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  1. For the 16th Year, Axis Corrugated Container Sponsors Walk For Hope

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    Axis Corrugated Container, as part of the Casson family of companies, is proud to announce it is a host sponsor for The Walk for Hope once again. The event raises funds to support groundbreaking mental health research and mental health initiatives. On Sunday, October 10, 2021, the event takes place at The Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC.

    This is Axis’s 16th year as a host sponsor, having made monetary contributions totaling more than $500,000 during this time. In addition, Axis is contributing 200 corrugated garbage cans for this year’s event.Walk for Hope trash cans

    “Companies have a responsibility to support their employees and community through endeavors like the Walk for Hope, said Axis Corrugated President Clark Casson (also the President & COO of Axis’ parent company, Southern Lithoplate). “The Casson family of companies (Southern Lithoplate, Axis Corrugated, and Vinnies Steak House) have been community sponsors of The Boy Scouts of America, The Miracle League of the Triangle, The Walk for Hope, and the SAS Championship. We continue to participate in these events to show support for our employees as many of them have been personally touched by one of these groups.”

  2. Fighting Back Against Long Lead Times, Minimum Orders, and Rising Costs

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    The pandemic wreaked havoc on supply chains across the globe – creating long lead times or reducing supplies. Many paper manufacturers pivoted to create corrugated as the demand for e-commerce packaging exploded. Increased demand is one of the drivers for price increases that have been seen recently. Even still, there are constraints within the supply chain that are impacting manufacturers looking for corrugated packaging. Supply isn’t keeping up with demand in some cases.

    More specifically, the industry is seeing long lead times and minimum order requirements because demand has increased, and mass-producing generates higher profits for large integrated plants. Often smaller orders get pushed out. Long lead times and minimums lead to higher total costs for the customer that needs low to medium corrugated box volumes.

    Unlike other corrugated packaging suppliers, we at Axis Corrugated are fighting to reduce our customers’ total costs through shorter lead times, no minimums, and packaging assessments.

    Long Lead Times Are Escapable

    On average, the industry is seeing 8-week+ lead times. You may have accepted that’s just the way it is, but it can have a profound impact on your business. There are costs associated with long lead times. You do the best you can with sales forecasts, but unexpected things happen. The same is true for large, corrugated manufacturers, and rush orders from key customers mean other orders get further delayed. Lead time delays reduce your competitiveness in the market and erode your customers’ trust in your ability to deliver.

    It doesn’t have to be this way. Through operational efficiency, streamlined workflows, and flexibility, we have our lead time down to 2 weeks on average and offer just-in-time delivery. When necessary, we can accommodate next-day turnarounds. Think of how much easier production planning will be knowing you don’t have to think about packaging. It will be there when you need it.

    No Minimums Required

    Many large box manufacturers require minimums, often with little to no customization- typically one SKU per truckload. This allows for long production runs with little downtime for changeovers. This is fine for giant retailers, but it doesn’t serve smaller companies that may have several SKUs and may not need many boxes.

    Being forced to take a full truckload per SKU means storing and managing them, which adds business costs. It can also lead to waste as corrugated strength can be negatively impacted by improper storage over time or through obsolescence.

    There are box companies that offer vendor-managed inventory (VMI) solutions. They typically manufacturer in large runs and send a specific number at agreed-upon times. This reduces the need for you to manage the inventory but doesn’t deal with the issue of knocked-down boxes sitting in a warehouse and the impact that has on the box strength and integrity over time.

    We do not require our customers to purchase minimums. Because we have a shorter lead time and the flexibility to pivot in an emergency, you don’t need to buy more than you need or store large volumes of boxes that risk becoming waste.

    How We Are Different

    Costs are going up in all areas, but we try to minimize the impact on packaging for our customers. We are a privately held, fiscally sound independent corrugator. Unlike the publicly traded integrated plants that are beholden to stockholders, our obligations lie with ensuring our customers get the best value for the price they pay.

    We have a comprehensive production and equipment redundancy program and disaster recovery plan that ensures we can deliver what we say we will deliver in amounts that you need with shorter lead times.

    Another way we have successfully saved our customers money is through packaging assessments. We learn about your company, processes, and products and then offer cost-saving suggestions for packaging optimization, SKU management, and supply chain management.

    To learn more about our corrugated product solutions or discuss your packaging needs with one of our representatives, contact us today!

  3. Four Corrugated Advantages That Can Add to Your Bottom Line

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    If you ship a lot of products, the cost of packaging can quickly add up. In cost-sensitive industries, every little bit of savings or cost avoidance helps, and corrugated board may be the packaging material that helps you become more competitive. Multiple case studies from the Fibre Box Association support this, repeatedly demonstrating that corrugated has proven performance and cost advantages in various supply chains. Below, we examine four corrugated advantages that can save you money.

