E-Commerce Demands on Packaging

Rexroth electric drive and control systems show up in plenty of industrial applications, from machine tools to food handling, but one place we see them especially frequently is in the machines that create packaging for consumer goods.

Packaging of this kind has changed a lot. Insistence on small runs, environmental concerns, and increasing importance of packaging in marketing have all pushed packaging production to its limits. Machinery needs to be more flexible than ever before, and packaging producers have to be canny about their configuration.

Now a new influence is making even more demands on packaging producers: e-commerce.

E-commerce may not be new, but its influence is growing by leaps and bounds. This is the first year that the majority of American consumers report that they plan to do their holiday shopping online. They’ll probably still shop in physical stores as well, but e-commerce is a force in modern life.

What does e-commerce require?

Smaller, lighter packages are one of the responses brands and manufacturers have to e-commerce. Amazon is pressuring sellers to keep shipping costs down, since they offer free shipping to so many customers. There’s also an environmental benefit to lighter goods that use less fuel to transport.

Some manufacturers are also making their packaging ship-ready. Those goods don’t have to be packed in boxes for shipment. Shippers can just add a label and out they go. Sometimes this also means creating appealing designs that won’t confuse post office scanners. It also requires sturdier packaging to avoid damage to goods.

On the other hand, e-commerce can sometimes require less packaging than items sold in stores. Heavy plastic blister packs designed to cut down on shoplifting can be replaced by soft plastic envelopes for home delivery.

Some sellers are also working on retraining consumers to buy in bulk online. Since they won’t have to carry the products around, they may be more willing to buy larger packages — which is to say, more economical packages to ship.


Whatever your customers need, you can count on us to keep your Rexroth motion control systems in good order. Call us first any time you need service or support. We specialize in Rexroth industrial motion control, from the earliest legacy Indramat components to the most up to date.

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