Why Use Contract Packing?

Contract packing, also known as co-packing, is where a company outsources its product packaging tasks to a specialist. 

This third-party provider will take care of everything from filling and assembling your product to labelling and boxing it up, ready for sale.

Contract packing can be a game-changer for businesses of all sizes. 

Here’s some of the reasons why:

  • Focus on what you do best: By outsourcing packing, you free up your team and resources to concentrate on core activities like product development and marketing.


  • Cost-effective: Contract packers benefit from economies of scale, often having the machinery and expertise to pack efficiently, potentially saving you money in the long run.


  • Scalability: Need to ramp up production quickly for a seasonal rush? A contract packer can handle the increased workload, allowing you to meet customer demand.


  • Expertise: Contract packers are specialists in packing and assembling products. They can offer valuable advice on packaging solutions and ensure your products are presented professionally.


Advantages of Contract Packing

Contract packing offers a wealth of benefits for businesses of all sizes. 

By outsourcing your packaging needs to a specialist company, you can unlock significant cost savings, gain valuable expertise, and free up your team to focus on what matters most – your core business. 

Let’s delve deeper into the key advantages you can enjoy:


  1. Cost-Effective Solutions


  • Reduced Labour Costs: 

Managing in-house packaging often requires hiring and training dedicated staff. 

This can be a significant ongoing expense, especially for businesses with fluctuating production levels. 

Contract packing allows you to streamline your workforce by outsourcing this task entirely. 

You simply pay a fixed fee to the contract packer, eliminating the need for salaries, benefits, and training costs associated with in-house packaging personnel.


  • Lower Equipment Costs: 

Investing in high-speed packaging machinery can be a major financial hurdle for many businesses. 

Contract packers, on the other hand, already possess a wide range of specialised equipment for various packing needs. 

By outsourcing, you avoid the upfront investment in machinery, as well as the ongoing costs of maintenance and repairs.


  • Optimised Material Costs: 

Contract packers often have strong relationships with packaging material suppliers, allowing them to negotiate bulk discounts that you might not be able to secure on your own. 

These savings on materials translate directly to lower overall packaging costs for your business.


  1. Scalability and Flexibility

The ever-changing market demands agility from businesses. 

Contract packing empowers you to adapt and respond to fluctuations in demand with ease:


  • Scaling Up: 

Scaling up your in-house packaging operation to meet this demand can be a logistical nightmare. 

Hiring and training new staff, acquiring additional equipment, and finding the space to accommodate it all takes time and significant resources. 

Contract packers eliminate this burden. 

Their existing infrastructure and workforce can seamlessly handle increased production volume, ensuring you can fulfil orders promptly and avoid stockouts. 

You simply adjust your contract with the packer to reflect the higher demand, allowing you to focus on managing the sales growth.


  • Scaling Down: 

Conversely, what happens if demand for your product dips? 

With in-house packaging, you might be stuck with underused staff and excess equipment, leading to unnecessary overhead costs. 

Contract packing offers a more flexible solution. 

You can easily scale down your contract with the packer to match the lower production needs. 

This eliminates the burden of managing idle staff or equipment, allowing you to optimise your costs during slower periods.


  • Market Responsiveness: 

Contract packing allows you to be nimble and responsive to market changes. 

Launching a new product line or entering a new market often requires adjustments to your packaging strategy. 

A contract packer can help you implement these changes quickly and efficiently. 

Their expertise in different packaging solutions and their ability to adapt their processes can be invaluable when navigating new market opportunities.


  1. Access to Expertise

Contract packers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, with the ability to elevate your product presentation and streamlining your packaging processes.


  • Packaging Specialists: 

Some contract packers employ a team dedicated to mastering the art of efficient and effective packaging. 

They stay up-to-date on the latest packaging materials, technologies, and regulations, ensuring your products are packaged in compliance with industry standards and best practices.


  • Improved Product Presentation: 

First impressions matter, and packaging is often a customer’s initial touchpoint with your brand. 

Contract packers can advise you on selecting the most suitable packaging materials and designs that will showcase your product’s unique qualities and enhance its shelf appeal. 

This can lead to increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.


  • Reduced Waste and Environmental Impact: 

Sustainability is a growing concern for both businesses and consumers. 

Contract packers are experts in optimising packaging processes to minimise material usage and reduce waste. 

They can help you identify eco-friendly packaging solutions and implement strategies to lessen your environmental footprint, which can not only benefit the environment but also resonate positively with eco-conscious customers.


Common Industries Using Contract Packing

Contract packing isn’t limited to just one sector. 

Many industries have discovered the advantages of outsourcing their packaging needs. 

