Inspiration, Packaging, Packaging expertise

Tips On How To Reduce The Cost Of Your Packaging

30 May 2019 —
Warehouse forklift with boxes

Sometimes, making just one small change can make a big difference to a company’s bottom line. That applies to how it packages its products, too. The key is in finding ways to reduce packaging costs without compromising product safety.

Here are our top tips and guides on how to do it.

Sometimes, making just one small change can make a big difference to a company’s bottom line. That applies to how it packages its products, too. The key is in finding ways to reduce packaging costs without compromising product safety.

Here are our top tips and guides on how to do it.

Top 10 tips to reduce the cost of your packaging

packaging cost reduction

1. Choose space-efficient materials

Warehouse space is expensive so taking advantage of new technology and materials that are less space hungry can reduce your packaging storage costs. For example, if you are using traditional, bulky void fill materials, consider switching to automated, on-demand air-based or crumpled paper solutions. Not only do they require less storage space, they are also quick and convenient to use.

2. Review your packing process

A review of your entire packing and distribution process, from picking the packaging off the warehouse shelf right through to customer delivery, can reveal bottlenecks and inefficiencies that might be resolved by simply changing the type of box being used or may perhaps require more significant investment such as the introduction of semi- or fully-automated machinery, as the next two points further explore.

3. Consider introducing packaging automation

From case erecting and sealing to pallet strapping and wrapping, there are opportunities to introduce some level of automation at every stage of the packing process. Although new machinery will obviously require financial investment, it can reduce costs longer term by increasing efficiency, freeing regular staff to focus on more productive activities, and reducing reliance on transient staff.

4. Choose packaging that is quick to assemble

Switching from standard boxes and tape to crash-lock bottom boxes can double the speed of the packing process, helping companies realise significant cost benefits. Other innovative options, such as retention packaging, can also cut packing times while at the same time reducing the amount of packaging material required.

5. Use fewer and better packaging materials

Choosing more costly packaging materials can save money in the longer term. That’s because they are typically more effective so less – and fewer kinds of – material is needed in the first place. As well as leading to more economical purchasing, less storage space is required, plus they are often more efficient to use.

6. Explore bespoke packaging

One of the most effective ways to reduce use of packaging materials and create a better customer experience at the same time, is through bespoke packaging design. Because it is designed to fit perfectly around the contents, bespoke packaging can be designed to require less void fill and packaging and, importantly, looks better and offers better product protection.

7. Don’t dismiss secondary packaging

It’s easy to dismiss secondary packaging as an unnecessary expense, but a little outlay here could save pounds down the line if you consider the cost of pallet rejections and freight damage claims. Simple solutions such as using anti-slip and interleaf papers between loads can help prevent slippage and increase pallet stability, while corner and edge protection and cover films provide extra rigidity and protection from dust, dirt and rain.

8. Optimise your cube

Cube optimisation can seem like a jigsaw puzzle, but it’s worth getting it right because it can make a significant difference not only to load stability, but also to transport and distribution costs. The challenge of cube optimisation lies in minimising packaging to get more packages on to a pallet, while at the same time maintaining packaging efficacy. It’s all about finding the right balance between weight, dimension and quality of packaging materials.

9. Protect pallets in transit

While cube optimisation can ensure you fit more packages onto each vehicle, pallets still need protection to prevent movement during transit; products that arrive with the customer damaged eat into your profit margins and reputation. Wrapping pallets in film can improve load integrity, but not all films are equal. Reinforced stretch film may seem expensive, but because it delivers greater strength and yield, less of it is needed; used in conjunction with an automated wrapping machine, it is possible to achieve cost savings of up to 70%.

10. Choose a packaging partner rather than a supplier

When looking to reduce packaging costs it can be tempting to shop around to find the cheapest deal, but any benefits are usually short term. By working instead with a partner who understands packaging and takes the time to understand your business, can help you achieve quality packaging solutions that may cost a little more on the surface, but can bring huge cost-saving benefits to your business.

5 ways investing in packaging automation could reduce your business costs

Warehouse Automation


Is packaging automation right for your business?

If budgets are tight and the pressure is on to reduce costs, the last thing you might be considering is making a big business decision that will involve investing money. But, while there is no denying that packaging machinery would require some level of capital investment, evidence shows that any outlay is soon recouped through improved packing times and greater efficiency overall.

