Logistics is critical to the manufacturing process and supply chain management. The term itself was born out of the military. Think along the lines of moving military hardware, troops, ships, planes, rations, and all the supplies that accompany any military operation. Today logistics affects everything we manufacture, build, or purchase in business or as consumers.

Global shipping was brought to a halt last March when the world’s largest container ship, the Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal blocking a major shipping artery. The massive ship took two weeks to move. Meanwhile, 400 cargo ships loaded with goods had to wait until Ever Given cleared the canal. It set off a huge supply and logistical nightmare that touched nearly every aspect of daily living worldwide. Goods and products move around the globe every single minute of the day. We tend to take it for granted that our ketchup, bandaids, tires, lawnmowers, and other goods will be available when the end-user is ready to purchase them. The Ever Given reminded manufacturers, consumers, and suppliers just how fragile logistics can be.

Covid-19, the Colonial Pipeline hacker disruption, fuel shortages and hikes, acts of terrorism, severe weather events like hurricanes, natural and human-caused events can all affect the supply global and national supply chain. Who knew a year ago there would be a shortage of computer chips affecting everything from vehicle manufacturers to electronics?

The printing and packaging industry depends on logistics in two aspects. They are dependent upon supplies like substrates, ink, laminate, roll stock, paper, plastic, metalized film, etc., to deliver for their customers. You need to make sure you are using a printing and packaging company that has long-term relationships and solid communication with suppliers even when the global flow may be hampered. The second consideration is the shipment of your order and goods in a timely manner in accordance with the master production and project schedule.

Customers should be able to ask hard and fair questions in regard to timelines for obtaining assets to do the job, production timelines, and target delivery dates upon project completion. Experienced printing and packaging companies have to develop relationships with FedEx, UPS, to ensure a timely flow to meet target delivery dates for customers. An accurate timeline for your order cannot be generated until the shipping times of the required pieces, and the shipping time to your destination is known.

Printing and packaging companies have to have time to develop all of the information regarding an order. Their calendar will include what assets and materials are needed, how much is required, shipping times from their suppliers, scheduling the job with the production, and shipping the order to the customer. This is an example of total customer service.

Ask your printer if they use tracking software for shipping orders and if they can set you up to receive email notifications from the shipping agent. Proof of Delivery can be a useful tool if your product is packaged at a third-party facility, such as a contract packager, to know the packaging is delivered.

Remember when you place an order there is a lot of behind the scene activity from securing supplies, to scheduling press dates, coming off the press, and being prepared for shipment.

Century Printing and Packaging is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company located in Greer, South Carolina. Flexographic, roll stock film, flexible packaging, digital printing, CBD, and craft beer labels are among our extensive print products and technologies. We are family-owned and operated. Call us today about all of your printing or packaging needs. Our southeast location allows us to have a two-day shipping point via FedEx or UPS ground to 80% of the U.S population and we can expedite as necessary.

Ben Waldrop President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651