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Collaboration in the supply chain: working together to help tackle unnecessary recycling of plastic returnable transit packaging

By Paul Empson, General Manager, Bakers Basco

Many products used in logistics across the supply chain are designed to be reused multiple times rather than being disposed of after a single use – known as the ‘circular economy’ – but a lack of education and awareness might be hindering businesses’ chances at building towards a more environmentally-friendly future.

This is a very real issue that came to light in a recent YouGov survey that polled 2,106 UK adults to uncover public awareness about plastic bread baskets and other food goods delivery trays/containers. We commissioned the research to shine a light on what has become an increasingly important environmental issue impacting the food industry and, more specifically, the bakery sector. It found that almost half (46%) of the UK public feel that too much multi-use plastic is recycled unnecessarily. 

While it also highlighted that 61% of respondents were sure that bread baskets and food delivery trays go back to the factories they came from and are used over and over again, sadly more often than not this is not the case. Just 3% showed awareness of the “dark side” of plastic recycling where they are stolen and recycled illegally by a third party, or shredded for sale back to the plastics manufacturing industry by unscrupulous recycling operations (5%) and only 9% are aware that this equipment can also often end up in landfill.

Any business operating in the ‘circular economy’ will be well aware that much of this equipment is designed to last many years. Our bread baskets and dollies, for example, are made using sturdy, reusable plastic, with each piece of kit recycled potentially 400 times and the resulting raw plastic used to make more baskets before it reaches the end of its useful life. And of course we aren’t the only supplier of RTP to the food and drink industry. There are probably tens of millions of baskets, crates and pallets made out of heavy-duty plastic and designed to last for years, shuttling backwards and forwards from food manufacturer to depot to retailer, saving a fortune in disposable packaging and never going into landfill. 

The trouble is that, despite our equipment carrying embossed warnings that clearly state who the owner of the property is, the general public, certain businesses and even refuse collectors don’t understand the value of these baskets. All too often they are diverted out of the supply chain, whether that’s being left abandoned on the street before ending up in landfill or people stealing the baskets and using them for their own benefit. In some cases, they are being sold on to unscrupulous recycling operations or, something that has more recently come onto our radar: individuals attempting to sell them unlawfully via online auction sites, ecommerce marketplaces and social media channels. Despite numerous polite attempts to ensure the safe return of our property – which even has our name on it – these individuals still refuse to give them back. Now that’s just plain, outright theft. 

And we’re not just talking about a few trays here and there. Millions of these baskets and other food delivery equipment like pallets, food containers, bottles, drums and crates go missing every year presenting a growing problem for the UK’s transport and logistics industries, and the unethical recycling of stolen plastic items that don’t need to be recycled. It’s not just a business problem, it’s an environmental one too. 

Tracking down missing RTP may not sound the most glamorous of occupations, but diversion and theft of reusable delivery equipment is a growing problem. At the end of the day, if packaging which is meant to be reused goes missing, then it means extra costs for the food producer which they have to pass on to the retailers who will then pass them on to the shoppers. Plus, of course, there are additional costs in terms of harm to the environment – people who misuse returnable packaging tend to dump surplus items at the side of the road or in canals, rather than disposing of them responsibly. The abuse and neglect of product pallets, trays and baskets can help swell landfill sites and damage a sector’s green credentials. So it’s up to us, as a broader industry, to take a stand and ensure we aren’t fuelling this negative impact on the environment. 

We’ve taken our own steps to track down and reclaim any missing equipment that gets diverted out of the supply chain – through glitter additives and GPS tracking technology. Plus, we have a national investigations team dedicated solely to ensuring the safe return of misappropriated bread baskets to their rightful owners. But this alone isn’t enough and what this new research has highlighted is that the UK public believe that local councils (56%), the government (46%), individuals (48%), businesses (58%), industry trade associations (49%) and recycling companies (44%) all have a part to play in tackling unnecessary recycling.

We all have a responsibility to play our part but it requires a collaborative effort by all parties to help tackle the problem, before we undo all the positive steps already taken in the global fight against plastic. Plastic isn’t actually the villain it’s made out to be. The real issue is how we use it, how we keep tabs on ensuring it is being used responsibly, and what happens to it when we’ve finished with it. That’s why we all need to work together to help curb it once and for all. 

