Top 4 Reasons to Add Real-Time Smart Packaging Services

Having a real-time smart packaging service is a game changer for supply chain visibility and shipment tracking because it provides increased insights that allow you to improve your supply chain flow. Smart packaging features numerous components and capabilities that provide data regarding everything from package location to storage conditions surrounding the package.

Whether you're a logistics service provider or any company shipping B2B, consider adding real-time smart packaging services.

What Is Smart Packaging?

Smart packaging is a broad term describing new technology used in packaging. Smart packaging features innovative materials like functional coatings and ink and printed electronics to increase packaging, shipping and tracking capabilities. These technologies increase package usability for businesses and consumers while also making it easier to track and access company and product information.

While the trend continues to grow with emerging technology, there are three commonly accepted types of smart packaging:

  1. Intelligent packaging: This type of packaging allows you to monitor a package or product while during shipping or storage. Using internal or external microchips, sensors or printed codes, intelligent packaging shares information regarding the package's environment, product temperature changes, package location and tampering. Intelligent packaging is extremely useful for industries like pharma manufacturing where products must be shipped and stored in specific conditions.
  2. Active packaging: Most often used in the food and beverage industries, active packaging interacts with its contents to help extend a product's shelf life. For example, active packaging can impact conditions like odors, oxygen levels, flavors and moisture. These components can directly impact the product or its surrounding environment.
  3. Connected packaging: This type of packaging uses digital printing and graphic design to increase consumer engagement with a product's packaging. For example, consumers could scan a code on the package for a curated experience. Logistically, companies can use connected packaging to track products, communicate with supply chain entities or measure product attributes.

How Does Smart Packaging Work?

Smart packaging capabilities work because of a growing list of functions and technologies. For example, smart packaging utilizes various indicator technology, diagnostics, tags and sensors to provide businesses, consumers and L&P companies with real-time insights regarding their shipments.

Here are several smart packaging features that enable the use of this advanced packaging:

  • Barcodes and QR codes: Barcodes have long been used on packaging and remain a crucial part of smart packaging technology. For example, barcodes share information regarding the package and its shipping information. QR codes use matrixes of dots and spaces to create two-dimensional bar codes. Users can scan QR codes to access additional information.
  • RFID and NFC tags: Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags collect and transmit real-time data to a user, allowing for capabilities like food safety checks and inventory management. Near-field communication (NFC) tags are a type of RFID tag that includes identifiers for each item in a package like location-specific data or personalized information.
  • Augmented reality (AR): AR technology is increasingly used in smart packaging as it offers highly interactive capabilities and can encourage customer engagement. For example, consumers can use product packaging to launch applications or interactive materials complementing the product.
  • Time-temperature indicators (TTI): TTIs provide visual information regarding changes in food products. These indicators use polymer reactions to show color changes in food so consumers can determine the quality and safety of food products.
  • Freshness indicators: Food freshness indicators use different types of metabolite sensors like organic acids to sense the environment inside and outside a food package. Depending on the conditions, the labels and indicators will change color to let consumers know the freshness of the product.

Smart packaging technology is still emerging — new tags, sensors and indicators are being implemented as smart packaging advances. As B2B smart package tracking grows, so will the capabilities.

Why Use Smart Packaging?

So, why should you use smart packaging? Companies in various industries can benefit from smart packaging, especially logistics and packaging companies. B2B companies can use smart packaging in numerous ways, including improving their supply chain and logistics.

Consider some of these smart package tracking benefits and how they could impact your business.

1. Improve Traceability and Logistics

One of the biggest benefits of smart packaging for B2B, 3PL and L&P companies is improved traceability and logistics. Smart packaging provides an enhanced level of supply chain transparency, allowing you to track exact product locations at any given time. Additionally, customers are asking for better tracking, especially for temperature-controlled shipments. Increased traceability also helps prevent theft, unauthorized access and tampering.

Smart packaging tracking also allows L&P companies to provide recommendations on routes, lanes, carriers and types of packaging to use depending on real-time shipment and delay data. This is extremely valuable for L&P companies, as you can gain more control and visibility over your supply chain while making effective suggestions for your clients. These insights allow you to make significant improvements to supply chain flow.

2. Enable Predictive Planning

Another logistical benefit of smart packaging is using tools like predictive planning and inventory management. Smart packaging allows your company to track inventory levels to prevent warehouses from running out of products. Some smart packaging can even anticipate and automate when restocking is necessary.

These features help prevent delays to keep your supply chain flowing efficiently.

3. Maintain Quality Control and Product Integrity

Companies shipping products with specific storage needs can use smart packaging to maintain quality control and product integrity. This can lead to long-lasting solutions and helps companies ensure quality products are delivered.

Product quality and integrity can significantly impact your company's reputation, so using smart packaging can help you ensure quality control throughout the supply chain.

4. Create Brand Transparency

Your company can also use smart packaging to create brand transparency, helping you build trusting relationships with other businesses, partners and supply chain entities.

Smart packaging allows other businesses to track where you source your materials, where and by whom products are manufactured and other social and ethical information that may be used in deciding business relationships. Additionally, smart packaging allows the reusability of packaging and sensors to reduce landfill waste, which many of your customers will appreciate. 

Improve Logistics and Distribution With ParkourSC

Shipment tracking is an essential component to supply chain visibility and improving numerous logistical aspects of your business. At ParkourSC, we understand the value of gaining actionable insights you can use to improve efficiency and effectiveness within your supply chain. With our platform, you'll have access to various logistics and distribution tools like real-time shipment tracking.

Contact us today to find out how you can grow your business with ParkourSC.