By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: October 28, 2019
Remember when everyone predicted glass would be replaced by plastic bottles? A bold statement supported by the ease of processing plastics and newly created materials. However, it appears the market may not totally agree. In fact, if your product requires glass, you have surely noted rising prices and extended lead times. Strange when you consider the impending doom of the industry!
A more factual approach is that the industry has seen an increased demand for products requiring glass, increases in manufacturing facilities that utilize glass (especially in Asia), and the rising costs to update and maintain glass plants. No wonder prices and lead-times are going up.
How do you keep getting appealing glass packaging in an economic and timely way? There are ways to navigate the tightening of the glass market. Some things to consider:
- Increase your inventory levels to support extended lead times and changing product cycles. This may not be great for your balance sheet, but it’s a realistic solution to the inefficiencies of glass manufacturing. I contend it makes more sense to have this inventory cushion than to face stock outs and potentially lose shelf space. But an even better situation is to have a supplier that is able to store stock for you and bill you only when you receive it.
- Find alternate sources of glass supply. China first comes to mind, but there are many options all around the world with excellent quality and pricing. Handling some of the logistics and cultural differences may take some learning, but, again, there are partners able to handle this for you as well.
- Explore alternate packaging. I will assume that plastic is not an option for your product. You still have the opportunity to engage alternate packaging. This is a great time to evaluate available capacity on existing glass containers. If you are open to a container change, be sure to find a partner with a design agency that is experienced in both structural and graphic design.
The glass market is here to stay, and the market tightness is here for the foreseeable future. What are you doing to succeed?