5 Minutes With… Hazel 4D’s LEE ARMSTRONG

In the latest instalment of our supply chain industry executive interview series, we spoke to Hazel 4D Marketing Director Lee Armstrong about the company, it’s products & services, the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit, and upcoming opportunities…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

At Hazel 4D, we provide a wide range of innovative products that help you save time, money and the planet, but know from experience that the packaging process isn’t simply about the supply of materials. It also relies on having the right equipment, and on carefully training staff and monitoring performance, to ensure that packaging is always applied as efficiently as possible.

That’s why we offer our unique service, where we partner with you to improve your business performance and profitability – typically you will end up spending significantly less on packaging. 

What have been the biggest challenges the Supply Chain industry has faced over the past 12 months?

Partly due to the time of the year, and partly due to the situation that Covid and Brexit have brought upon us, lead times of packaging products are extending every day at the moment. Here at Hazel 4D we are working hard to ensure that we continue to meet your needs. We have increased stocks substantially to ensure that we can support you with covering your Christmas/seasonal trade, as well as the additional pressures of panic buying and the huge increase in E-commerce.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

There’s been exponential increase of end users buying online has created huge demand for effective packaging.

Investing in PPE products at the request of customers. The company has helped multiple businesses by supplying these products and has even taken on new customers as a result of this. Successfully pulling through a difficult time.

We took the opportunity to help out the community as much as possible. We donated cardboard boxes and E-tape free of charge to our local Burberry site that was producing PPE for the NHS – Read article here: https://www.hazel4d.com/en/page/550/hazel-4d-news-ppe-for-the-nhs

Hazel 4D donated a number of poly bags to a local seamstress hoping to put a smile on the faces of frontline workers. Read article here: https://www.hazel4d.com/en/page/551/hazel-4d-news-polythene-bag-donation

What is the biggest priority for the Supply Chain industry in 2021?

Ensuring that business can continue without interruption whatever the outcome of Brexit.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2021?

An increase in online shopping and e-commerce – We’re expecting the economy will improve and consumer confidence will rise making B2C suppliers even busier.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

We expect to see a huge focus around recycled products into plastic products such as stretch film, driven by the Plastic Packaging tax coming in 2022.

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

Looking back on 2020 and how the pandemic has changed the world for forever, with more of a focus on e-commerce and sustainable packaging alternatives.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Supply Chain sector?

Just how resilient, adaptable and flexible it’s proved itself to be during the turmoil of 2020.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

The people that I interact with on a daily basis and the work that we do together to solve challenging packaging requirements. We’ve worked with a multisite printing company this year to significantly improve their pallet wrapping process whilst saving them around 70% on the cost of every pallet they wrap. One happy customer!

And what’s the most challenging?

Taking on a new role of Marketing Director for the company and writing a marketing plan for 2021.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

You progress faster when you’re working outside your comfort zone.

Never mind the kilos… what’s your film costing per pallet?

By Hazel 4D

Usually when we talk to clients about how much they spend on stretch film, we’ll hear an answer about cost per kilo. What we hear less often is how far that weight goes – how many pallets can a kilo wrap? Yet that is the only way we’ll know the value that our plastic wrap is delivering, so it’s time to change – no more price per kilo!

Let’s talk about price per pallet wrapped. We promise, make that change and you’ll think differently about your plastic wrap and what it’s really costing you.

Here’s an example: Extremus – our best-selling stretch wrap – costs more per kilo than the average. But it delivers around 300% stretch, so it goes much further, and creates a more stable and secure pallet (and lots of other value that can’t be easily quantified, like cost savings, reduced plastic waste, easier handling – all leading to fewer returns and damages).

Think of what you’re spending per pallet wrapped and Extremus is clearly the intelligent choice. On optimised machines where Extremus can be applied at can be less than 4 microns, 1 metre of film becomes 4 metres.

Plus, price per kilo really also needs to take into account the weight of the core which for some brands can be up to 2.2kg. Extremus’ core weighs just 1.1kg, so the price you’re paying is for film, not for the core. And when the plastic tax begins in April 2022, inefficient wrapping will cost companies even more. All of this means that using Extremus significantly reduces your price per pallet wrapped.

What could a switch to Extremus mean in real terms? Based on research with our customers, we’ve found that switching to an ‘expensive’ film like Extremus can actually deliver cost savings of up to 78% per pallet wrapped. We’ve seen it reduce film costs for one of our customers, a snack food manufacturer, from 97p per pallet wrapped down to just 24p.

