Harshvardhan Singh, centre of excellence – packaging, Mahindra and Mahindra, works jointly with the supply chain team to focus on critical and high-volume component packaging from both quality and cost point of view. Singh says, “The parts assembled for an automobile are often transported over a long distance, and these parts need to reach in a pristine condition. The logistics industry is reliant on just-in-time (JIT) approach; however, the cost of damage during the supply chain can lead to hours or days of delay and downtime throughout the supply chain. Without the right packaging solutions, vehicle parts could be damaged during shipment, and transport costs could get out of control.”
Packaging can impact several areas in the supply chain, the interaction between the logistics and the packaging system could add values to the whole supply chain from raw material producer to end-user. When it comes to shipping automotive parts, expendable and returnable packaging are the types of packaging preferred by manufacturers. Expendable packaging is the single-use packaging and mostly consist of corrugated fiber or wooden box. Once the product is taken out from packaging, the packaging material is disposed of as scrap. Returnable packaging solutions have been designed for reuse in manufacturing and distribution systems, thus eliminating the need to dispose of the pack. It also provides a control of inventory as well as reduce carbon footprint. A returnable packaging system is best suited for closed logistic systems with fixed arrival and distribution points. For instance, crates used for delivery of beverage and milk at the outlet are the best example of returnable packaging.