Key Features & Benefits of Returnable Packaging

Posted by Universal Package Team on Wed, Nov 15, 2017

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Wikipedia defines returnable packaging as manufactured, durable materials specifically designed for multiple trips and extended life. A reusable package or container is “designed for reuse without impairment of its protective function.” 

While this definition is accurate, there are few more qualities and benefits of reusable packaging that we would like to expand upon.


The reusability of packaging is an important feature when considering the environmental credo of “reduce, reuse, and recycle”. It is also important to the forward movement of sustainable packaging, since most all regulators encourage returnable packaging today.

Our products are typically designed for 3-5 year programs.  The reusability of these items reduces waste and disposal costs for our customers. Not only does this benefit our customers, but the environment as well considering 90% of the materials we use for our products are recyclable, and can be reprocessed into raw materials for reuse.

Returnable Packaging Engineering

The main function of returnable packaging is to safely transport products from vendor to end user, as well as move product from one area of a plant to another.

One of the greatest things about the packaging industry is that we see new products from all over the world that need to be packed and moved safely.  Because of this, we are constantly learning about new packaging technologies and engineering.

The process for developing returnable packaging starts with an in-depth discussion about the customer’s requirements. Designing a returnable package system can take time, but it is essential to get all of the necessary details to provide a quality product.

Sales reps are the point of contact for gathering the information needed by management for packaging review and design. Our management team then determines if all the needed information has been collected to successfully engineer a product.

For example, a sales rep might ask questions like:

  • Do the parts need to be protected using protective packaging?
  • Can the parts be bulk packed in a steel or plastic container to safely transport the product from A to B?
  • What type of environment will the product be stored in?

And so on. These questions may seem excessive, but are key when developing a returnable packaging system for a client.

As soon as we compile all of the product information –size and weight, shipping and handling, and storage environment, our engineering team will start to conceptualize and mock-up a design.   

During the packaging design phase, durability, function, and ergonomics are all taken into consideration to develop the best product for the supplier and customer.

Money & Time Savings

The long-term savings generated by returnable packaging alone is tremendous. Time spent on written orders and the constant stream of money going out for single-use packaging is greatly reduced, if not eliminated.

The customer’s time is also reduced when purchasing reusable containers. Instead of buying monthly expendable packaging systems, the returnable units are usually a one-time capital expenditure.

These cost and time savings can be proven for any packaging design we offer, including our returnable packaging systems.

To learn more about our returnable packaging products and how they can create efficiencies in your business give us a call or send us an email with any questions.

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Tags: custom plastic containers, returnable containers, reusable containers, packaging materials

How Custom Trade Show Cases Save Time (and Money)

Posted by Universal Package Team on Wed, Nov 01, 2017


To those of you working long hours at trade shows (sometimes by yourself), we’d like to ask a few questions ...

When you're setting up your booth, wouldn’t it be nice to have all your components readily available, neatly packed, and easy to reach? 

Are you tired of rummaging for missing items like an extension cord, your lights, and that little gizmo that attaches to your framework and holds it all together? 

If you’ve previously relied on cardboard boxes, have they ever been rained on before making it into the convention hall?

You see, we understand that actually working a trade show is hard enough, even without all the mishaps resulting from inconsistent preparation and organization.

Now, imagine if everything you needed to pull off a successful trade show could be neatly organized, easily transported, and even shipped? How much time and money would you save at your next show? The surprisingly simple answer to most people’s trade show woes are custom-built trade show cases. They promise simplified exhibit shipment, installation, and teardown. 

The Benefits of Custom Trade Show Cases

Easier Set-up & Tear-Down

When you tear down a conventional trade show booth, you typically need to store all the components separately; but the custom containers we design here at Universal Package have internal places built for each individual component, which can even be numbered — so nothing is ever misplaced. This has the added benefit of making it easy to do visual checks for all your ‘must-have’ pieces before the whole container is shipped!

Our units are built to individual exhibit specifications, and we pack them in a manner that prioritizes ease of loading and unloading. Ergonomics are key, especially when your maintenance team isn’t available. Custom designs mean setup and tear down are a lot faster.

Plus, the containers themselves can be utilized as a table and/or work-surface, making them an actual part of your exhibit!

The end result? Everything has its place. No extra boxes. No forgotten items.

Heavy-Duty Construction & Materials

Our containers are durable and more than capable of withstanding anything the exhibit hall (or LTL employees) can dish out. Made from either heavy-duty structural foam, plastic, or plastic sheet sleeve packs, these custom trade show cases will last forever since the interiors can be converted for when you update your booth components.

It goes without saying each of our crates are built to protect the exhibit and its pieces so that when you’re all set up, your booth looks like it came straight from the manufacturers facility. Additionally, any of the surfaces visible to the consumer can be manufactured with Class A surface finishes (painted, chromed, plastic, etc.), resistant to damage from rubbing, smudging, or scratching.

Versatile Transport Options

Universal Trade Show Containers are custom-made to be moved by fork truck or pallet jack.

Custom dollies can even be added to your container so you can move it on your own without getting the union lift operator to move it for you.

Working with Our Customers

We like to work with our customers one-on-one throughout the build process to get their feedback on design and materials.

Before we build the unit(s), all case concepts are first generated in our CAD 3D modeling process to show how the container will function.

So, if you want to save money in shipping costs and (more importantly) time setting up, dismantling, and storing your booth exhibit, Universal Package’s customized trade show containers are the perfect solution.

See more information on our trade show cases in our product catalog. Or if you need to quote a custom project, our sales team can help. 

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Tags: custom plastic containers, reusable containers, trade show cases