And it isn’t just large-scale operations that benefit; SMEs can also make cost savings through the introduction of carefully chosen technology. From semi- to fully-automated, there is packaging equipment to fit every budget and every step of the packing process, helping operations to become more efficient, more flexible, and better protected from fluctuations in the availability of labour – something that may well become an even bigger issue in the UK as EU labour grows increasingly scarce.

If you’re still unsure if packaging automation is right for your operation, then consider these five examples of how packaging machinery could help to reduce costs:

1. Reduced storage costs

A reduction in storage costs might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of packaging automation, but if you have acres of space given over to storage of  packaging materials then a switch to on-demand packaging could free up space, improve efficiency and make a significant difference to your bottom line.

On-demand packaging systems are available to support a variety of stages of the packing process. For example, there are machines that custom-make boxes to any size as you need it, so there is no need to keep multiple box sizes in stock, plus, less void fill is needed,  damages are minimised, and shipping costs reduced. Void fill and cushioning – paper, air and foam options – can also be created on demand and, because the systems are usually mobile, it is possible to move them between packaging stations as required.

Read case study: The Book People


2. Improved pallet security

Pallets that are poorly secured are prone to damage during transit, which can lead to costly returns. By swapping to automated stretch-wrapping, it is possible to improve load containment, and enhance quality and aesthetics of the wrapping, at a much faster rate – and achieving greater yield from each roll of film – than if done by hand.

After introducing automated stretch wrapping, one Antalis customer projected packaging cost savings over a three-year period of around £50,000.

Read case study: Seabrook Crisps


3. Less wastage

Whether it’s waste through using poor quality or too much packaging, or waste through damaged goods, the fact is waste costs. Automated packaging systems and machinery can help to address all of these issues and more. As we have already explored in points 1 and 2, above, not only will it produce packaging to a consistent and more secure standard, it does it with just the right amount of material, too.

Read case study: UK-based DIY distribution company


4. Faster packing times

Assembling or sealing cartons by hand can be a time consuming task, increasing the cost per pack and eating into valuable time that could be spent more productively. Automated and semi-automated case erectors and automated tape application machines can speed up the packing process significantly, freeing up operatives to focus on other, more fruitful aspects of the packing process. The machines are also mobile and have a compact footprint so can be moved easily according to need.


5. Better health and safety

Manual handling is a significant factor in workplace injury. In the UK in 2017-18, 30.7 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury at a cost of approximately £15 billion (source: HSE). If lost time injuries are a concern for your business, it is worth bearing in mind that automated packaging solutions can help to reduce risk, however, if you do decide to invest in packaging machinery, or perhaps you already have some in use, it is important to ensure it is well-maintained.

Read case study: UK-based DIY distribution company


Want to find out more about packaging automation and machinery and how it could help you to reduce costs? Contact us today to get started.

Four steps to packaging efficiency

Packaging efficiency


When you think of packaging efficiency, you should be thinking of saving £££’s. The two go hand in hand, so if you want to cut your costs, you need to identify ways to improve your current set up. Sometimes even the smallest changes can make all the difference, and the most effective route may not always be the most obvious.

To get started on your journey to optimal packaging efficiency, simply follow these four steps:

1. Look at how your items are packed

Have a detailed look at your packaging process, right from when your items are picked to when they go out of the door. Are there any sticking points? Are some parts of your process taking longer than necessary? There are many options to make packing quicker and easier for your operatives, meaning they can pack more items in an hour. Take packaging machinery for example, a semi-automatic pallet wrapper is proven to improve wrapping speeds by 70%.

2. Find ways to optimise your warehouse

If you find you’re struggling for space, or you need a bigger warehouse, rationalising your packaging can help. Some of the latest developments in packaging materials and systems offer you space saving alternatives to traditional packaging products. For example, one roll of uninflated air cushion film is the equivalent of storing 11 bulky rolls of bubble wrap requiring 37 square feet. For extra space saving, ask your packaging supplier about stock holding. You may even find you can downsize your warehouse.

3. Be well prepared for spikes in demand

Black Friday is fast becoming the greatest peak in the retail calendar and is predicated to outperform Christmas sales this year alone. It is essential to be well prepared for predicted and even unpredicted spikes so you can successfully meet demand. Your packaging can have an incredible impact on optimising efficiency ahead of any retail rush. For example, reorganising your packing area for easier access or reducing your packaging materials in order to free up more warehouse space, can make a huge difference in terms of reducing waste, speeding up the packing process and reducing lead-times.

