The automotive aftermarket industry has seen unprecedented growth in the last few years, thanks largely to the boom of online auto parts sales. According to Hedges & Company, online sales of auto parts in the U.S. have now risen to roughly $7.5 billion per year.
It's also estimated that the average number of parts per car now exceeds 10,000 (depending upon how parts are counted). So, the reality facing automotive parts vendors is that they have to deal with a larger number of SKUs, a higher volume of orders to fulfill with a varying range of weights with each shipment, not to mention more competition.
The importance of improved warehousing and shipping strategies has never been greater. We've prepared these helpful automotive packaging tips to help you meet these challenges.
Automotive Packaging Tip #1: Boost Your Shipping Productivity
The rise of DIY customers looking to perform their own automotive repairs means that most online automotive parts vendors are shipping goods to a larger number of destinations than ever before. This, combined with an ever-growing number of SKUs to be kept in inventory, means that processes must be streamlined as much as possible to ensure goods get to customers quickly and efficiently.
One way to improve your packing and shipping departments productivity is to make the switch from handheld tape guns loaded with traditional pressure-sensitive tape to electric dispensers that use water-activated tape.
Applying tape using a tape gun is more time consuming, especially if the carton requires more than just a single pass of tape. A tabletop tape dispenser automatically wets water-activated tape and cuts it at a pre-determined length providing the strength with a single strip of tape that is usually accomplished with multiple passes of the handheld tape gun. Independent research demonstrated that using water-activated tape with an electric dispenser is 21% more productive than using a hand-held plastic tape gun.
Additionally, the repeated use of a tape gun can place a strain on the packer's wrist leading to greater fatigue and eventually causing carpal tunnel syndrome. The use of water-activated tape dispensers greatly reduces those risks.
Automotive Packaging Tip #2: Sturdier Shipping Cartons
Many automotive parts sellers employ a third-party shipping company as an intermediary to get the part to the end user customer. The supply chain of today’s business needs is not only more complex but far more demanding on the actual package, this means the package is handled more aggressively and therefore must be able to withstand more wear and tear. Automotive parts are frequently quite heavy too, so the need for strong and durable shipping materials is critical to avoid packages or parts getting damaged in transit, which can result in more returns.
Choosing solid and durable shipping cartons made from study corrugated cardboard is a must. However, if the packing tape used is not up to the same standard, the integrity of your carton can be compromised. Water-activated tape has a marked advantage over pressure-sensitive tape in this regard. Regular packing tape is made from a single ply of plastic. Water-activated tape contains a layer of fiberglass, or reinforcement, to deliver far more tape strength.
Since water-activated tape literally bonds with the carton, it serves as an excellent theft deterrent because it is tamper-evident, unlike pressure sensitive tape.
Automotive Packaging Tip #3: Maximize Your Branding Opportunities
The intensifying competition in the automotive aftermarket space makes it increasingly difficult to set yourself apart from the others. By the time your customer receives the item they ordered from you, they may have already forgotten your company’s name.
There's an opportunity to reinforce your brand and keep your name top of mind with your customers with the right kind of packing tape. When you use water-activated tape to seal your shipping cartons, it can be preprinted with your logo and customized messaging, in black and white or full color, to create an aesthetic, more professional look to your shipments and to help keep your company’s name on your customer’s mind.
Automotive Packaging Tip #4: Identify Hazardous Materials
Many automotive parts and accessories are classified as dangerous goods or hazardous materials, such as batteries, aerosols, airbags, used fuel tanks, and engines. Consult the manufacturer’s safety data sheet for detailed information regarding the products you are shipping. As the shipper, it's your responsibility to correctly classify and identify packages containing hazardous materials. Be sure to complete all necessary documentation and label these cartons accordingly.
By following these easy four packaging tips for the automotive aftermarket, you can increase your productivity and profitability while ensuring your goods arrive undamaged and safe.
Better Packages | Packaging Companies
Better Packages offers a full line of gummed tape dispensers, along with the Central® brand water-activated tape through its parent company, Intertape Polymer Group (IPG). Water-activated tape (also known as gummed tape, gum tape, Kraft paper tape, reinforced paper tape) is designed to create a superior seal on your corrugated cartons while providing advantages other carton sealing methods do not.
Central brand water-activated carton sealing tape is offered in a wide range of paper and reinforced gummed paper tape styles, roll lengths and widths to best fit your carton sealing needs. It is the preferred choice of packaging specialists when quality, strength, security and professional appearance are critical.