Having spoken to several contacts recently who encountered different types of problem buying from the “Far” East I decided to have a look at what can happen when buying from further afield.
Many customers buying packaging from the Far East have asked for our help with testing of packaging as often when a problem does arise they feel ignored. In one case absolutely nobody could come over as the manufacturer’s employees had to apply for visa’s to visit the EU. The customer was left with lots of packaging that did not work. Years of “saving ” were lost in one incident.
Buying packaging from the Far East is not just buying packaging. It’s buying packaging and transportation. Lots of terms to get to grip with; CIF, DDU,DDP etc. All to determine who pays and arranges which part of the journey. Then you have got the potential delays due to weather which can delay shipments not only by hours but by days. To top things off you have the chance that if items arrive from outside Europe, Customs can delay the delivering by not releasing the goods in a timely manner. And you thought there was enough time to get the order delivered to the retailer and are now left with some hefty fines and risk of some product being delisted, there goes the saving you were hoping for.
Also with the inherent nature of flexible packaging, every job is customised, the difference in quality standards, language, lack of accreditations (BRC etc) might make buying a little bit more complicated. It surely won’t be as easy as ordering that game console for the kids from the Far East through some well-known marketing sites.
Well, there are many more issues some of my customers have experienced but I guess that makes this article too long for a Blog. Of course, when you see me, I’ll be very happy to share the full story!