutions are developed in collaboration with the client to ultimately deliver a full turnkey packaging service on the client’s site 365 days a year. Or, secondly a third-party outsourced solution, which are customer-focused solutions that are also developed in partnership with the client and are primarily executed at the client’s premises or off site at a third-party location (traditionally a logistics partner) or at the packaging partners premises. These tend to generally be ad-hoc requirements that are customer specific to a specific shipment or event.
The shipping & logistics industry has its own unique challenges with cargo in transit, such as, extreme weather conditions perpetuated by the existing change in global climate or poor road conditions and these could aid corrosion or severely damage cargo in transit due to these adverse conditions.
Careful consideration of solution design is required to prevent companies from losing millions of Rands through insurance claims and late delivery or redelivery of cargo. The right partner can assist in mitigating these risks.
Materials and sustainability
The materials used in the packaging of products play a huge factor in the cost and ultimately the condition in which the product arrives when delivered to site. A reliable packaging solutions partner analyses different material options before presenting a final solution.
Material considerations include the use of a variety of materials and substrates, including timber, plastics, steel, paper and strapping and of course the human capital to manage large-scale, on-location projects or on-site packing
People Vs. Technology
Technology and skills development have played a pivotal role in transforming the industrial packing industry.
“Effective skills development programmes have helped PackSolve’s team gain a better foothold in the industry as the business has focused on skills needed which aid the teams’ understanding of the value chain for effective development of solution design and execution,” said Baisch.
Technology such as automation and placement self-service processes, have cut down time, and allowed the business to focus on near zero wastage.
“The client needs are considered through an internal Research and Development department, which allows PackSolve to develop cutting edge solutions, through introduction and testing of new materials that deliver tailormade solutions for businesses of all shapes, sizes, locations and distances.” He said.
“The competitive advantage held by PackSolve, lies in its ability to design and innovate solutions and introduce technology to its service offering. This allows us to be at the forefront of industry trends and changes. Clients benefit from PackSolve’s ability to mitigate risk factors, such as industrial relations and insurance risks.”
Noticing changes in the industry and identifying limitations, has contributed to the company improving its position as the service provider of choice in the local industry. Recent changes in the Mining Charter, as well as a more competitive industry, understanding supply chain ownership, especially where large capital expenditure is involved, has been the driving force behind PackSolve’s growth.