Things to Consider While Searching for Packaging Suppliers in China


插图1.jpgChinese packaging industries are growing and also gaining global acclamation. Now, China is slowly becoming the packaging hub for many companies all across the globe. Many foreign companies from western countries like the UK, US and many other developed countries have now started sourcing their packaging from China.

A few of these companies are satisfied with Chinese suppliers while quite a few are disappointed. The reality is that plenty of packaging companies exist in China, but all these companies may differ in the service quality they offer. A few of them are reputated and offer quality service, while a few have not been so quality conscious.

There are several things to consider while looking for any packaging sourcing in China. Whether your purpose of packaging is for your brand or simply sourcing China stocks and wish that your products must be supplied in a certain nice branded box, you need to ask a few questions to yourself for finding the perfect fit.

A few benefits of packaging

  • Offers physical protection from any damage that may cause due to various reasons e.g., extreme temperatures, vibration, dropping, electrostatic discharge, etc. Besides, it will prevent contamination by certain things like humidity or dust that can harm your electronics product from China.

  • Offers helpful protection for your small accessories or items that may commonly come with consumer products of today, like mobile phones.

  • Offers your goods a certain line of defence against tampering if anyone ever tries to tamper them during the transit.

  • Assists distribution and warehousing personnel by including features like a handle or any stackable form.

  • In a few cases, the packaging has a premium finish and design that reflects well about the vendor with their customer. Also, it may be created from any sustainable materials that can be more important to today’s consumers.

So, while planning on such packaging sourcing from China, it is important to be careful while choosing your supplier. The following are a few important considerations to be taken into account before you select your packaging suppliers.

What are your quality needs?

First, you must consider while looking for any packaging supplier is formulating your box specifications e.g., what thickness of cardboard will you need, or whether you want to offer a premium feeling by using film laminate or certain special varnish?

There can be many different quality standards that you can get at different prices, so your first step will be to set your budget and then decide what quality you can accommodate.

What quantity will you need?

In the United States or the European Union, you may encounter offers with minimum quantities. That is normally reserved for conventional printed boxes or those with a high price tag.

Custom boxes suggest that machines will be calibrated, which usually translates into a higher base charge. There is a chance you can obtain less than 500 pieces of boxes for a reasonable price.

While sourcing China suppliers, particularly where labour costs are lower, finding modest quantities at a reasonable price may be easier. Even after hard bargaining, the lowest price we could find on the market was 500 boxes.

Quantities for specific packaging, such as poly-mailers, are substantially greater, ranging from 3000 - 5000, owing to machine calibration.

Where packaging has to be delivered?

Packaging sourcing in China becomes interesting only in 2 cases:

a.     You must source your products from China and get them packed in a certain branded box. China will be a perfect source in that case, as you can save your import duties from China and quite a few providers may also offer completely free delivery within China.

b.     You prefer your box to be transported in some other country and you don’t take any responsibility for shipping delays. In that case, you need not search for any cheaper Chinese packaging company.

You may also go for expensive air delivery. Both can be a cheaper solution for any heavy package, but delivery may take up as high as two months.

Will your box fit your product?

The size of packaging is important. One risk of not providing a sample of the product to be packaged that it may not fit properly within your boxes. In case, your boxes are very big, in that case you can easily find a solution by using shredded papers for protecting your product.

However, you will be screwed if your box happens to be smaller.

Therefore, the best solution would be always send a sample of the product to your Chinese packaging supplier so that they can check whether your products fits properly in the box.

Do you have any ecological concerns?

Many people these days prefer ecological packaging as their part of marketing effort. Some may not however, when they realize how dirty any packaging industries are then they will spend more amount time to search for a recycled material packaging solution.

Are you familiar with Chinese people?

Most Chinese people are known for doing hard work, and they can also be tough in doing business. Because of the cultural difference, a majority of Chinese people are lost in translation.

While sourcing a commodity is a simple transaction, handling any printed work from another country can be a headache due to the numerous factors to consider.

Will you really need any sample?

When ordering a large number of boxes, the first thought that comes to mind is "Show us a sample." It is natural that you want to see and also touch something before placing a purchase order. If you want a sample mailed to another country, it will normally cost roughly $40.

While you may be able to acquire free samples in your own country for conventional boxes, bear in mind that if your box will be custom, you will be responsible for the international shipment cost and machine calibration. On top of that, there is the lead time.

Digital samples are available from several Chinese providers. It is a good approach to gain a sense of quality and a visual check of your final product. As you will be receiving photographs via the internet, the lead time will be significantly shortened.