“Thinking of the cost per kilo of our film is meaningless – it doesn’t tell us anything about your real costs or opportunities to save. When we think in terms of cost per pallet, then we get an idea of how much our true costs are, and potentially, how much we’re losing to inefficient wrapping. Often when we work with customers to explore this, their cost per pallet is a revelation to them. They might be shocked to start with, but one of our consultations is the beginning of making it better too.”

Garth Christie, Chairman of Hazel 4D

PET FOOD CLIENT SAVINGS

A pet food client was shocked to discover the difference in the current cost of wrapping pallets, and the weight of film used, across their four production lines – but was delighted by the savings we could deliver for them.

Another customer said: 

“I had no idea we were applying over 1.1kg of film per pallet. Hazel 4D have successfully achieved a much safer pallet with less than a quarter of the weight of film.” 
Distribution Centre Manager, Nursery Brand and Manufacturer.

The team at Hazel 4D will work with you to understand your needs, recommend a tailored solution and optimise either your own or new machines and materials. This means that you’ll get total load stability and a real weight off your mind. Plus, we’ll make sure it stays that way with regular visits to ensure your system is always on top form.

Click here to book a free consultation

Or if you’re ready to start a conversation you can get in touch with us on 0113 242 6999 or email wecare@hazel4d.com.

Automate to tackle peak season challenges

By Quadient

How can e-commerce companies successfully navigate recent extreme purchasing peaks when labour resources are reduced or unavailable, social distancing guidelines are in place, shipping prices are increasing, and demand just keeps growing?

Labour and shipping costs coupled with pressure to meet fast delivery demands has left companies striving for lower costs. Often, packaging can be the most manual and labour-intensive part of the fulfillment design. 

With expected long-term shifts in consumer behaviour, online retailers will turn to packaging automation for stability, efficiency and cost savings. By choosing an automated solution to right-size ecommerce deliveries, retailers can meet their fulfilment promises, even in the peaks, while respecting the environment, reducing transit damage, and saving money. Even operating ‘off-peak’ at well below capacity, there is a rapid return on investment in the form of material savings, shipping costs and labour resources. 

Using a right-sized box means your products will be packaged more securely and cost effectively. Custom, fit-to-size packaging machines will pack a broad range of items using one or two operators, from head phones to a vacuum cleaner, and allow for even greater shipping efficiencies. 

The CVP Automated Packaging Solutions have the fastest, most agile throughput on the market today, backed by proven customer data and a dedicated service and support team. Auto-packing will create less waste, reduce product damage, save on labour and shipping costs, and generate repeat business to save your company money while ensuring all steps of the packing process are optimized. 

For more information, click here.

Making the case for peak performance

By Jo Bradley, Business Development Manager at Packaging by Quadient – formerly Neopost

Online fulfilment is facing a new reality; one of frequent and dramatic spikes in demand and this is causing retailers significant challenges in the packing area. How can ecommerce businesses successfully hit these extreme peaks when labour resources are becoming increasingly scarce?

These peaks stress test the whole fulfilment and delivery process and nowhere is this more acutely felt than in the packing area. Constructing boxes, packing, weighing, sealing and labelling manually is a slow process, and few shippers have either the physical space or the available labour to create additional packing stations for what may be only a few days’ work. Finding a flexible labour force, available at short notice, is also becoming increasingly difficult as a result of Brexit. So, how will online retailers cope with the new reality of frequent and dramatic spikes in demand?

The case for greater use of automation in the packing area is compelling. However, simple size-constrained machines using only one-size of box does not cater for the wide variety of products and order sizes experienced by most online retailers. If demand for smaller items to be packed exceeds the capacity of the relevant machine, the shipper has no option but to move up a box size, or two, or three.

Waste not…

The consequences are not good. It is understood that 60% of ecommerce deliveries are by volume at least a quarter composed of bubble-wrap, airbags, paper void fill or just fresh air. Much of the dunnage is essentially non-recyclable, but without it the damage rate for small items slamming about in large boxes, already high, becomes unacceptable to consumers and creates an ever-bigger returns problem. It has been estimated that an ecommerce item can go through around 50 touch points, or opportunities for damage, compared with around 10 for a bricks & mortar sale. 

What can be done?

The case for a fast, efficient, economical and secure means of automating the packaging and labelling of online orders is convincing – but how can it be done? Can boxes be individually made to the exact size required for each order, secured, weighed and labelled automatically at speeds capable of efficiently and cost-effectively matching peak volumes? Effectively, could a machine flex to demand, even at volumes of up to a thousand packages an hour? The answer is yes.

