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What is the technical function of the containers?

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Industry and environment ecosystem
Wrapped, baling and packaging is a necessity in any industry that promotes the sale of the product in the short, medium, and long term, once it has met the requirements of containing, protecting, communicating, facilitating handling, it must meet a series of characteristics transformed into functions among which we have:

Location function:

It has to do with the shape and graphic appearance of the container and packaging, so that its colors make it visible and remarkable from afar, according to the brand. The consumer trend is to buy in large stores due to the ease of reaching a shelf where the number of brands of the same product is immense. Hence the importance of the container and packaging as a differentiating factor, which generates in the consumer the recognition of the brand and its easy and immediate location, in a few words it becomes the obtaining of acceptance by the client, since the determination purchase, is prompted by the success of the packaging allowing localization. This extends to packaging when the function is transferred to the storage or transport area where it must allow the cargo to be located anywhere in the warehouse, or in the logistics chain.

Identification function:

Facilitate the consumer to decipher the visible signs of the container, packaging, that they are used to seeing in products of the same category, being important the management of colors, shape, brand concept and other visible signs that allow full identification of the product or load. This concept will be further expanded upon when developing the label concept.

Seduction function:

It incites the desire to produce the purchase, it is known as the gala dress and it is one that attracts the eye and sells. From this point of sale, it is a sales tool that, based on merchandising, activates the senses to provoke the purchase, this being one of the reasons why it is called the silent seller and it cannot be ignored that many sales are made based on the container or packaging.

Service function:

Set of qualities of use or ease of use that a container or packaging must have from the point of view of the consumer that will be perceived after the purchase and use of the product. It is an after-sales service and is based on the ease, comfort, and usefulness that the packaging can provide to the consumer compared to other brands, highlighting factors of environmental care, recycling, reuse, repackaging or proper disposal for its completion of the cycle of lifetime.

Protection and preservation function:

The container, packaging and/or baling must protect the merchandise or load from mechanical damage during its handling for the sale process, but also from deterioration caused by different environments through which the product will pass during its transport, storage and/or distribution, within this function factors such as:

  • Endurance
  • Closure
  • Inviolability
  • Versatility
  • Compatibility
  • Communication
  • Universality
  • Ergonomics
  • Dispensing
  • Tightness 

Information function:

Containers, packaging, and baling have a main function that is to provide information to the consumer, the user, the warehouse, or the transporter, which is why the traditional commercial information is included on the product label such as producer, packer, brand, barcode, quantity, weights, uses, consumption indications and other that is usual. Also, they must inform, positions, forms of filling, closing, opening, storage or conservation conditions, which are normally carried out by means of international pictograms.

It should be kept in mind that the information required by legal regulations must be included, for example, in the case of processed and packaged foods, it is a requirement to comply with the regulations of the nutritional table and INVIMA registry or in the case of alcoholic beverages or cigarettes the legends of "prohibited the sale to minors" that must appear on said containers and packaging.

In the case of packaging, the regulations that exist according to international conventions must be considered, a palpable example being the handling of dangerous load by air, in which there are different international codes that may be required for transport. It is worth highlighting the UN Code - UN (acronym in English) or orange book, Danger Diamond or NFPA code or HAZCHEM Code.

The packages must communicate to the carrier its destination, the instructions on its handling and storage, as well as inform specific characteristics of handling, loading, unloading, conservation, and others associated with the logistics process, for example, for the handling of oversized load, stacking, handling with slings, bulk goods, among others.

Logistics function:

From the point of view of the logistics function, it is necessary to mention fundamental aspects in wrapped, baling and packaging that are in direct line with weight, space, and cost, since in national transport and especially in international the rates are applied by weight and volume. From the foregoing, it is suggested to go to cubing programs or experts in the field that allow optimization from the design of the product and its container, which will affect the packaging at the time of carrying out the unit loading, consolidation or loading process container (terms to be developed later).

At this point, aspects related to load handling must be considered, which from the business point of view, is directly related to occupational health and safety programs, keep in mind that there are legal regulations that determine the limits in dimensions and weights allowed to be manipulated by the human being and in which the use of mechanical or automatic means is determined, such as forklifts, cranes, elevators, among others, for the process of moving, loading, unloading and/or storing the product.

All the above will be reflected in the export and import process and in the storage, distribution, and transportation costs in the future, even more so if trends such as E-commerce are considered, which is reaching international sales levels per unit in the country of destination.

Please remember that the packages, baling, and load units contain the products temporarily and as mentioned above, have other functions, but that from a purely logistical point of view they translate into costs and space, so it should be tried optimizing to the maximum, since on many occasions they are not perceived by the client, although they fulfill a vital function in the perfect delivery.

Social function:

In accordance with the trends in packaging and markets, it is necessary to mention that the containers, packaging, and baling must guarantee the quality and integrity of the individual who consumes the product, especially if it is food or products for human consumption or application and of course they must make their contribution to the environment as far as possible. Consumers' rights must be protected by efficient, responsible, and environmentally friendly systems, always seeking to reduce product losses and waste in favor of business profitability, but also the care and protection of the environment. From this perspective, the maintenance, conservation, and absolute care of the environment are guaranteed, if any of the materials used for manufacturing contribute to green and reverse logistics (reduction at the source, return, reuse, recycling, or adequate final disposal)

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