types of packaging in logistics

Packaging plays a pivotal role in the realm of logistics,  serving as the first line of defence for products as they journey through the supply chain.  It’s not merely about enclosing items; it’s a strategic choice that affects safety,  efficiency,  and sustainability.  In this article,  we delve into the various types of packaging in logistics,  shedding light on their purposes,  benefits,  and suitability across different industries. 

Packaging: Logistics Definition

Packing is the act of wrapping up a packaged good to protect the environment or the packaged well itself,  to make it easier to portion the packaged good for production or use and to store and market it.  The packaging comprises packaging material and tools,  making it possible to package,  seal,  and prepare for shipping.  

Packaging is the result of a packaging process (see also (sorter) packing),  which starts with the packaging design and ends when everything is put together.  This whole process is called a packaging system. 

The Definition:

Packaging is a way to ensure that goods are safe,  secure,  efficient,  and effective when handled,  transported,  stored,  sold,  eaten,  recycled,  reused,  or thrown away.  It also ensures that consumer value,  sales,  and profit are maximized. 

Different kinds of packaging: primary,  secondary,  and tertiary

Product packaging involves various layers of materials,  classified as follows:

Primary, sales, or consumption-unit packaging

Primary packaging contains,  stores,  and protects a product.  It is in direct contact with the item and serves to maintain it in optimal conditions.  This packaging designates the smallest consumption unit,  facilitating the unit sale of the merchandise.  Primary packaging examples: cans,  jars,  sacks,  bottles,  bags,  etc. 

Primary packaging carries out the following functions:

Secondary or grouped packaging

Secondary packaging consists of the grouping together of primary packaging.  It adds more protection and facilitates the marketing of the product on a larger scale.  This packaging mostly comprises cardboard boxes,  although they can also be plastic.  

For example,  in the case of milk,  an individual carton would be primary packaging,  while the cardboard box containing the pack of cartons would account for secondary packaging. 

Secondary packaging is tasked with the following:

Tertiary packaging

Tertiary packaging includes primary and secondary packaging to,  thus,  create larger unit loads,  the most common forms of which are pallets,  containers,  and modular cardboard boxes that they contain. 

The functions and characteristics of tertiary packaging comprise the following:

In this logistics context,  the significance of the unit load should be noted.  It’s the basic unit that a company uses in the transportation and storage of its products.  These loads can be in the form of pallets,  boxes,  containers,  drums,  reels,  large recipients for bulk commodities (IBCs),  sacks,  big bags,  and the like.  Various unit loads can exist in a single warehousing facility; they can be differentiated by area and stored in different types of racking adapted to each one. 

Benefits of Packaging 

After having a glance at the types of packaging in logistics let us now look into the benefits of packaging in logistics

Communicate symbolically

The packaging serves as a means of identifying the goods.  To set itself apart from competitors’ products,  a product is presented in a unique size,  colour,  and structure container. 


The main function of packaging is to protect the product from dirt,  insects,  dampness,  and breakage.  


Packaging facilitates product transportation,  storage,  and consumption.  The pack of frooti provides convenience in its consumption. 


Packaging simplifies the work of sales promotion.  Packing material in the house reminds the consumers constantly about the product.  In this way,  the packaging performs the role of a passive salesman.  Consequently,  it increases sales. 

Cube minimization

A concept of movement consolidation reduces making multiple packets for moving from one place to another.  A cube minimization is also termed to be called unitization whereby single units are packed together to make into one big unit of packaging. 

Weight minimization

The concept of lowering weight will assist minimize manufacturing many packages and transferring from one area to another,  therefore reducing the velocity of volume being transported,  if an efficient packing material is chosen by a packaging manager. 


Packaging is also been used as a function of storage of material which can be utilized in near future.  This helps the product in its longer shelf life thereby managing a balance between demand and supply equations. 

Which Packaging Materials Are Used In Logistics?

Due to the versatile requirements placed on packaging materials,  different materials are used.  Often these are:


As a natural resource,  wood is a popular packaging material.  Packaging made of wood is stable,  cost-effective and insensitive to temperatures.  At the same time,  wood is robust,  high quality and recyclable.  Typical wooden packaging materials are sea chests,  inland boxes,  and two-way and four-way pallets. 


Plastic and synthetic materials are often used as high-quality and resistant packaging materials.  They are suitable materials for the transportation of a  wide variety of goods.  At the same time,  the packaging material is insensitive to temperatures and provides excellent insulation.  Known packaging materials made of plastic are bottles,  trays,  bags or boxes. 


Cardboard is one of the most common packaging materials,  not least because of its environmentally friendly properties.  Packaging materials made of cardboard or in combination with cardboard are available in a wide variety of thicknesses and sizes.  

They can be folded and stored in a space-saving manner and can also be recycled.  packaging materials made of cardboard include cardboard boxes,  crates,  corrugated cardboard or cartons. 


Metal is versatile as a packaging material and is used when a high degree of stability is required.  It is malleable,  lightweight and recyclable.  Metal packaging is made of sheet steel,  corrugated sheet metal or aluminium and comes in the form of cans,  drums,  cans or containers. 


Glass as a packaging material comes in the form of returnable glass,  hollow glass or used glass.  Glass is used particularly frequently in the food industry because it reliably encloses solids and liquids,  stores them hygienically and does not absorb odours.  Typical glass packaging materials are bottles or screw-cap jars.  

FAQ: Types Of Packaging In Logistics

What are the different types of packaging in shipping?

Cardboard boxes,  wooden cases,  steel drums,  and containers are all common types of cargo packaging.  Palletizing is also a type of cargo packaging in which goods are placed on a pallet and secured for transport. 

What are the 3 C’s of packaging?

They are cube,  content,  and curb.  Continue reading to delve into these three integral aspects,  getting insights into how you can effectively implement them to achieve truly sustainable packaging solutions. 

What are the two main types of packaging materials?

Paper,  paperboard,  and cardboard cartons are frequently used as packaging for products in stores as well as used in shipping.  Corrugated cardboard,  for example,  has excellent structural stability for shipping,  storing,  and even marketing products. 


In the world of logistics,  all these different types of packaging are more than just a means of protection; it’s a dynamic aspect that influences efficiency,  safety,  and customer perception.  The various types of packaging materials and their applications showcase the diverse strategies businesses employ to safeguard their products throughout the supply chain.  

From primary packaging that entices consumers to tertiary packaging that ensures safe transit,  each layer plays a crucial role in the journey from manufacturer to end-user.  By understanding and leveraging the types of packaging in logistics,  businesses can optimise their operations,  reduce costs,  and enhance customer satisfaction in an increasingly competitive market. Read More – Qodenext.

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