Based shipping Container
Business Supply Chain
Instructions: You are going to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of a paper- based shipping container, a wood-based shipping container and a plastic-based shipping container for use as a distribution package (a non-retail shipping package). You must consider the entire supply chain in your response. Ensure your assignment is in APA format and must include a properly formatted reference list. Your paper must be 1000-1200 words, excluding title page and reference page. Ensure your assignment is posted as a word document attachment.
Paper based shipping container
Advantages to Business Supply Chain
Suppliers operate independently and therefore incur all the cost related to the transportation of their materials (Ellram, 2010). Paper based shipping container are versatile and cost-efficient method in the transportation, protection and preservation of the supplier’s materials (Ellram, 2010). In addition, paper based shipping container are lightweight and can be customized based on the nature of the material. This is an advantage to the supplier because they are able to reduce cost, which is major problem in the supplier industry. Furthermore, they are able to transport anything from fragile goods to lightweight goods. Using paper based shipping is also important in sustainability (Verghese & Lewis, 2007). The suppliers are able to enjoy sustainable option, which offers temperature controlled condition. Therefore, that means suppliers do not have to worry about perishable goods being spoilt during transportation.
During distribution process, products being distributed undergo various channels, which exposes the product to variety of risk. Distributors work alongside businesses and these businesses entrust them to transport their products to the wholesaler. As a distributor, any expenses, they have to ensure the products being transported arrive to the wholesaler in a good condition (Ellram, 2010). Any damage of the products during transportation process means the wholesaler will reject the product. Therefore, the most important aspect for distributors is the means of packaging. Using paper based shipping containers, the distributor is able to save on cost, and guarantee protection of the product being transported. Paper based shipping containers contain temperature-controlled conditions, which is essential in the preservation of perishable product (Ellram, 2010). The container is also suitable for lightweight products as it offers protection from damage. In addition, lightweight shipping containers can save on cost. This means that the distributor can transport light product more easily and save on fuel.
Wholesalers store products for retailers and consumers, therefore, storage play an important role in their line of business. Paper based shipping containers offer suitable features for storage purpose. When using paper based shipping containers, the wholesaler is guaranteed the product protection. The wholesaler is able to store a wide variety of products ranging perishable to non-perishable due to the controlled room temperature of the containers (Verghese & Lewis, 2007). To a wholesaler space is also an important consideration. Therefore, using paper based shipping containers can help save on space enabling the wholesaler to store a large number of products as he or she wait for the retailers.
Retailers are final line of the supply chain and are usually the ones who interact with the consumer. They also store some of the products in form of inventories as they wait for consumers to purchase. Consumers also need their products fresh and free from damage. Therefore, storage process is an important factor to consider for the retailers. Paper based shipping containers are the based storage facilities for the preservation and protection of perishable and non-perishable products (Verghese & Lewis, 2007).
Using paper based shipping containers; suppliers have found it expensive in molding papers into specific designs and shapes. In addition, it has made it difficult for suppliers to customize them for purpose of shipment. Suppliers now have to consider alternative process to ensure their products reach their clients on time and in perfect condition (Ellram, 2010). Furthermore, using paper based shipping containers is unsuitable in carrying certain products. The lightweight features of these containers make it highly fragile which is dangerous during overloading as products can crack (Ellram, 2010).
Distributors find it difficult to use paper based shipping containers due to their fragile nature. During transportation process, many distributors fear that the products can easily get damaged which increases cost on their part (Ellram, 2010). During long distance shipment, paper based shipping containers have proved to be unreliable due to their ineffectiveness in preventing external temperatures which can be harmful to the products. In addition, paper based shipment are sensitive to high moisture making them loose their strength rapidly.
Wholesalers and retailers may find it difficult to store heat processed products over a long period. This is because paper based shipping containers are impossible to contain controlled temperatures over a long period. Therefore, perishable products are only suitable for storage over a short period. Due to this, retailers can lose their customers as a result which can affect business. In addition, wholesalers and retailers cannot provide insulating material while using paper based shipping containers (Ellram, 2010).
Wood based shipping container
Advantages to the supply chain
Suppliers who engage in heavy-duty shipment can find it advantageous to use wood-based shipping containers. Wood based shipping containers are very strong in the transportation and storage of heavy and complex products. Long distance shipment is also important while using wood based shipping containers. Suppliers and distributors are guaranteed preservation during the transportation process (Verghese & Lewis, 2007). This is because wood-based shipping containers have better ventilation, which is important in pre-cooling of perishable goods. Wholesalers can also find wood based shipping containers as advantageous in their line of business because the containers are suitable for long term warehousing. Wholesalers and retailers who depend on storage for the survival of their businesses can also store large size of products using wood-based shipping containers (Verghese & Lewis, 2007). This is because they offer enough space for large storage purposes. Wood are also rigid which provides protection to the products for distributors during transportation, wholesalers and retailers during storage.
Suppliers, wholesalers and retailers may find it difficult in using wood-based shipping containers because they are sensitive to harsh weather conditions. This means suppliers, wholesalers and retailers will have to continuously treat the containers. If left untreated during harsh weather conditions, the containers develop fungus and mold which can contaminate the perishable products (Verghese & Lewis, 2007). This makes the containers expensive to maintain over a long period.
Wood based shipping containers also require proper painting process, which protect it from deterioration. Poor painting of wood-based containers can affect the entire supply chain ranging from the supplier to the retailer (Ellram, 2010). For suppliers and distributors who deal with soft products such as fruits, wood-based shipping containers can damage such goods because of the rigid nature of the containers. This adds cost to both the supplier and the distributor during shipment process.
Plastic based shipping containers
Advantages to the supply chain
Suppliers find it cheap to use plastic shipping containers because of its availability. Suppliers are able to save a lot of money from using plastic based shipping containers which are inexpensive, convenient and versatile (Ellram, 2010). Suppliers and distributors are able to benefit from using plastic based shipping containers since they provide strong and durable platforms for shipment purposes. Wholesalers and retailers whom rely on containers for storage purposes may find it appropriate to use plastic shipping containers because of its ability to guard against contamination (Verghese & Lewis, 2007). Plastic containers provide perfect storage solutions for their stocks. Distributors can also benefit from plastic containers because of their ability to withstand rigors of shipping.
Disadvantages to the supply chain
Plastic based shipping containers are a challenge to the environment. Many suppliers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers try to abstain from using them because of environmental pollution they cause to the planet (Verghese & Lewis, 2007). This can affect the health of the consumer who are a vital component to the supply chain. Plastic containers also degrades overtime as they are subjected to excessive light, scratching and denting (Verghese & Lewis, 2007). Wholesalers and retailers can suffer as a result since the crack and degradation exposes the products to contamination. Contamination increases the cost for both the wholesaler and retailer making it a disadvantage (Ellram, 2010).
Ellram, L. M. (2010). Supply‐Chain Management: The Industrial Organisation Perspective. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 13-22.
Verghese, K., & Lewis, H. (2007). Environmental innovation in industrial packaging: a supply chain approach. International Journal of Production Research , 18-19.