Back in the day, everything was delivered in brown boxes or cases and this is still a major feature in the supply chain today although with some modifications along the way. Shrink and stretch wrap has obviously played a part in the distribution of fast moving consumer goods, in particular, but one of the latest developments in corrugated packaging has been the growth of the combined transit and display packs or the so-called shelf ready packs. This is designed to overcome the costs associated with getting products the last 50 yards of the retail supply chain, which are the most expensive.
Faster shelf-loading solutions using cases and trays with knock-out perforated sections, tear tapes or removable lids have all been seen in recent times. These cut the time taken to replenish supermarkets’ shelves, while the greater availability of microflutes with improved graphic quality means that the easy-access transit container can double as an effective point of sale merchandiser. Many case or box packing machines are now designed to handle both traditional and shelf ready corrugated packaging.
Another development has been the growth of robotics in case packing equipment to offer efficient and cost efficient handling of products. Machines incorporating robotics are designed to fully automate the packing of products into cases, trays or crates on new or existing production lines.