How things are packed has a huge impact not only on each shipment, but on society as a whole. Businesses rely on boxes, packaging supplies and other elements of packaging in order to get their products where they need to go. Consumers rely on these same items to get the things they need for everyday living. We all depend, to one extent or another, on not only packaging supplies themselves, but the quality of those supplies. This is why understanding the history behind the materials and the role they play in our world today is important. Let’s take a closer look and learn more about this crucial aspect of modern industry.
Did You Know That the Study of Packaging is Crucial in Archaeology?
It may come as a surprise to many people, but archaeologists and those who study human cultures throughout history can learn a lot about life in prior times by examining the packing materials that were used in those eras. From very early items such as pottery containers, wooden barrels and animal skin bags, we have learned about the way people preserved food and many other items. This helps us come to a closer understanding of what their lives must have been like. We can also see how those materials eventually gave way to the wooden crates and then cardboard boxes that dominate shipping packages we use today. Humanity has come a very long way from those early days of hides, clay and wood. Now we make things lighter and can carry them much further with far less effort because of that.
The Development of Packaging Supplies Made Shipping More Reliable
Items breaking during shipping has always been a concern and in order to reduce this, materials had to be devised. Interestingly enough, many advances in packaging supplies have been made by the military. This makes sense if you think about it because items the military has to ship from one place to the next during war time, such as food, sensitive technology or ammunition, have to be protected during transit. A shipment of broken items could cost lives and end up being very costly. Styrofoam peanuts, molded paperboard fittings, inflated plastic bags and other materials have come to take the place of tissue in many cases. When you think about the demands that harsh battlefield conditions make on materials, you can see how the military is the perfect testing ground for many of these products that we use today. As industry got better at manufacturing packaging supplies that could help safely pack items so that they could avoid breaking while in transit, it made shipping more reliable and that meant that manufacturers of goods could be located further distances from the consumer bases they served. This had an enormous impact on commerce all over the globe. The quality of life we enjoy today, as far as the availability of low cost products, is largely due to the fact that shipping is possible and breakage is relatively rare during the shipping process.
Online Retail Has Flourished Thanks to Better Packaging Supplies
These days, online retailers are some of the dominant companies in the retail market. Companies like Amazon thrive on effective, low cost shipping and without the right packing materials that would not be possible. Many of these supplies are even made from recycled materials which help to lower costs and reduce pollution. All of these facts combine to help make a fully functional shipping option possible for online retailers. Consumers benefit from this because it raises their level of choice. If it were not for effective shipping solutions that are available to us now, there is no way that online retailers would be able to compete with brick and mortar stores, but thankfully we do have the technology to produce incredible products to help make shipping cheaper and safer.
Even Small Businesses Can Now Afford Quality Packaging Supplies
Now that online wholesale suppliers are providing these types of materials to more and more customers at lower prices, small businesses are able to get what they need to ship more effectively. Because a web presence is relatively low in costs and shipping is relatively cheap, it is easier than ever for people to set up their own business and ship products anywhere in the world. Supplies for shipping can be purchased online and small businesses can even get discounts. This is definitely changing things for many who would otherwise not be able to afford to set up an online company.