We just got back from PACK EXPO 2018 in Chicago, and we're so excited we can hardly keep ourselves contained!
This year's conference drew more than 50,000 attendees and 2,500 exhibitors representing 40+ vertical markets, from warehousing to consumer goods packaging. Prowling the aisles, we were overwhelmed by the volume and diversity of available packaging solutions—cartons, stretch wrap, strapping and a dizzying array of void fill and product protection solutions. We walked away with some wild new ideas and new connections that we look forward to pursuing in the coming months.
Here are a few of our takeaways from this year's PACK EXPO conference for the packaging industry.
The packaging industry is changing all the time.
Many people may think of the packaging industry as a commodity market where there is little change and innovation. After all, how many different ways can you make a cardboard box?
But anyone attending PACK EXPO will realize that there is a lot more going on in the industry than you might think. Some of the bigger trends we are seeing include:
- More options: One size most definitely does not fit all when it comes to packaging, protecting and shipping your products. Today's shippers have more options than ever for packaging their products, especially when it comes to void fill materials and protective cushioning. Innovative technologies are helping shippers reduce package size and cut down on the use of void fill materials while improving product protection. These options are helping shippers reduce direct packaging and shipping costs and indirect costs related to damage and returns.
- Environmental awareness: The packaging industry as a whole has a huge environmental footprint—many packaging materials are used once for shipment and then thrown away when the product arrives at its final destination. More packaging materials companies are finding ways to reduce this footprint by incorporating more recycled materials, making their final products more recyclable, using a sustainable supply chain for raw materials, and incorporating new technologies and methods to cut down on waste and material use. For example, we ran into some great new stretch wrap films that provide superior load protection with significantly less plastic.
- Automation: Automation continues to change the packaging industry. Companies engaged in large-scale shipping and warehousing now have access to a variety of technologies to speed up processes, improve safety and reduce manpower. With new machinery comes a need for different kinds of supplies and materials.
Keeping up with it all is a full time job.
All of these new options and technologies are good news for manufacturers, warehousers and shippers. The right packaging equipment and materials can help companies reduce costs and breakage rates, meet environmental goals and improve worker safety.
But keeping up with all of the options can be a full-time job. Fortunately, that's Pantero's job.
We believe that companies shopping for packaging materials need more than a generic catalog with thousands of options. They need a trusted advisor to help them find the RIGHT option for their product and business priorities. Companies also deserve to know that they are getting the best price for the product that meets their needs.
Too often, packaging supplies are sold as a commodity, with an impersonal webpage of options that the customer has to sort through. That's why we're bringing a fresh new approach to packaging supply procurement. We want to make buying packaging materials and equipment personal again—and even fun!
We are creating a convenient online storefront with a complete range of packaging, shipping, warehousing, safety and janitorial products so companies can find everything they need in one place. But we don't stop there—we also provide personal service and advice to help our customers find the right packaging solution for their needs.
As the packaging industry continues to evolve, Pantero will be hunting for new products, ideas and trends so we can provide the best mix of packaging products and expert advice for our customers.
Did you miss us at PACK EXPO? Contact us if you're on the prowl for a wild new partner in packaging!