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Customized shipping materials reduce damage in transit.

Lightweight product spacers cut damage, shipping costs and labor for manufacturer.

Indiana Vac-Form (IVF) manufactures thermoformed products including burial vault liners to customers across the country. As business grew, increased shipping distances and logistics challenges like crossdocking became unavoidable. After replacing corrugated packaging with a recyclable laminated paperboard, the company ensured product safety during longer deliveries.

For years IVF shipped its liners in stacks of 20, each one nested inside the other. They used pieces of corrugated paperboard in the corners of the liners to keep them from settling too deep inside each other and creating a suction between layers.

"As we began shipping our liners farther and farther, we became aware that our packaging was not up to the task of handling the harsh shipping environment created by the extra miles," says Greg Wood, co-owner of the company. "That, coupled with an increase in handling, caused more stress on the corrugated and resulted in the liners settling together, making if difficult to pull them apart."

Injection-molded plastic spacers proved too costly, but the new packaging (Laminations, laminationsonline.com) proved effective despite having been designed for an entirely different application. Instead of providing targeted edge protection for strapping palletized loads, the lightweight material is placed under the lip of the overturned liners.

"It's strong enough to withstand the weight of the other liners, so it's working out great," Wood says. "Not only has it eliminated all the shipping and storing problems, it has helped us save on shipping and packaging expenses."

Previously, they could stack only 20 liners per skid. With the new spacers they are safely stacking 22 liners.

By Josh Bond, Associate Editor

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Comment:Customized shipping materials reduce damage in transit.
Author:Bond, Josh
Publication:Modern Materials Handling
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2015
Words:275
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