4. Monitor your damage and loss rates 

Damage and loss of products is something that can be avoided if the right packaging solution is used. But, when not addressed it can cause your costs to creep up because replacement products need to be sent. Take a look at your damage/loss rates and continue to monitor them. If you think they are high, or you see them rising, it’s worth taking a look at your packaging. Something as simple as using a custom printed tape can prevent people tampering with the contents.

At Antalis Packaging, our experts can help you create a bespoke plan to achieve packaging efficiency. To get started, request your free packaging assessment via the link below. Our experts will audit your process using the four steps above, and more, to identify where you can make improvements.

Packaging efficiencies for pharmaceuticals



Antalis Packaging is a leading supplier of protective packaging, machinery solutions and equipment to manufacturers and distributors throughout the UK. Its aim is to provide effective solutions for everyday packaging needs, offering a comprehensive range of innovative products, and a commitment to customer service.

The ageing population, the rising prevalence of multiple chronic conditions, increased awareness around hygiene and the need for more bespoke packaging will give the pharmaceutical packaging industry both opportunities and challenges.  It’s a task that is compounded by the continued coronavirus uncertainty and how that may affect the availability of casual labour which is relied upon to cope with packing work during busy periods.

This new reality is forcing us to look at alternative ways of operating, with the optimisation of safety and efficiency in production and packaging processes being key. Thankfully, there are ideas, tools and techniques that businesses can implement now to help keep things flowing and Antalis Packaging can find and offer these solutions.


Analysis and Planning

One of the ways to help with successful planning for peak times is to look at the entire packing workflow – from where packaging is stored on the warehouse shelves, to how the final product is loaded onto delivery vehicles.  To help with this Antalis Packaging is able to provide a free packaging audit. The company’s packaging experts can help identify any bottlenecks for both packaging and workflow before sharing ideas and advice on how to improve.


Packaging Automation

One of the greatest challenges for many packing operations presently is having enough hands on deck. While casual labour can be called upon to support the regular workforce, it can be difficult to get temporary workers trained and familiar with the processes. More hands on deck can also have a negative impact on the workflow efficiency, available space and create logistical issues.

The answer can be found with the introduction of some level of automation. Antalis Packaging has solutions from case erectors that take flat packed boxes and build them up, or pallet wrappers that minimise use of stretch film and require only one person to operate – there are several ways to help speed up the packing process and reduce the need for lots of space.

Antalis is also able to source machinery quickly from its UK stock for immediate installation if required, as well as quick access to US stock – imports from some European countries are presently subject to delays.


Machinery solutions to consider:

Lantech ProfitPack – This solution can automatically erect up to 600 cases per hour with one single operator able to form, fill and close up to 4800 cases per 8 hour shift. This is not only quicker than manual packing, it’s safer too. All cases are erected with square angles, which results in a further 30% more stable palletised load of the cases, minimising product damage during transport.

Lantech Pallet Wrappers – available in semi- and fully-automatic options, pallet wrappers automatically wrap a load with film ready for transit. With speeds of up to 180 pallets per hour, these machines are more efficient compared to hand wrapping, and also improve load stability and optimise stretch film usage.


Following the introduction of an automated packaging machine from Antalis, one of its customers managed to eliminate 50% of the packaging materials they had been using and so reduce their packaging storage by as much as 100 pallets¹. Another customer switched from using a pallet shrink gun to a semi-automated pallet wrapping machine, leading to improvements in health and safety, a 70% quicker pallet wrapping time, 75% waste reduction, improved load containment and a cost saving of over 60%². As well as the obvious cost benefits, this level of efficiency helps in peak periods to get goods packed, wrapped and out of the door faster.

Customers still need to find ways to increase efficiency and control or reduce costs – especially with the pressures they are currently facing. Antalis has discovered that it is possible to reduce customer’s logistics costs by about 15%, simply through better, and consistent, sizing of boxes.

Antalis Packaging has also set up several new initiatives to help with the present challenges of keeping products moving:

Online ordering to quickly reorder with next day delivery – new clients can register now on Antalis’ website.

Full ranges and alternative sizes or styles to complement or replace existing packaging eg, changing a standard box to a crash lock bottom can halve packaging times.

Antalis has created a new virtual smart centre experience, enabling the creation of packaging design from the safety of your home or office. Packaging Technologists have already created design solutions that perfectly fit customer needs.


As pharmaceutical distribution and packaging businesses are faced with dealing with the immediate issue of getting goods out of the door, whilst at the same time facing the challenges of controlling cost, sustainability etc, they must also consider post COVID scenarios and make wise decisions about investment and planning that will help them both now and in the future. Antalis Packaging can help by recommending solutions that enable companies to implement robust measures that will support with the current crisis but also make them less susceptible to the downsides of normal peak seasons and more able to reap the future rewards.

