Packaging Materials Comparison/G. King 1 Packaging Materials Comparison George King #3141824 Date: 24 Mar 2013 Dr. Carmen Mousel American Military University TLMT351 D001 Win 13 Introduction What are advantages and disadvantages within the supply chain for a paper- based shipping container, a wood-based shipping container and a plastic-based shipping container for use as a distribution package (a non-retail shipping package)? Advantages for using paper-based shipping containers are due to the corrugated box being a sustainable, versatile, and lightweight material.
The paper-based shipping container can be used for multitudes of products and can be made into a custom-manufactured shipping container for those products. Typically these containers are used for transporting a wide range of goods such as packaged goods, produce, meat products, and etc. Corrugated box usages are good for the environment due to it being both reusable and recyclable. The paper product can be compostable which will be good for the environment since it will not end up in a landfill if properly handled.
Since the product is biodegradable it is better for the environment. 1 Disadvantage for using paper-based shipping containers are due to the paper product coming into contact with outside elements such as being susceptible with wet weather conditions such as rain and snow. Stacking for long periods of time are not good since over time they will lose their shape without some sort of pallet or contour structure included into the design. 1 ? Advantages for using a wood-based shipping container is due to the sturdiness of the product for protecting the contents further.
Having a wood container available will allow for it to be exposed to harsh climate changes and rough handling. Wood is less likely to fall apart due to outside elements and easier for movement in and around the warehouse. These containers are normally built for heavy products since strength is needed for moving heavy loads. Wood boxes are also needed when stacking heavy loads. The wooden crates can be easily transported in and around distribution centers once skids are attached to the bottom for forklift accessibility, unlike boxes where a pallet is needed for movement.
Modification to wood crates or containers can be easily modified with doors and ramps making it easy to move items in and out. They are also eco friendly for being able to use the wood crates more than once. 2 ? Disadvantage to using wood is that crates can get to extreme temperatures inside; they can get too cold and or too hot depending on location. Controlling temperature is an issue. Also, having free space for stacking and moving wood crates can be hazardous. Wood also begins to wear out if utilized multiple times.
Pests are an issue, meaning termites may have a field day when wood is exposed over time. Pathogens are of some concern as food inside containers could be exposed to bacterium E. coli and salmonella. 2 ? Advantages for using plastic based shipping containers are normally seen with the use of drums. These containers are high in molecular weight and density polyethylene. They can withstand temperatures and are corrosion resistant. They can be used for both food and chemicals. Plastic drums are self supporting and can be used horizontally or vertically.
Plastic can be easily molded into the contents of the product for further securing of the product. Handles can be installed for ease of movement. The imagination can run for a long time for molding your requirement. They can store just about anything. Many industries use plastic containers for warehouse operations, because they come in large sizes and they are stackable. Plastic is durable, cost effective, and can last for a long time. 3 ? Disadvantages of using plastic containers are that they hold smells of past transported product; therefore it is expensive to clean plastic.
Plastic can also be a health issue. Plastic is not bio degradable and many companies will not recycle plastics. When thinking of using plastic for different tasks then it may not be the best option. 4 References 1. Website, http://www. internationalpaper. com/US/EN/Products/Transport/ShippingContainers. html 2. Website, http://www. container-transportation. com/shipping-container-housing. html 3. Website, www. usplastic. com/catalog/item. aspx? itemid=22827&catid=459 4. Website, http://www. ehow. com/info_8562652_advantages-disadvantages-plastic-containers. html