Cutting Back on Lumber with Alternative Packaging Solutions?

53952299 - man chooses boards for the construction of the storeOn June 26, the US Department of Commerce issued a much anticipated preliminary antidumping duty on softwood lumber from Canada. This is in addition to the tariff that was announced in April that created a frenzy in the lumber business. Prices spiked, and buyers scrambled to stock their supplies before more change came.

With a large percentage of US lumber coming from Canada, companies are looking for alternative sources and materials to buffer the increased cost. Nearly every US manufacturer uses wood for pallets and containers, so the opportunity to rely less on fresh lumber here would be economically beneficial. Here is an alternative worth consideration.

Reusable Packaging

One of the most impactful ways to counteract the higher lumber prices may be to utilize reusable/returnable packaging. This is especially true for those who ship high volumes or large, bulky objects. The most practical and successful solution will vary from need to need. A reputable industrial packaging company should have numerous options for you, and they should also be able to engineer a system that meets your unique requirements if necessary.

In addition, the right packaging company will be able to assist you in determining whether this kind of system will work for you and also how to best implement it. How it will work for you will depend on what kind of shipments you do and what shipping system you use (e.g. closed loop.) A basic model for reusable packaging includes the new packaging itself, agreement from those receiving your shipments, and an easy way for those people to return the container.

Not only is a reusable packaging system cost-effective, but it’s also environmentally friendly. This provides another incentive for buy-in to the process.

The options for reusable packaging are multifarious. You have a larger variety of options when you get away from wood, which cuts lumber out of that equation completely. There are some reusable wood packaging systems, however, like nail-less wood returnables. Plastic containers are made in a variety of options, including bulk containers, totes, pallet boxes and even pallets. You can use this to partially or completely substitute wood containers you rely on.

When you work with a company that provides full packaging services, you may be in for an even greater upgrade with reusable crates. If your contents are fragile or otherwise prone to shipping damage, customizing the container will reduce or eliminate costs associated with damaged products. This provides an even greater return on the new packaging.

Before you decide, you should have a no-pressure conversation with an experienced packaging professional. Packnet is a full-service packaging company that has engineered solutions beyond your imagination. You can request a free assessment here or speak to us directly: 952-944-9124