The term “packaging” is often heard in logistics. These are items that are used in transport and logistics to properly transport and protect goods. A distinction is made between one-way and reusable packaging. Multi-use packaging materials, or Returnable Transport Items, are transport items designed to be used multiple times for the same transport purpose. One-time packaging is thrown away after use.

Working with RTI’s has various advantages, but it also entails some risks. Because multi-use packaging items have to be used more often, the purchase value is naturally higher. It is also important that items are returned, which can sometimes be a complicated process. In this blog, we will briefly review these risks and discuss the advantages of multi-use packaging compared to one-way packaging.


What are the stumbling blocks?

On average, between 4% and 8% of all multi-use packaging gets lost every year. Items are given to a carrier and you never see them again. Return flows also present additional challenges. The three most common challenges regarding return flows are:

  1. Changing the current processes

  2. Retraining employees and learning new tasks

  3. Implementing new packaging registration systems

Often these are also arguments not to use returnable transport items. However, these arguments can easily be refuted when you weigh them against the advantages of multi-use packaging. It is also dependent per system whether changing activities and processes takes a lot of time and effort. For example, this is arranged quickly with a simple system such as TellApe. Implementing a system like this can limit costs caused by loss or theft of packaging. Of course these external risks are more difficult to prevent. However, insight into the outgoing and incoming flows allows you to get a firmer grip on the packaging process.


Why then work with reusable packaging?

Although there are also risks and challenges associated with working with returnable transport items, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Companies that opt ​​for a sustainable process and want to ensure an efficiently organized logistics process would do well to use returnable transport items. Below we have listed a few of the advantages of multi-use packaging.


Multi-use packaging is cheaper

Compared to one-off packaging, the purchase price of multi-use packaging is indeed more expensive. However, the costs of returnable transport items are lower per use. The depreciation period is therefore very important here. You can calculate the cost per use by dividing the purchase price by the number of uses of the item.

  • One-way pallet: Purchase price of € 15.00. If you want to use a one-off pallet 10 times, you have to buy a new pallet 10 times. The costs per use are therefore € 15.00.
  • Multiple use pallet: Purchase price of € 75.00. If you want to use a reusable pallet 10 times, you do not have to buy a new pallet, but you can keep using the same one. The costs per use are therefore € 75.00 / 10 = € 7.50. This is half of a one-time pallet and these costs decrease even further as you use items more often.

In the long term, the use of reusable transport items is therefore cheaper. A condition for this, however, is that the items are returned to the owner.


Multi-use packaging is more sustainable

Sustainable processes are needed more than ever. Companies are expected to emit less and reuse more. The reuse of items is part of a Circular Supply Chain and is one of the biggest trends of 2021 in transport and logistics. It goes without saying that the use of multi-use packaging is also the more sustainable option. After all, multi-use packaging can be used more often and one-way packaging is thrown away after each use.


Multi-use packaging is more reliable

It is not uncommon for goods to be damaged because the packaging is not sturdy. Cardboard boxes quickly break during transport due to the goods bouncing around or not being handled carefully enough. However, multi-use packaging is built to be safe, sturdy and last a long time. With returnable transport items you therefore protect goods better than with disposable, one-time packaging.


Multi-use packaging is efficient

Finally, multi-use packaging is also the more efficient choice. The registration and administration of returnable transport items provides relevant insights into, for example, locations and the ways in which customers use the items. This ensures that you can better organize your chain and respond to unexpected changes. For example, you prevent production or deliveries from being delayed due to shortages, which means that extra costs and time have to be invested. You also no longer have to store extra stock and purchase one-time items. This lowers the working capital because the stock (value) is not higher than strictly necessary.


Would you like to know more about the benefits of returnable transport items? Or do you want to start managing and registering your existing items? Get in touch with TellApe, we are happy to help you!


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