Here are a few common examples:


Food and Beverage

  • Reasons for Adoption: Food and beverage companies often have seasonal peaks and require diverse packaging solutions. 
  • Contract packers can handle these fluctuations and offer expertise in ensuring food safety regulations are met.


Cosmetics and Personal Care

  • Reasons for Adoption: Eye-catching presentation is crucial for cosmetics. 

  • Contract packers can advise on design and materials that enhance your product’s appeal, while also ensuring adherence to labelling regulations.



  • Reasons for Adoption: Strict regulations and sterility requirements are paramount in pharmaceuticals. 

  • Contract packers offer specialised packaging solutions and expertise in maintaining a sterile environment, crucial for safety and compliance.


Consumer Goods

  • Reasons for Adoption: From electronics to toys, consumer goods come in all shapes and sizes. 

  • Contract packers can provide efficient packaging solutions for a wide range of products, often at a lower cost than in-house alternatives. 


Key Considerations When Choosing a Contract Packing Provider?


Selecting the right contract packing partner is vital for a successful and efficient operation. 

This table provides key considerations to help guide your decision:


Factor Description Actionable Tip
Quality Control Prioritise a provider with strong quality assurance (QA) procedures and safety protocols. Look for certifications like ISO 9001 and inquire about inspection processes. Ensure they adhere to relevant safety regulations for your industry.
Reputation & Experience Value a provider’s track record and positive client references. Seek experience in your specific industry and request references to understand service quality and reliability.
Technology & Equipment Modern, well-maintained equipment and the ability to handle your product type and volume are crucial. Ensure the provider has up-to-date machinery and inquire about their capabilities for automation and robotics to improve packing efficiency.
Flexibility & Customisation Choose a provider that can adapt to your unique needs and offer custom packaging solutions. Discuss the provider’s ability to handle specific materials, sizes, and labelling options to tailor your product presentation.
Communication & Partnership Prioritise clear communication and a collaborative approach. Look for a provider with open communication, regular updates, and a dedicated point of contact. Choose a partner who sees themselves as an extension of your team.



Actionable Steps for Implementing Contract Packing

Thinking about outsourcing your packaging? 

Here’s a practical guide to get you started:


  1. Identify Your Needs

Before diving in, take a step back to assess your current situation:

  • What are your packaging needs? Consider product type, volume, desired presentation, and any special handling requirements.
  • What are your pain points? Are you struggling with labour costs, limited equipment, or keeping up with fluctuating demand?


  • What are your goals? Do you want to reduce costs, improve efficiency, or free up resources for other areas?

By understanding your needs and goals, you can determine if contract packing is the right fit for your business.


  1. Research Providers

Once you’ve decided to explore contract packing, it’s time to find the best partner:

  • Industry Research: Identify potential providers with experience in your industry. Trade associations and online directories can be helpful starting points. 


  • Ask Around: Talk to other businesses in your sector to see if they use contract packing and get recommendations.


  • Gather Information: Visit provider websites, read reviews, and shortlist a few companies for further investigation.


Here are some key questions to ask potential providers: 

  • Do they have experience with products similar to yours?


  • What quality control procedures do they have in place?


  • What equipment and technology do they use?


  • Can they handle your current and projected production volume?


  • Do they offer custom packaging solutions?


  • What is their pricing structure?


  • What communication channels do they use?


  1. Create an Agreement: Setting Expectations

Once you’ve chosen a contract packing provider, it’s crucial to have a clear and concise agreement in place. 

This document should outline the following:

  • Products and Services: Clearly define the products to be packaged and the specific services the provider will deliver.


  • Timelines and Deadlines: Set clear expectations for production schedules, delivery times, and lead times for any packaging changes.


  • Quality Standards: Specify the quality control procedures and inspection processes to ensure your products meet your standards.


  • Pricing and Payment Terms: Outline the fee structure, payment schedule, and any additional costs associated with materials or special services.


  • Communication and Confidentiality: Establish clear communication channels and protocols for exchanging information. Include a confidentiality clause to protect your proprietary information.


By taking these actionable steps, you can confidently navigate the implementation of contract packing and reap the benefits of a successful partnership.


Key Takeaways

Contract packing offers a compelling solution for businesses of all sizes. 

Here’s a quick recap of the key benefits:

  • Reduced Costs: Save on labour, equipment, and material costs through a fixed-fee service.


  • Scalability and Flexibility: Easily adapt to changing market demands without significant investment.


  • Access to Expertise: Benefit from the knowledge and experience of packaging specialists.


  • Enhanced Focus on Core Business: Free up internal resources to focus on product development and marketing.


  • Faster Time-to-Market: Get your products to market quicker with efficient packaging processes.


Considering Contract Packing?

If you’re looking for ways to streamline your operations, improve efficiency, and free up valuable resources, contract packing might be the perfect solution for you.

Contact us today for more information here.