John Garner, Head of Business Development – Packaging Antalis

Reduce long term packaging costs in 4 steps

reduce long term packaging costs


We all know buying cheaper materials saves money for the time being, but later down the line it can come back to bite you. A better approach might be to cast your mind ahead to what will benefit your company in the long run. Take another look at your packaging process, and you might find there are much better, more sustainable alternatives to simply scrimping on the quality of materials.

1. Minimise packaging waste

More and more, people are recognising the excessive and wasteful nature of the packaging industry, and this perception inevitably affects company image and sales. But as this increasingly becomes a popular concern, there are now loads of solutions out there that help too.

Box On Demand reduces pack sizes to the specific dimensions of each product, which means less wasted cardboard and fewer vehicles needed to make deliveries. It’s a quick, cost-effective way to produce custom corrugated packaging in your own facility.

Using the right-sized box for your orders offers better protection, reducing the number of costly returns. It also reduces the need for expensive void fill, which can take up valuable space.

If you’re looking for something else, an automated void reduction system such as BoxSizer or the B+ machine also lets you reduce the range of cartons you need to keep in stock, as well as ridding the need for loads of unnecessary void fill. So you can stop wasting materials, keep your customers happy, and reduce your long-term costs.

2. Check the quality of your materials

What’s the point in scrimping on the quality of your packaging only for it to break open, or have entire pallets rejected and returned to you?

That’s the danger of cheaper materials – they can often bring hidden costs including returns, losses, breakages, and customer complaints.

This is called the iceberg effect, as there are costs you can see, but also ones you might not be able to predict. The savings you’ll gain in providing better-quality packaging for items will far overshadow the costs of the materials used.

3. Provide a more consistent and secure pallet

What happens to your packages once they’ve left the warehouse can’t be an afterthought. Pallets, non-slip papers, stretch films, corner protection brackets and strapping are used to safely stabilise loading units during transport. An unsteady and inconsistent pallet load can cause products to be damaged or lost.

Pallet securing involves fixing and cushioning the goods, building a stable pallet structure, securing the connection between pallet and goods, and load securing on the load floor. This is where corner protection, interleaving paper and anti-slip paper come into play. You could even use Tiltwatch to teel you if a box is tilted over.

Stretch film is great for bonding your packages to the pallet securely, while strapping bands fix them onto the pallet and stretch wrappers help create consistent and secure wrapping of the load. You could also add load-restraint webbing to fix the goods by lashing or clamping, and anti-slip mats to minimise the chance of your boxes sliding about in transit.

All this can help you reduce damages and claims. It also helps reduce theft and prevent accidents and fines, helping you promote a more positive image of your company.

4. Optimise warehouse space

Saving warehouse space can speed up your process and help you avoid clutter that contributes to costly damage and dangerous accidents. Not to mention the creeping rise of storage costs.

Solutions like self-erecting crash-lock boxes are easily stored and assembled on-demand, so they don’t take up much floor space.

You should also try to take this on-demand approach and apply it to how much packaging material you order for your warehouse. It’s becoming increasingly popular to order materials in smaller batches, as larger orders aren’t always necessary and can take up huge amounts of vital space. Your supplier may be able to offer you a stock holding service to help with this.

Another thing to consider is the storage of bulky materials such as pre-formed bubble wrap and void fill. Instead, you could choose to form these materials on-demand with air-cushioning systems and paper-based or inflatable void-fill systems.

The foam-in-bag protective packing system, for example, relies on the chemical reaction that takes place when two substances meet, causing them to expand inside the bag. These solutions get rid of the need to store loads of chunky void-fill solutions on site.

Each part of your warehouse taken up by storing unnecessary packaging materials costs you more money than you need to be spending. But by streamlining your packaging solutions you’ll increase efficiency, optimise space and reduce long-term costs.

Ultimate guide to reducing your packaging costs

cutting packaging costs

As purchasing managers, we’re always on the lookout for more from our packaging solutions.
We want to ensure our packaging is good quality and efficient, but we also want to be in complete control of the costs. There can be multiple problems faced when trying to find the right balance between the two. What’s the best way to go?

We’re here to compare and contrast the pros and cons of the solutions available to purchasing managers today, and find out which are the best cost reduction ideas.


