We’ve written about some of the environmental or technological reasons you might consider switching from disposable cardboard and pallets to more durable reusable containers. There are many more benefits associated with reusable container management – not the least of which are the cost-savings and added protection reusable containers can provide.
Reusing shipping containers can lower a company’s packaging costs. When breaking down the costs of using reusables over disposables, one can look at the cost of the materials themselves, the labor of handling and packaging, the weight differences, and truck cubing.
The initial purchase price of reusable shipping containers is higher than that of single-use containers. However, over the course of their use, the cost per reusable container per trip is lowered; while the initial cost of a single-use container may be 95% less than the initial cost of a reusable plastic container, the reusable container costs 90% less per use than the single-use container with continuous reuse, making them ultimately cheaper to use than single-use packaging.
Businesses making the switch to reusables can see a “break-even” point after only a couple of months, based on the savings realized from lower labor costs and reduced materials costs.
Protecting Your Goods
For a container to be reusable, it obviously must be constructed to withstand the stresses of repeated use. This durability can also serve as an additional layer of protection for more fragile or perishable goods.
For example, replacing cardboard boxes with corrugated plastic brings with it several benefits immediately. Corrugated plastic holds up to repeated usage, and is resistant to puncture, tearing, and impact damage. Corrugated plastic is lighter than wood or cardboard, which can reduce fuel transport costs and improve worker safety.
Additionally, plastic containers retain their strength, shape, and integrity when exposed to moisture, and won’t mold, mildew or rust. This also improves the working environment and worker safety, as plastic holds up when cardboard fails.