    Corrugated Advantage – Product Protection

    The most obvious advantage to using corrugated packaging is product protection. When most people speak of shipping a product, they may refer to it as a cardboard box; however, they mean a corrugated box. The misnomer is pervasive outside the packaging industry. Cardboard is made from paperboard, think cereal box, while corrugated has corrugated fluting or medium sandwiched between liners. It is the fluting that provides cushioning protection.

    Structural rigidity and strength combined with cushioning protection of corrugated packaging mean that properly packaged boxes can withstand the rigors of being transported and handled while protecting their content. This means fewer damaged products, fewer returns, fewer disappointed customers, and long-term cost savings for you. A fully optimized box provides even greater protection.

    Corrugated Advantage – Customization

    A fully optimized box is customized to the product and its environment. Highly customizable corrugated can be designed in various shapes, sizes, styles, and levels of complexity. When designing your box, your corrugated packaging partner should have a complete understanding of the product – size, weight, fragility, packing method, shipping method (e.g., FedEx/UPS, palletized truckloads), and any additional needs (e.g., damp environment, mirrored surfaces, retail-ready).

    Corrugated can be designed using single, double, triple-walled with a variety or combination of flute sizes depending on the application. The designers will fit the box to your product (or several products) and reduce fill void. On top of offering optimal protection, it reduces the amount of material needed, which in turn reduces costs. This also reduced the DIM weight for reduced shipping costs.

    Corrugated packaging can also be designed around unitizing or palletization. This allows you to maximize the number of products per pallet and per truckload, reducing shipping costs.

    If you have multiple products, using one type of box for all may save you money in volume, but you will likely lose money in increased shipping and logistics costs, so a balance must be struck. An experienced corrugated partner can help you find that balance between optimizing none and optimizing all for the most significant cost-efficiency.

    For more details, see our e-book What is Custom Packaging and Do I need it?

    Corrugated Advantage – Marketing and Selling

    Corrugated boxes provide a blank canvas for branding opportunities. E-commerce and subscription boxes have seen growth in using the corrugated shipping box as a marketing tool. From simple logos to more elaborate designs, corrugated packaging provides an excellent marketing opportunity. Sometimes called packvertising, it is a low-cost way to capture your customer’s attention.

    Corrugated Advantage – Sustainability

    Corrugated packaging covers the three Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – and is a sustainable resource that often uses recycled material in its manufacturing process. Retailers are starting to require more sustainable packaging. Walmart, for example, has a Sustainable Packaging Playbook, which provides an overview of sustainable packaging best practices for its suppliers that suggests suppliers optimize packaging design, source sustainable materials, and support recycling.

    In addition, consumers are demanding more sustainable packaging. One survey showed that sixty-one percent of consumers expect clear sustainability practices from brands they buy from. Forty-five percent refused to purchase a product that didn’t have sustainable packaging, and about half said they had purchased a product because it had reusable or biodegradable packaging.

    Axis Corrugated Container – a Trusted Supplier

    As a trusted supplier of custom and standard die-cut, flexo, and specialty corrugated box and display products, we strive to deliver cost savings through optimized packaging and shorter lead times. We work to provide you with proper packaging, finding the perfect balance between material reduction and product protection. Our in-house ISTA testing lab can ensure your industrial box meets the strict shipping requirements for drop and vibration, so you can be sure your product will be protected.

    We would love to help you reduce your total packaging costs. Contact us to get started.


  4. 3 Ways Custom Corrugated Packaging Can Save You Money

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    Many buy off-the-shelf or generic boxes, thinking they are less expensive than custom corrugated packaging. But the reality is, these types of corrugated boxes might be costing them more in the long run.

    Corrugated packaging’s primary duty is to protect your product from damage during shipping and handling, but it doesn’t stop there. Proper packaging will reduce returns, excess inventory, material waste, packaging line inefficiencies, and shipping and handling costs. And it communicates directly to your customers.

    Minimize Damage

    If you have experienced packaging failure during the handling or transport of your product, you know firsthand the high costs associated with replacing damaged goods, returns, and compromised customer trust. Packaging failure is often the result of using the wrong packaging for your product.

    High-value, oversized, or oddly shaped products are most susceptible to generating higher costs long-term when generic packaging is used.

    When your packaging is optimized using scientific methods based on the product’s characteristics, such as size and weight, fragility, the package’s expected environment, damage to the product is minimized, as are the costs associated with lost product and shipping replacements.

    Reduce Shipping Costs

    Whether you ship via freight carriers or truckloads, there is room for savings with custom boxes.

    If you are in eCommerce and shipping via freight carriers such as FedEx, or UPS, or the USPS, you are charged dimensional (DIM) weight pricing, which takes into account package density to determine pricing. You pay the greater of the package weight or the calculated dimensional weight based on the box’s size. Reducing your box size and weight through customizing your packaging can reduce your DIM weight pricing.