Packaging by Quadient – formerly Neopost – has introduced the CVP Everest, a high velocity fit-to-size ‘auto-boxing’ system capable of tailor-making over 1100 ecommerce packages per hour.

The system scans and measures the item, or group of items, to be packed and calculates the ‘best fit’ box shape and size. Material for the box and lid is cut and creased to size, erected around the item(s) and the lid glue-sealed – which is faster and more recyclable than using tape. Parcels are weighed, labelled and away.

This approach addresses the waste problem – cardboard usage typically cut by 20%, and a tight fit eliminates the need for void fill. Total package volumes can be reduced by 50%, maximising the use of the truck or trailer cube and reducing shipping costs and environmental impacts.

More cogently for the hard-pressed fulfilment centre manager, at packing rates in excess of 1,100 per hour the latest machine can potentially replace on average up to 20 manual packing stations. And for businesses with mid-market volumes a similar machine, the CVP Impack, produces up to 500 boxes per hour and offers just about all the benefits of the CVP Everest. 

The business case is impressive. Even operating ‘off-peak’ at well below capacity there is a rapid Return On Investment in the form of material savings, lower shipping costs and labour economies – labour that could be redeployed to other tasks, such as picking. But it is at peak times that the CVP Everest and CVP Impack systems really come into their own, ramping up throughput without any corresponding increase in labour, and minimising the burden on despatch and delivery operations.

By choosing an automated solution to ‘right-size’ ecommerce deliveries, retailers can meet their fulfilment promises, even in the peaks, while respecting the environment, reducing transit damage, and saving money. 

Efficient and eco-friendly packaging: Minimising its environmental impact is a perennial focus for Internet Fusion Group

Fast and automated, customised packaging is reaping big rewards for environmentally conscious outdoor-pursuits specialist retailer, Internet Fusion Group… 

Internet Fusion Group is a fast-expanding online retail business with a portfolio of niche brands specialising in life-style apparel and products. Established in 2006, the business has quickly grown through acquisition, retaining the skills and knowledge unique to each enterprise and realising economies of scale with a common marketing resource, finance team, and a shared 146,000 sq ft warehouse in Kettering.

The problem Internet Fusion Group had been facing was similar to that of most businesses manually packing at high volumes into fibreboard boxes. The process required multiple packing desks with numerous staff and a wide range of box sizes for packers to select from. However, as with most manual packing operations, the match was often far from exact and void-fillers were usually required to cushion the goods.

To this end, minimising its environmental impact is a perennial focus for Internet Fusion Group. Like much of its customer base, the business shares a passion for creating a sustainable future, free from single-use plastics commonly used in packaging.  Pursuing its dual quest for sustainability and productivity, the retailer has recently invested in a state-of-the-art automated packaging solution that would accelerate throughput and lessen their environmental impact. Adam Hall, Head of Sustainability of Internet Fusion Group, found the CVP Impack from Packaging by Quadient. The CVP Impack is an inline auto-packer that measures, constructs, tapes, weighs and labels each order every seven seconds, while creating a custom fit parcel using only one operator. Packaging by Quadient, formerly Neopost, provides innovative automated packaging systems that empower companies in all industries to efficiently auto-pack parcels in smart, fit-to-size packaging.  

 “We are very much front runners on sustainability and packaging,” says Adam Hall, Head of Sustainability at Internet Fusion Group. “Across the group our packaging is now 91% plastic-free and next year that percentage figure will look even better. The first rule of sustainability is reduce… and when you reduce, you save money as well,” Hall says. “In terms of shipping volumes, our calculations indicate that the two machines will offer a reduction of 92 truck loads a year, due to the space savings of fit-to-size packaging.”

The two CVP Impack systems have given Internet Fusion Group the capacity to expand on the same footprint and cope with peak at optimal performance. “It’s not a complex machine to use so staff were quick to pick it up. But importantly, the backup and support from Quadient is fast. We have no complaints whatsoever,” according to Adam Hall.

Facts & Figures

  • Two CVP Impack’s in operation
  • Over 50,000 parcels produced each month
  • Reduction of 92 truck loads a year
  • No void fill required. 
  • Eco friendly packaging

https://packagingbyquadient.com/customers/case-study-internet-fusion-group/

Image courtesy of Internet Fusion Group

Quadient system aims to speed up e-commerce packing

Packaging by Quadient – formerly Neopost – the automated packaging and postal solutions specialist, has launched the CVP Everest, a high velocity fit-to-size ‘auto-boxing’ system capable of tailor-making over 1,100 ecommerce packages per hour. 

