Food Packaging for Logistic Distribution

Written by Yogaraj Sandrakumar, DLSM

by Yogaraj Sandrakumar, DLSM

By ensuring for the quality of a product is not affected, it is essential to adopt high-profile distribution logistics, considering that typically we not deal only with our product, but with aspects related to it. Such as delivery precision, traceability, consumer protection, and also seasonality of flows. The food industry depends on timely supply of raw materials, and the smooth therefore transportation and logistics is important.

Air Cargo
Image of Food Air Cargo taken from:

The Fundamental Driver for Food Logistics

Due to foods products have a limited shelves life, logistics solutions, and transportation must be time sensitive. Many of the raw materials spoiled or rotten example, fish, and vegetables fruits do not last long even if stored in climate controlled facilities. Therefore, speedy delivery needs to avoid deterioration. The same applies to finish products.Preservation of Quality in all the industries, without good logistics you can have negative repercussions on business costs, customer service, and the company’s reputation and even in various processing stages. Company invests in services and quality distribution logic, the more benefits it will have and fewer costs, especially in the medium-long term.

Three Major Functions of Food Packaging

  1. Protection – Packaging design ensures the product is adequately protected from the wide range of environmental hazards, mechanical, and manual it will encounter on its distribution journey. Meanwhile, improper packaging may result in damage, and also too much packaging can incur additional expenses, ranging from excess transportation costs to increase material costs.
  2. Containment – A product must be designed for contained within a series of ever-larger packages to reduce in-transit damage. As it moves or stops along the way, containers have specific space available and potential for damage.
  3. Communication – As consumers shop amongst thousands of products in a given category, point of sale engagement straight encourages them to interact with product brands and overcome visual indifference between brands on their own volition. Consumer’s goods packaging has a huge marketing value.

Types of Food Packaging

  • Trays – It’s what drinks, plant seeds, and meats can be carried in. To keep the product in place they are mostly flatting with raised edges.
  • Bags – Universally known well as bagged snacks and fruits. Bagging separates the food from the air environment to keep it fresh.
  • Boxes – Used for the easiest form to stock, and for transportation of a food product.
  • Cans – An excellent way of preserving and Most cans are made of thin metal  or steel
  • Cartons – Most well-known is the egg carton which is molded to the shape of the egg to add protection and cartons are also made of corrugating fiberboard.
  • Flexible Packaging – Protects the food and create an adequate means of transporting foods. As well, protect from the environment.
  • Wrappers – Used for individual items. Provide protection between the food, and a person’s hands or the food, and the environment.
Cartons image taken from:
Wrappers image taken from:

Three Levels of Packaging

  • Primary Packaging – Materials that make direct physical contact with product and provide ample protection for your product. Purpose to classify product labels as primary packaging, such as the since label and nutrition facts label often attached to food containers.
  • Secondary Packaging – Used for marketing purposes, bundles, and protections. Product combines multiple items together, such as the box that hold multiple cans of soda together in one convenient pack.
  • Tertiary Packaging – Main goal is to provide protection during storage and shipping. Combines smaller containers holding the products to a full pallet setup. Protect to make sure products make it to their final destination without a scratch.
Coca Cola
Primary Packaging image on the left taken from: and Secondary Packaging image on the right taken from

Distribution Hazards and Importance of Packaging

Poor packaging will hurt product image, and sales. Packaging comes from full clarity into precisely what distribution hazards need to be protected against while a unit is in transit or across all modes. Almost all distribution hazards stand with these four categories:

  • Handling – Handled by machinery and human hands. Damage can result from dropping, or rough handling. Primary packaging takes over when individual units are picked to ship directly to end consumers while Secondary packaging protects merchandise from manufacturers.
  • Stacking – When boxes are stacked above in warehouses, it can crush merchandise or tip over. Even, after secondary packaging becomes compromised a strong primary packaging can help protect products.
  • In-transit stacking. Boxes are also stacked in trucks. The motion of bumps, and even vibrations from road noise leads to dynamic compression. Using less-than-truckload (LTL) transport is most susceptible to this hazard.
  • Temperature and humidity – materials like food can be damaged by moisture transfer from nearby freight that has produced condensation or frozen products that have begun to melt due to improper adherence. The key for this is true packaging optimization the achieved and by tracing the entire journey of the product end-to-end.
  • Packaging Labels – Without handling marks the parcel handle might damage because there no highlight or instructions about inside part. Label is indicator for those who is handling the goods. They will need to know the content inside the inside palletize cartons, carton, or container before loading and unloading of the goods.

Food Service Distributors

Broad line distributors provide a variety of products from wholesale seafood, wholesale meats, herbs, vegetables and other ingredients. Its might need for typical food business. Large and most logistically heavy of packing, flash freezing, and transporting ingredients.Specialty distributors focus on the distribution of one particular product type such as seafood and meat that require a specific kind of handling. Distribution vehicle must be set with cold and temperature control to deliver by maintains the freshness.Cash and Carry distributors are different in that by the only type of distributor that does not directly transport products to food service providers such as hawker center, or restaurants. Business owners go to these warehouses and pick out wholesale products to purchase.Redistributor, in simple way buy directly from producers, and break bulk for smaller, local or niche distributors.


In study case, packaging a product to attract consumers is a science. The idea is to keep your packaging attractive by keeping that first impression that matters. Technology maintains product quality, and the right selection of packaging materials for freshness during storage and distribution. Food packaging for food products require a corresponding solution in a food distribution. To ensure quality of delivered product food packaging in distribution is for the proposed solutions as to obey the principle of food which enables consumers. For each operational scenario, the major challenges and advantages of its practical implementation is revealed.

Therefore, logistic distribution has been explored and analyzed several potential solutions for food packaging in the term for safety storage, and non-damage while transit food material. This article contributes to better understanding of the issues, challenges, design and proper way in establishing food packaging to delivery services and could serve as a help in decision-making for food producers and other involved.


Evelyn Seow Pick Ling, DPSM.(2020). “Global Sourcing Considerations for Food Retail Distribution”. Retrieved from, accessed 18/12/2020.

Kate Lim Boon Yar, DLSM.(2020). “Effective Packaging for Outbound Logistics”. Retrieved from, accessed 18/12/2020.

Rick Lingle , Lisa McTigue Pierce.(2020). “Best in New Food and Beverage Packaging”. Retrieved from, accessed 19/12/2020.

Sarkina.(2019). “Packaging Knowledge”. Retrieved from, accessed 19/12/2020.

Shyanne Lim.(2019). “Food Service Distributors in Singapore”. Retrieved from, accessed 19/12/2020.

Wong Siew Ing, DPSM.(2019). “Key Issues for Integrating Warehousing and Food Distributions”. Retrieved from, accessed 19/12/2020.

About the Author: Yogaraj Sandrakumar has several years of experience in both warehousing and logistics distribution, specializing in inbound and outbound operations. He is a member of the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM). Yogaraj completed the Diploma in Logistics and Supply Management (DLSM) on December 2020 at SIPMM Institute.