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We’re taking a look at the current state of the packaging industry one year after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like all industries, the packaging industry did face many challenges in 2020, however, this past year also brought change, innovation, and growth.

As business models quickly shifted from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce, the demand for packaging sky-rocketed. Warehouses, distributors and fulfillment centers had to adapt to this high-demand in the midst of working through new challenges such as operating six feet apart and labor scarcity. On the manufacturing side, the high-demand and interruption in the supply chain resulted in material shortages that are continuing to affect the packaging industry today. 

 
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As a result of these challenges the packaging industry has seen changes that will not be going away any time soon. From operational changes to innovations, here are some ways the packaging industry will be evolving post-pandemic. 

Automation is at the top of the list. Between the increases in shipping and the labor challenges due to health and safety guidelines, more businesses are looking to automation to keep up with consumer demands. Automation reduces the number of people in close contact with one another. It also speeds up operations which helps to get more product out the door and keep up with demand. There are many types of automated packaging equipment and it is important to work with a packaging expert to find the right machinery that will best-fit your needs.

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Innovation in the packaging industry is on the rise as well. The need for more packaging has resulted in new products entering the market. One product that is becoming increasingly popular, especially in e-commerce, are mailers. Mailers are becoming more popular because they cost less than traditional corrugated boxes, they decrease shipping costs, and they reduce the amount of extra space that needs to be filled with additional materials. It is important to pay attention to shipping guidelines, as there are some factors that could lead to extra charges that can be easily overlooked. Make sure to talk to a packaging expert before shipping your products. 

Sustainability is just as important, if not more important, as the demand for packaging increases at such a rapid pace. Consumers are more aware of the amount of packaging being used and are looking for businesses that are conscious of their environmental impact. There are many simple ways to start implementing sustainability into your packaging such as switching to paper or recyclable materials, decreasing the amount of wasted material, and reducing the number of damaged items due to poor packaging.

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Overall, despite the challenges the industry has faced, packaging is more prominent than ever before and is constantly evolving to fit the needs of businesses and consumers alike. Here are Katzke Packaging Co., we are working hard to keep products in stock and available for our customers. Be sure to reach out to see how we can assist you during this time!

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