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Why Using Reusable Packaging Can Be the Most Effective Way to Save Time and Money in Your Global Supply Chain

reusable packaging

Reusable packaging may be the one most effective way you can manage your costs better. It seems that no matter what industry you are in there is more and more buzz about the advantages of using reusable packaging and rightfully so.

Reusable packaging goes far beyond just reducing packaging costs. It can affect five key areas of your business in addition to reducing your packaging costs up to 90% in some cases. On a global level, the benefits are increased exponentially.

reusable packaging 1

After taking a look at these five key areas where you can save by using reusable packaging for your global supply chain, you will understand why there is so much buzz about this packaging option.

Some of the advantages are immediate while others are geared toward the long term in all cases the benefits can be tremendous.

Reusable packaging is ideal to improve environmental impact but to be honest most companies switch to reusable options because of their bottom line. Some of the information may surprise you because it is not quite as obvious as the apparent savings that are available!


Reusable and recyclable are different terms with different definitions. Reusable can be defined as:

  • A container or pallet that is reused at least three times to transport or contain the same products, parts or goods.
  • During the lifecycle of the packaging, it is repeatedly reused, inspected and repaired for return to the supply chain.

Recycled packaging is packaging that can be turned into something useful and it is not necessarily reusable for the same application.

The Evidence

There are plenty of case studies across a wide range of industries that have shown time and time again that choosing this type of packaging can make the supply chain not only less expensive but also more efficient.

Here are some well-known companies that have made the leap and that have seen huge gains:

Herman Miller (PDF)

Sweden’s Svenska (PDF)

Subaru (PDF)

Click on any of the companies above to read how reusable packaging increased revenue, cut costs and reduced carbon footprints. 

More Efficient Transport

Reusable packaging options afford a more efficient way to transport goods because the packaging is made to be used over and over it is more durable and does a better job of protecting goods.

Switching can help to:

  • Reduce risks of damage and loss to goods
  • The packaging can be loaded more efficiently reducing the cost of multiple transportation costs

Packaging that is made to be reused is typically made from materials that are known to be more durable than traditional packaging options.

They typically do better under historically stressful situations like moisture, heat, and other environmental factors. They can be transported more efficiently because they are made to work together during transport thereby reducing overall fuel costs.

Reduced Waste Management Costs

Reusable packaging can save you on the costs of waste management throughout your entire global supply chain. Of course, this savings will have a trickledown effect that will reduce overall costs for supplies in the long term which naturally reduces your overall costs that you can either pass on to the end user or accept as additional revenue.

Moving waste around can be costly not just in money but in the effect that it has on the environment AND public perception of your business. 

Less Storage Space is required

Using reusable packaging means that you do not have to allocate tons of space in the warehouses for packaging. The goal with reusable packaging is always to have “enough” but never the need for excess.

Your supply chain will move along like a well-oiled machine after a few months of using reusable options so that you never have to “stock” up on boxes again.

Using your current space to the best of your ability can help you to save on costs and help you get more use out of the space that you have.

Reducing Labour Costs

Saving on labour can make a huge difference in your bottom line. Reusable options can help you to lessen the amount of labour that you need in the warehouse. Typically this innovative packaging does not require many hands to construct or to load.

Return on Investment

It is very easy to see how there is zero return on investment with one-way packaging. It is purchased, used and thrown out.

Of course, it is less expensive than reusable options, but there is NO RETURN on the cost, so it is just throwing money away.

If you choose reusable, and you pay more up front, it does not take many trips to realize a return on your investment.

The longer you use reusable options, the more you earn. When you consider that a reusable option can make hundreds if not thousands of trips you can quickly see where the ROI comes into play.

Social/Environmental Implications

Overall if you use reusable packaging, you will significantly reduce the time and money that it takes to move goods through your supply chain, but there is still that bigger picture. When you choose reusable, it has a much bigger effect on the environment than just reducing waste.

  • Less packaging has to be manufactured which reduces the amount of energy that is required to produce packaging which in turn reduces the number of greenhouse gases that are expelled during the process.
  • Less packaging need on the larger scale also means less source depletion and less energy required on that front as well.

Consumers are demanding more responsibilities from manufacturers and industry; they expect that corporate entities will act responsibly hence why many of the major global corporations have already switched. As a business owner, your supply chain is under scrutiny even if you do not realize it.

Using Reusable Packaging Is The Right Thing to Do

Change can always be difficult, but this change is a very simple step to take that offers so many benefits that NOT making the choice is actually retarding your businesses growth.

Switching to reusable options is the right thing to do for the benefit of your business, your overall industry, the environment and your corporate image.


Written By Aleksejs Volcenkovs.  Aleksejs Volcenkovs is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Kronus — a pallet and pallet collar manufacturer — with considerable knowledge and experience around pallets and the various roles they play in manufacturing and warehouse operations.