Designed to help large ecommerce businesses hit peak volumes, the new super-fast machine has the potential to replace on average up to 20 packing desks, giving it a rapid ROI and making it a highly attractive solution for busy e-tailers constrained by labour resource issues. 

A key advantage of the CVP Everest is that it uses a glue-gun system to affix an individually sized lid to each tailor-made package. This allows much faster speeds for high-volume operations and far smaller package sizes than is possible with tape-sealed systems – all of which enables the new machine to cater for a far broader order profile at much higher speeds.

With a capacity to tailor-make 1,100 packages per hour for multiple or single order items, Packaging by Quadient fit-to-size automated solution is ideal for e-commerce operations faced with increasing order volumes and labour shortages. The CVP Everest effortlessly measures, constructs, seals, weighs and labels each parcel in a seamless process – reducing package volumes by up to 50%, cutting cardboard usage by 20% and eliminating the need for void fill. And, as no tape is used cardboard can be more easily recycled.

Jo Bradley, Business Development Manager for Packaging by Quadient, says: “With rates in excess of 1,100 packages per hour, the CVP Everest is a highly attractive proposition for ecommerce businesses challenged by poor labour availability, rising costs and escalating volumes of orders involving single or multiple items. This is a solution to the fulfilment nightmares of the ‘Mega Peak’ season.”

The CVP Everest has sound environmental credentials with its economical use of recyclable cardboard, minimal requirement for material through custom sizing, snug-fit around an item with no need for void-fill, cost savings through reduced volumetrics and its ability to maximise the cube of a trailer, thus reducing CO2 emissions.

The new high performance CVP Everest is currently in operation within one of France’s largest ecommerce businesses, with an excellent performance during the past peak season.

More information on Packaging by Neopost’s super-fast CVP Everest can be found at https://packagingbyneopost.com/cvp-everest-automated-packaging-solution/

Do you specialise in Labelling & Packaging? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Supply Chain Briefing we’ll be shining the spotlight on a different part of the logistics and distribution market – and in September we’ll be focussing on Labelling & Packaging.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help supply chain industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a Labelling & Packaging specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Nick Stannard on n.stannard@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Sep – Labelling & Packaging
Oct – 3PL & 4PL
Nov – Order Fulfilment
Dec – Transport Planning & Load Optimisation

For more information on any of the above, contact Nick Stannard on n.stannard@forumevents.co.uk.

Image by Jens P. Raak from Pixabay

GUEST BLOG: Enforcing packaging standards delivers ethical and financial value

Switched on brands are becoming ever more aware of the importance of packaging when it comes to consumer experience. Far too few, however, have yet to address the extraordinary packaging inefficiencies that exist throughout the supply chain.

Where is the consistency in packaging types -both material and size – that can not only enforce sustainability and ethical standards but also enable cost saving optimisation of pallets, containers and warehouse space?

David Griffiths, Product Marketing Manager, Adjuno, outlines the value of enforcing robust packaging standards across the global supply chain…

Packing, Shipping and Storing Air

Minimalist packaging may be the new black when it comes to consumer facing goods, but across the supply chain the situation is far from slick. When some retailers are handling thousands of different packaging types from suppliers globally, the implications on cost, sustainability and efficiency are very significant.

Given the risk of product damage associated with packaging that is too small, many suppliers will err on the large side – but the costs of this approach, both direct and indirect, are considerable. In addition to wasting money on unnecessary material, what about the wasted space? With multiple sizes used, pallets are not optimised, nor are containers; while oversized packaging also impacts the number of items that can be stored in the warehouse or distribution centre (DC), or in-store. Packing, shipping and storing air is an expensive business. Add in the cost of ethically disposing of damaged or unusable packaging, and reconsidering this area should be about far more than the consumer facing experience.

Plugging the Leak

With the rising pressure on costs and growing stakeholder expectations regarding ethical business practice, retailers need to take control and plug the financial leaks across the supply chain associated with packaging inefficiency. And that means defining and, critically, enforcing very clear packaging standards on suppliers.

