Most recently the technological advancements introduced to the market has seen the advent of better insulation option by incorporating vacuum insulated panels (VIPs) whereby reducing the thickness of the insulation required and improving performance.
The traditional water-based systems are rapidly being replaced with ones using phase change materials (PCMs) where, via a combination of materials, the melting point of the coolants deployed is designed to the ideal temperature required.
These latest advancements mean systems using PCMs are far more reliable providing more stability within the packaging at the desired temperature and using less overall material.
The payload efficiency of these newer systems can be more than twice that of the traditional water based and foam insulated shippers proving more cost effective when it comes to logistics services. Although these more sophisticated shippers can be more expensive the trade off is you are less likely to experience temperature excursions en route, which would lead to damaged products providing a costly consequence in the long run.
In line with the increase in more complex shipping lanes and limited infrastructure in place in some developing destinations, the need for smarter more secure, robust packaging has become more prevalent.
The more sophisticated a shipper the more the unit cost can be so increasingly there is a requirement for reusable systems to provide better return on investment and are more cost effective in the long run alongside the environmental benefits these reusable systems represent.
Provided the infrastructure is in place to recapture and reuse higher performing systems, that contain higher value components, reuse makes economical and environmental sense.
The rise in reuse has trigged a corresponding increase in the global network of service centres being established to facilitate the reconditioning and repurposing of these smarter packaging options.
It has also sparked the rise in SaaS systems within the packaging industry with Cloud capabilities that better enable collaboration in the sometimes complex packaging supply chain and the ability to centralise data focuses the management of packaging services intelligently.
Ultimately the aim always is to continue to reduce the supply chain costs and improve performance and reliability.