5 MYTHS ABOUT CHINESE PACKAGING BY ZBIGNIEW ROGALSKI OWNER OF AREXIM PACKAGING!
I trade with Chinese packaging since 2007. And it is quite a story, which I would like to share with all who are interested in packaging business.
With consideration not only for amount of years I spent treading with Chinese but also for a quantity of orders (more than 1000) which I made over this time,
as well as a differentiation of packaging I purchased from them; I think that it gives me the right to judge Chinese market and give some feedback,
as well as, a piece of advice to other people in packaging business.
Lower pricing compare to European high quality packaging is rather myth than the truth.
The average difference in price between Chinese and European packaging right now is about 15-20% for comparable packaging.
I mean packaging like jars, tubes, bottles, dispensers – not simple pumps, triggers , sprayers etc. 10 years ago the difference was huge – but now Chinese production cost has highly changed and their internal market for high quality packaging is competitive to export too; one – 1 billion people market can pay more than we can even imagine.
Terms of delivery.
Don’t you think that the delivery time from China is longer than from Europe?
It is a myth! Especially that nowadays European manufacturers offer lead time for about 12-14 weeks or even longer during high season.
One big player putting order in middle size factory can make you wait for your packaging even 10 weeks longer. Which can cause a huge problem.
Standard production time from China , for an average order is 4 weeks, with no difference based on order quantity , season etc.
Chinese flexibility in production size positively surprise me.
All logistic matters through the sea takes next 5-6 weeks to get to Hamburg. In total packaging delivery to our warehouse from China takes 10 – 11 weeks,
and this time its shorter than stuff from Italy or Germany. More over delivery by train takes now only 35-45 days with all procedures what cuts time significantly.
It happened to be problematic only if you don’t book train space earlier.
Thankfully I am able to judge this aspect based on our Control Quality reports – in 2015 – 2017 claims (reclamation) for 418 Ordered parties in China was 28,
what is 6,6% at the same time for European packaging we had 3081 orders and 131 we had to send back.
Communication and culture.
I can confidently say that about 70% of all deals we’re operating through our office in Shanghai – is going smooth, the rest 30 %
of the orders we’re managing ourselves directly through English speaking Chinese sales managers.
Both communicational models are good, even for managing complicated orders, such as, printed packaging, or matching colors.
We didn’t notice troubles with understanding each other with our Chinese partners, even though sometimes our request were very specific and complicated.
Quantity, materials, variety – original shapes of products. If someone would ask me, how I think about European production vs Chinese,
I would say that Europe is an elderly conservative lady, with a charm and elegance but with no courage to try new things. While China is a modern,
proactive and innovative, young entrepreneur. Why I think like this? The answer, its simple, if someone has a great idea for cap free, out of ordinary shape jar ,
this person needs to be ready to pay cost around 50-100k Euro production investment, 6-8 month waiting time, or in some cases,
European company will start the production of new shape if one can guarantee order over 1 mln pieces.
If you can fulfill these terms, than you can order, so call customs mould, from European producer. Otherwise you have no option,
but to choose from 5-10 years old shapes – with modern finishing – stamping, frosting, lacquering, or other ways to change how it looks,
in order be a little different than your competition.
Or… you can turn for help to Chinese market and launch a new product every year. In your new fresh and never seen before design.
How is this possible? Chinese market is huge and competitive. Chinese producers are not afraid that investments will not return.
They know that to stay afloat , they have to risk and stay innovative. The factor which is important is that production tools are cheaper than in Europe,
and the time of preparing moulds is two times shorter. Also nobody will ask you about annual quantity – mould cost, or production risks.
Attention To Detail.
All big problems have small causes. The biggest challenge with buying Chinese packaging is to know important details during ordering and how this small things
( raw material, printing method, masterbatch , etc) can influence the final result on the production line.
Right now the biggest challenges of cooperation with Chinese producers is in these details – working in different standards or small misunderstanding here and there.
This is the main difference in comparison of European and Chinese producers standards.
However as Arexim Packaging through the years we developed very successful ways of communication with our valuable Chinese partners,
and I hope that so will you!
Best of luck!