Just consider the supply chain implications of reducing packaging types from thousands, even hundreds, to just a dozen – from the material consistency that transforms recycling and waste disposal activity to the optimisation of shipping and storage. And the financial returns that can be achieved by creating packaging standards across the world are significant – from a typical 5% to 10% reduction in the amount of packaging material being used to an improvement in container utilisation of 5% – 15%. The return on investment is compelling – and quick.

Enforcing Control

The starting point must be a robust review of requirements: what are the packaging requirements of the product? What are the space restrictions in the DC? What can containers handle? And what are the feasible packaging types that can be enforced? The challenge, however, is not simply to create these standards but to ensure they are enforced globally. Going through the exercise of rationalising packaging is great but fail to robustly enforce the standards and suppliers will rapidly revert back to using all various shapes and sizes.

Compliance is key – and that means ensuring a retailer has excellent visibility of the supplier’s packaging plans. The easiest approach is to automatically accept orders packed using the authorised sizes and materials. If a supplier cannot access approved packaging for some justifiable reason, retailers can also offer a short list of acceptable sizes – while also ensuring the substitution is automatically communicated. The big win is to have immediate visibility when a supplier proposes the use of unauthorised packaging – enabling a retailer to accept or reject an order based on the potential financial (and ethical) implications of failing to follow the defined standards.

It’s not just retailers that need visibility. In order to inspire suppliers to stick to the rules, they need to be easy to find as well as adhere to. Suppliers need to have excellent visibility of the retailers requirements in order to quickly locate the right type of packaging and keep the process running as efficiently as possible.

Conclusion

This is a massive mindset shift – and one that will be increasingly considered not just at the time of each shipment but during supplier assessment. In a world where packaging is fast becoming a key component of sustainable and ethical business, a supplier’s commitment to the use of standardised packaging must become a fundamental component of the decision making process.

Minimalist packaging is indeed the new black – from supplier all the way through to consumer.

RECOMMENDED: Labelling & Packaging Solutions

Supply Chain Briefing throws the spotlight on the companies offering labelling and packaging solutions to the sector…

Watermill Press

Based in West Yorkshire, this BRCIOP AA Grade approved business specialises in secondary & tertiary labelling – labels used on trays, outer cases and pallets to get product out of the door, on the road and into the retailers.

According to the firm, when Watermill make labels only top-grade materials are used, by highly-trained operatives, on state-of-the art technology. Accreditations mean that customers can be sure this quality is recognised by some of the most stringent approval bodies in the world.

Without high-quality barcode printing the labels won’t work. Watermill also supplies the support, printer solutions, machine consumables and print ribbon that ensure the next stage in the process works just as well as the first.

Members of the Living Wage Foundation, the business invests heavily in green technologies, efficiency measures and ethically sourced FSC/PEFC approved materials so they can continue to support supply chains with confidence and at competitive prices, well into the future.

The Watermill range includes self-adhesive outer case labels, tray end labels (M&S Preferred Solution Provider), pallet labels, print solutions, print ribbons, print-heads & platen rollers, plus full support.

To find out more email sales@watermillpress.co.uk

AKW Global Logistics

Established in 1981, AKW Global Logistics has rapidly evolved into a multi-faceted powerhouse of the supply-chain and boasts warehousing, transport and contract packing solutions.

Experts in customisation, the Contract Packing department has offered labelling and packaging solutions to industry leading FMCG giants such as L’Oréal for over a decade. Its state of the art packing machinery includes Harland Sirius automatic labeller, semi-automated L-sealing, shrink-wrapping systems and a market-leading German engineered shrink sleeving system. Full project management including bespoke design requirements can be accommodated, as well as FSDU’s, promotional clip strips and much more. Automatic in-line labellers and ink jet coding makes AKW market leaders in gifting production, with attentive hand assembly for giants including The Hut Group being a speciality. The strictly controlled clean-room packing happens in a hepa-filtered, temperature-controlled facility, meaning packaging services can be extended to industries where extreme hygiene is a priority such as food and pharmaceutical.

Part of the Partnerlink & Palletline networks, AKW’s transport operation has the capabilitiesto connect your business to the whole of the UK and beyond. Specialists in UK & Ireland palletised distribution, AKW offers solutions from single pallets to groupage and full loads at competitive next day and economy rates. The international freight forwarding department has years of expertise in safely delivering consignments worldwide, with almost 50 years’ experience witha global network of partners.

An average customer retention rate of 8.5 years, and group KPI’s of a near perfect 99.3% makes it clear that client satisfaction is guaranteed, according to the firm.

Find out more at www.akwgroup.co.uk.

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