Scrimping on quality for a better price

Many companies simply focus on reducing the cost, and cost alone. Often, this leads to the purchase of cheaper but poorer-quality materials. That’s the danger of these kinds of solutions, as it doesn’t take into consideration the hidden costs these packaging materials could bring, including returns, losses, breakages, and customer complaints. This is called the iceberg effect.


Spending more for better quality

An alternative would be to spend a little more on your packaging materials in order to rid yourself of the extra costs poor-quality packaging might cause you later down the line. Upgrading the materials could promote better safety, more space in the warehouse, and faster distribution for your company.


More efficient bespoke solutions tailored to you

Ensuring your packaging perfectly fits your product not only promotes less waste, but is also a more protective and efficient way to transport your goods. Tailoring your packaging solutions specifically to your requirements is another example of spending a little extra to save in the long run.


Automating packaging to make it more efficient

There are a number of automated packaging solutions designed to speed up the packaging process, freeing up workers to perform other tasks, and in turn reducing costs.

This can be anything from an automated stretch wrapping machine, to box erectors and sealing machines. Where hand stretch wrapping a pallet might require two people, after introducing an automated stretch wrapper, the process will only require one.


Negotiating terms (getting free additional services)

You can attempt to negotiate prices with your packaging supplier. But of course, there’s no guarantee that your supplier will agree to make a deal with you. However, some suppliers will throw in some additional free services, such as free audits, so keep an eye out for those!


Reduce the number of suppliers

You could reduce the number of suppliers and get an all-in-one solution from just one place, often meaning you have one fixed price to pay instead of trying to stretch your costs out far and wide.


Warehouse space saving

By creating more space in your warehouse, you can improve pick/pack timings and on-site efficiency. Some traditional void fill systems such as polystyrene chips or conventional bubble wrap are bulky to store and hard to handle.

Automated void fill systems such as paper or air based solutions are a great way to reclaim that valuable space.


Process optimisation

Getting an idea of the whole packaging and distribution process makes it easier to identify steps to ensure the process is as efficient and cost effective as possible.

The best way to do this is to overview the process from the moment the item is picked off the warehouse shelf, right up until the customer takes it out of its box.

This way, you’re a step closer to choosing the right materials to improve your packaging process, and make savings where you might not have known you could.


Secondary packaging

It’s often seen as a bit of a pain to get secondary and transit packaging, but if you consider the cost of freight damage claims and pallet rejections, it’s easy to see why it pays off in the long run.

There’s loads of solutions out there that can help you to avoid your items becoming lost, soiled or broken in transit. The best way to start is to build a stable and secure palletised load, which is especially important for automated warehousing systems where any slight shift in the load can lead to costly rejections.

Anti-slip and interleaving papers between loads can also help to prevent slippage and increase stability, while corner and edge protection and cover films provide extra rigidity and protection from dust, dirt and rain.


Security in transit

To save on the cost of replacing any items, you’ll need to take proactive steps to avoid items being tampered with in transit. This not only helps by pleasing the customer, but also saves on additional packaging, shipping costs, and time spend on trying to track items.

A solution which might give you (and your customers) peace of mind is with self-sealing, tamper-evident closures, as well as branded tape printed with a traceable close which cannot be removed and replaced in the same way as brown tape.

This also can make spot checks during the delivery process much easier and faster.


Cost effective delivery

Often, reducing packaging volume or weight to reduce shipping costs can be seen as risking the safety of the products inside. But it turns out that this isn’t necessarily the case.

Thanks to innovative solutions such as reinforced stretch-wrapping films with integrated polyethylene banding, your packaging can have increased strength and performance, all while being thinner than standard heavy duty films.

These stretch-wrapping films can actually stretch up to three times their normal length without compromising load integrity, delivering potential material cost savings of more than 40%.


So, what’s your best bet?

There’s a noteworthy common factor in these solutions, which emphasises the damages and losses that secretly eat at your profit margins. And whether the person receiving the goods is a trade buyer or a customer, it can also damage your reputation too; leading to profit losses.

The main takeaway from this is that reducing packaging costs should never compromise product safety. If it does, you’ll be putting your business down a path which has lots of expensive obstacles along the way.

If your challenge is to cost-effectively strengthen fragile cartons, then a stretch-wrapping solution using reinforced film could simultaneously deliver cost saving whilst improving load integrity. Alternatively, if you’re looking to reduce shipping costs by slimming down your packaging, you might go for lighter and less bulky void fill, or perhaps retention insert.

The key is identifying these small process improvements, as it could help you to save hundreds of thousands every year, even where you might not have even thought!