Export packaging calls for the exercise of managerial skills exactly the same as those needed for any other area of export activity. Packaging is one of several aspects of the spectrum commonly referred to today as physical distribution. Others are materials handling, warehousing, transport and so on. Packaging is neither more important nor is it less important, than any other of the aspects of physical distribution.
Proper treatment of packaging calls for the application of technical understanding and skills which must be clearly directed to the specific characteristics of the products as well as to their origin and destination. There is, however, much more involved than that simple statement implies. It is generally best to consider packaging as the vehicle by which delivery is achieved and the sale is consummated. Between closing of the package at the end of the production line and disposal of the empty package at or after point of use, there are many considerations which must be viewed as being small parts of the whole activity of packaging; which must be fitted directly in character and time within the framework of the total distribution envelope or chain.
It is intended here to give a succinct outline of the steps needed to develop a particularized concept for the export packaging of any given commodity and the reach and range of steps needed to ensure satisfactory delivery to the customer in good condition ready for use.
Concepts and Considerations for Export Packaging
Export packaging needs to take into account the needs for the journey to the market, the legal or regulatory needs of the market and presentation/design needs of the consumer:
• The Journey
• The Needs of the Consumer
• The Consumer Pack
• Local Market Requirements
• Cost Issues
• Environmental Legislation
• Packaging Specifications
• Compatibility of Export Packaging
• Feedback, Follow-Up and Follow-Through
For more detailed information on export packaging requirements and complying with Customs, the 20th Edition of the Australian Export Handbook, published by the Australian Institute of Export covers this topic in more detail. Alternatively, the Australian Institute of Export’s short courses in both importing and exporting cover Export Packaging in more thorough detail.