    If you ship palleted products, customized packaging may allow you to get more products on a pallet. With off-the-shelf packaging, you fit fewer products per pallet and truck, which means more loads, more fuel, and higher shipping costs.

    Tell a Story to Your Customer

    It’s hard to assign a cost to customer trust. When a customer receives a product that was damaged in transit or through rough handling, the costs can be higher than replacement and shipping costs.

    Consider the customer’s experience: they have purchased or ordered a product with the expectation that it will arrive as presented or advertised. There may be a need or strong desire for the product – they are emotionally invested and anticipate using it. When they open it, and the product is damaged, they have a strong emotional reaction (disappointment, anger, sadness) that they will now associate with your brand. Even if you have excellent customer service and promise to do right by them, they must wait for a replacement and may find themselves further distancing from your brand because of the inconvenience. The likelihood they will share the experience with others is high.

    If you think you can overpackage to prevent customer disappointment, think again. Using excess packaging or the wrong sized packaging may get you put on a packaging fails list like this or this.  Consumers don’t like to see excessive packaging, and many will call you out in a very public way. If your packaging goes viral, it should be because it brings pleasure to your customers, not frustration. This type of publicity can cost you future customers.

    Trust Axis Corrugated as Your Custom Corrugated Packaging Partner

    If you are ready to see how custom corrugated packaging can save you money, talk to Axis Corrugated Container, a privately held, American -owned and -operated company. We will optimize your containers to protect your product, reduce material use, minimize wasteful fill-voids, and reduce DIM factors, ultimately helping you reduce costs.

    Our streamlined job workflow minimizes production costs and speeds job processing. Our logistical prowess enables us to reduce distribution time and costs substantially. Plus, we control the quality of every box or display we manufacture at all production stages, so you can be assured your boxes will meet your standards.

    Contact us to learn how we can help you.

  5. What Are Long Lead Times Costing You?

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    In 1988 George Stalk coined the term ‘time-based competition’ in his Harvard Business Review article “Time—The Next Source of Competitive Advantage.” The premise of this strategy is that companies that meet the needs of their customers and respond to market changes faster have a competitive advantage in the market. More than 30 years later, the principles of time-based competition still hold true. It may be cliché, but time is money.

    Many companies have implemented components of the time-based competition strategy, such as just-in-time production or other operational measures that reduce bottlenecks and eliminating time delays. However, the most competitive companies evaluate their entire supply chain to uncover challenges. Long lead times is one area that often creates challenges.

    In his article, Stalk says that traditional manufacturing requires long lead times because various jobs or activities require the same resources. The traditional model relies on sales forecasts to assist with production planning. Forecasts are, by definition, guesses and, despite the best intentions, inevitably wrong, increasing lead times further. Unscheduled jobs are then expedited, pushing out the scheduled jobs. To compensate for lead time delays, companies often over stock inventory.

    In the corrugated packaging industry, prospects and customers told us that their lead times were very long (averaging 8-weeks) or had been pushed out by previous vendors, particularly larger integrated suppliers. The lower volume pricing these types of packaging companies offer can be an enticement for some manufacturers. However, the spike in e-commerce over the past year and a half and an increased need for corrugated packaging have driven demand and impacted some packaging companies’ ability to deliver. For example, on their latest earnings calls, large integrated suppliers have discussed long backlogs and expressed challenges with determining when lead times will return to normal levels.  So, what once seemed like a great deal, suddenly wasn’t.

    The Cost of Long Lead Times

    When you look at the concept of time-based competition, you can see that any lead-time delays in your supply chain reduce your competitiveness in the market. It creates a snowball effect with production downtime and packaging line inefficiencies, and you pass the delay on to your customers, where you risk customer attrition and brand devaluation. When you do ship, you may have to pay for expedited shipping to placate your customer.

    To prevent this, increasing your inventory is an option, but there are costs associated with this, as well, such as the upfront investment in inventory, storage space, and inventory management costs. This leaves you with reduced cash flow and possible losses associated with obsolescence if not used and weakened boxes through improper storage (time, humidity). No matter how you view it, long lead times are impacting your bottom line.

    The Axis Corrugated Solution

    We understand the value of your time and strive to help you maintain your competitive advantage. Through operational efficiency and flexibility, we can provide you with faster lead times than the bigger guys. We reduce lead times through:

    • Our streamlined job workflow, which minimizes production costs and speeds job processing
    • Quick response to urgent orders and unusual packaging challenges
    • Our enormous inventory of corrugated boards and materials, which enable us to fulfill short turnaround and specialty orders quickly
    • Just-in-time delivery and next day turnarounds in many cases
    • Inventory management, ensuring you always have the boxes that you need
    • Improved logistics with our extensive fleet of trucks and dependable logistics partners

    Being a privately held company, we take great pride in every business relationship and will work hard to earn your trust. Contact us today to learn how we can reduce your lead times.

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