Poly-mailers are an excellent way of sending products that are consistent with your brand.

Will you need photoshoots?

People packaging sourcing in China frequently never see the boxes they purchase, as they can either be drop-shipped or transported to a fulfilment centre like Amazon.

In these situations, requesting a box photoshoot is beneficial. You may even have your product shipped to factories for a professional photograph of both the product and the packaging.

插图2.jpgWill you need any extra branding items?

Obtaining a box can be the best way to promote your product. What will happen next? There are a variety of other marketing tools, you can employ to boost your sales. Stickers, flyers, and discount cards, to name a few...

Make sure you choose a service provider who can meet all of your requirements. You should not waste time coordinating shipping and packaging from many vendors, it is difficult enough as it is.

Whether your design is ready?

Always the biggest issue remains while printing is that often there can be several exchanges between the printing team and you. Design has to be adapted as per the specifications of the printer, colours must be calibrated, and dimensions has to be respected so that finally you will get a perfect quality printing.

It is already very difficult with a supplier even from your own country, if you have to provide a certain design from your part and to expect to handle all that with any Chinese suppliers, naturally you might often be in a very tough situation.

Whether Chinese suppliers understand your requirements completely?

A biggest problem that most companies of the western countries face while packaging sourcing from China will be the communication problem. Under the fierce competitive environment, most suppliers in China, will tend to say either “yes” or “ok” while describing your requirement.

All they are interested is to grab your order first rather than understanding your actual needs. Therefore, when you explain all your needs to any supplier, you must make sure that your requirements are fully understood by your supplier. Never presume anything here, rather ask them to repeat what they have understood.

Ask the supplier a few questions to see if he/she understands what you are saying. Request that your supplier gives you written confirmation of the order and specifications.

Read over it to see if you and the supplier are at same wavelength. If he, does it right, then it means he fully comprehended your specifications. Many packaging companies make mistakes as they do not fully comprehend their clients' requirements.

Quality versus price

When looking for any packaging firm in China, one most significant element that practically every company examines is service price. There is nothing wrong with looking for a low-cost option.

However, you must avoid trading price for quality. Nothing excellent comes cheap, as the saying goes. If you are serious about superior packaging, it will cost you a little more money, which you may get back when you start selling your goods.

You will discover that some businesses will charge you nearly nothing for any service that should cost you a small lot. The fact is that these low-cost packaging providers do not deliver high-quality packaging.

Packaging is expensive in and of itself since it necessitates the use of expensive materials. As a result, there is no way a packing company can charge you less than the cost of the materials needed. If any company charges a low price, it will simply mean that it will utilise inferior materials to perform the services, implying that you may or may not receive excellent service.

Also, there is the problem of hidden fee. Some firms may not include all of the charges that you would incur for your services in their quotes. They will slowly begin to solicit cash for some thing or the other as you close your deal with them.

The issue of cheap price will be the issue of project abandonment. There have been reports of packaging businesses failing to meet a project's criteria or quitting it in the middle of the process merely because they must have undercharged it.

Hence, low prices should be avoided. When you receive a quote, spend some time studying it and comparing it to quotes from other companies. If there are notable variances, you must determine why these differences exist.

Whether Chinese suppliers are professional enough?

A reputable packaging supplier should demonstrate expertise and knowledge of the industry. A dependable and knowledgeable supplier knows very well what will work best for a specific product.

He can provide sound advice and solutions based on his extensive business knowledge and the nitty-gritty of any packaging requirements. Take notice of the supplier's attitude when you contact them and explain your expectations.

Is he able to provide you sound advice or better approaches to suit your packaging needs? Is he perplexed by the packaging terms or does he demonstrate command of them? The factors listed above will assist you in determining the level of professionalism of your supplier with whom you are interacting.

If you are interacting with someone online, you will want to think about how quickly they respond to your questions and offer solutions. The fact is that not every person who purports to be a good supplier is actually a packaging specialist.

Some companies only source for projects and then outsource them to another organisation or business. As a result, while asking questions or making inquiries, the individual will take much longer than usual to respond since he will need to consult with industry experts to figure out what should they tell you.

插图3.jpgHowever, a real and knowledgeable vendors understand what you require and will provide timely response and sensible recommendations to assist you in meeting your packaging needs.


The purpose of different packaging types can differ, for example, they can either be purely functional or can also be mostly customer experience. In most cases, your packaging will really be an important part of your product. Therefore, it should never be decided at the end. Often consumers can assess your product quality by looking at the packaging itself.

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