The Real Cost of Packaging Infographic

You know how much you spend on boxes and materials, but do you know how much your packaging choices are actually costing you?

For example, if your boxes are bigger than necessary or stronger than they need to be, the packaging price could be much higher due to all that extra weight. Or if transport packaging isn’t strong enough to last all the way from Southeast Asia to Europe and North America, products found damaged upon arrival may require extra expenses for transportation, rework and disposal. 

Most people ask, “How much does packaging cost?” We propose the better question is, “How much does it cost to use packaging?” To answer this, you must look beyond the unit price and instead consider how packaging impacts (and interacts with) your supply chain.

The real cost of packaging infographic

Excess freight

If your retail and transport packaging solutions aren’t engineered and optimized for cube density, you could be paying a higher packaging price just to ship air. The better and more efficiently you pack your products, the more packages you can stack into a container. That’s why we help our customers save an average of 15% on transportation costs by sizing packaging to exactly fit the contents inside.

DC inefficiencies

More DC inefficiencies are tied to packaging than you might think. Available housing space, for example, is a product of how many transport packages can fit on the shelves—every inch of unused space inside every box adds up. Packaging can also be designed to reduce labor costs by making it faster and easier to open boxes for transport or inspection.

Product damage/shrink

Packaging needs to protect your products and withstand climate and temperature changes along the way, and still look good upon arrival. If your transport packaging isn’t strong enough to last all the way to its destination, the consequences can prove costly, both in terms of sustainability and profitability. Less broken or damaged transport packaging also leads to lower handling and repackaging costs.


Is your transport packaging strong enough to be used outbound after arriving from Asia? In addition to the additional cost of buying new packaging (essentially paying for transport packaging twice), repacking also adds extra cost for manual handling at the DC. On average, our customers report an 80% improvement in packaging reuse, significantly lowering handling and repackaging prices.

Brand damage

When it comes to brand perception, sometimes the box itself is just as important as what’s inside. For example, using packaging materials from protected rainforests may cause backlash among eco-conscious consumers. Inconsistent packaging design can also negatively impact retail performance once products reach the shelves. Billerud helps brands improve and protect their image with color management, artwork, sustainable sourcing and other brand-centric services.

Time to market

Better packaging increases speed to market by reducing labor, repackaging and returns due to damage—which means you can get products on the shelves and in the hands of your customers faster. Delays and inefficiencies resulting from low-quality packaging can have significant impacts on the bottom line. And once your products reach the market, better looking and more sustainable packaging may positively influence consumer behaviors.

Lower your total box cost with total packaging control 

Do you work with multiple factories in Asia? Do you get your packaging from multiple suppliers? Do you wish there were an easier way? There is. 

With global design and engineering centers and more than 75 qualified packaging partners, Billerud has become the single point of contact for some of the world’s largest brands, managing their entire logistics chain from supplier coordination to packaging implementation and delivery. We have people on site to ensure exact specifications are met—including size, strength, color reproduction and brand rendering—and take care of any packaging-related issues with your OEM suppliers. We also ensure your OEM suppliers are appropriately trained and work effectively with your packaging. 

We challenge conventional packaging and thinking, doing more with less to lower the packaging price without lowering quality. And because sustainability is the driving force behind everything we do for our clients, our solutions help brands meet the demands and desires of today’s eco-conscious consumer. 

From custom packaging solutions and state-of-the-art lab testing services to dedicated on-site specialists who coordinate packaging suppliers and OEMs around the world, our solutions are tailor-made for global brands that want better packaging control. Contact Billerud to learn more

Webinars & Videos

Webinar - How to Take Control of Packaging for Improved Profitability

Most organisations’ packaging operations could be more efficient and profitable. Find out Managed Packaging helps their partners take control.

Any questions, ideas or something you'd like to tell us? Don't hesitate to contact us. 

Get in touch