Sealed Air to set up Packaging Application Center in India

Innovative packaging solutions for the eCommerce industry

Ken Chrisman, president, product care, Sealed Air. Photo PSA
Ken Chrisman, president, product care, Sealed Air. Photo PSA

A Fortune 500 company, Sealed Air is engaged in food safety and security, facility hygiene and product protection businesses. Headquartered in New Jersey, USA, the product care division of Sealed Air provides a range of solutions such as high performance award winning protective packaging solutions, waste material efficiency, and renewable and reusable materials for the eCommerce industry. Its global clientele includes Flipkart, Amazon, Dell, Colgate, Philips, Samsung, Bosch, FedEx, Apple, and Walmart. Sealed Air has approximately 24,000 employees in 175 countries.

Ken Chrisman, president, product care, Sealed Air was in India recently and  spoke exclusively to Packaging South Asia on topics concerning the Indian market. Chrisman said, “Sealed Air’s Protective Packaging business delivers an extensive portfolio of protective, industrial and display packaging systems to meet diverse application requirements across a broad range of industries. We want everybody to have a better way of life by enabling the consumer economy to grow by safely shipping parcels, shelf-life extension and reducing food waste. We focus on damage reduction as well as on cube optimization which basically means using the smallest amount of packaging possible. Fulfilment velocity which means how to process maximum packages in the shortest time possible and in the simplest manner helps in our consumer experience, which means whether the end customer in case of an eCommerce parcel finds the packaging to be the most effective and elegant reflection of the brand that he has purchased. All these very important characteristics make us what we are.”

To sustain these objectives, Sealed Air has several innovations for its Indian customers. One of these is inflatable bubble wraps that can be shipped uninflated to distributors or vendors to save on space as well as help maintain the efficiency of the product. Chrisman says, “These bubble wraps, once they reach the distributors, can be inflated near the customer manufacturing unit or if the customer is well-equipped, at the customer site as well. Just to illustrate this fact in numbers, according to our estimates, one truckload of inflatable bubble wraps is equivalent to 47 truckloads of inflated bubble wraps. That is the saving a customer can achieve using our technology.”

The other technology that Sealed Air is excited about is right size packaging. Chrisman says, “This is a strong initiative from us where we provide our customers with a machine where the customer puts the product in the machine and then the package or the box takes its shape so as to save on space, weight and packaging material. Free flow packaging is also another such initiative from us which is aimed at helping transport delicate and fragile items. All these solutions are largely aimed at eCommerce players in India.”

With the eCommerce industry booming, there is need to have world-class packaging keeping in mind safety and sustainable measures, Chrisman feels. “There is so much excitement and opportunity now in India with industry experts expecting the Indian market to be the fastest growing in the world for at least the next three to four years. With a turnover of US$ 24.6 billion and a growth rate of 13% to 15% annually, the Indian packaging industry is expected to reach US$ 32 billion by 2020. All our solutions could be used in a wide range of industries across food and drink, healthcare, cosmetics and other consumer goods as well as a range of industrial sectors since packaging has become an essential everyday item, with its usage growing broadly in line with the global economy.”
Sealed Air’s food care division addresses food waste and safety concerns. “Our food care division, improves access to a safer, higher quality and more sustainable food and beverage supply chain. Businesses rely on our innovative packaging and hygiene solutions to build these brands and improve food safety, shelf-life and operational efficiency. In a country like India, packaging actually plays a very crucial role in protecting products and resources, and helps reduce and prevent waste. 40% of food spoils and a lot of organic materials that get thrown away could be saved through better packaging, without any use of preservatives,”
Chrisman says.

Sealed Air is also at the final stage of deciding on the location of its Packaging Application Center in India. New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have been shortlisted. Mumbai already has a global Sealed Air R&D facility which works with chemistry solutions for the food, beverage and pharma industries.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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