Packaging vs. Packing: What is the Difference?

Crownhill Packaging > Blog > Crownhill Packaging Tips > Packaging vs. Packing: What is the Difference?
Posted by: Crownhill
Category: Crownhill Packaging Tips, Packaging Solutions

Do you know the difference between packing and packaging an item?

While many of us easily use these terms interchangeably, there are some situations where they may be used incorrectly and cause confusion, especially in a business or shipping context. In fact, being aware of the nuances between these two terms can actually help align your organization and its approach to logistics for the better.

In this article, we will explore the differences between ‘packing’ and ‘packaging’, highlighting how they aim to achieve distinct objectives for a business. Read on to learn more!

What is Packing?

Packing is a simple yet important step when it comes to shipping items. Generally, packing refers to the process of making sure an item is secured and safe for shipping. This might involve putting it in a box, adding protective materials to cushion it from damage, or using a wrap or tape to seal it.

Here is another way to explain the meaning of packing.

Let’s imagine a product you have ordered has arrived in the mail. The packed area outside of the item you purchased would represent the packing materials used to ensure its safe delivery. These materials are typically discarded once opened and include:

Now that we have defined what we mean by packing, let’s explore more about its purpose below.

The Purpose of Packing

The goal of packing is to make sure items are prepared for shipping so that they will arrive in good condition.

You will most likely encounter the term ‘packing’ among the couriers or distributors shipping your product. In this context, successful packing can be measured with many different metrics, including customer ratings on the shipping experience and a product’s condition upon arrival.

The packing process becomes most important when shipping fragile items, as they are highly susceptible to damage from knocks, drops and shakes. Similar packing processes apply to sensitive products like medicinal or food products, which may use advanced types of packing that help regulate environmental conditions like temperature or humidity.

Despite being focused on just one objective, packing a product successfully is not as simple as it may appear and plays a crucial role in the customer experience. Ensuring a product is well packed is essential to prevent damage that does accidentally occur during transit, regardless of your choice of courier.

What is Packaging?

Now let’s look at what packaging means and how it differs from packing.

The main difference with packaging is that it is much more multi-dimensional than packing an item. While you might use similar supplies to protect your product from damage, like boxes and wrapping materials, packaging is about adding more value to the product or to the consumer as well.

Let’s explore what packaging aims to achieve below.

The Purpose of Packaging

Although packaging is often used to refer to the idea of safely securing a product, it has a much more diverse meaning compared to packing. Similar to the packing process, packaging can involve using materials to securely hold an item in place, but it also aims to achieve multiple business objectives across several areas.

One of these areas is your business’ product design. Though packing a product serves a simple but crucial purpose of keeping an item well-protected for shipping, packaging seeks to elevate the product and the consumer experience. Indeed, a product’s packaging naturally complements its design and is often jointly considered at the early stages of a product design process.

Compared to packing materials, packages and their materials aim to add additional value for the consumer’s benefit. Packaging often features aspects like:

  • Branding. Packaging often features a business’ logo, slogan and branded color scheme to help increase a consumer’s affinity with a product, particularly when they first receive and open it.
  • Customization. Packaging can be tailored to a particular group of users, such as when the consumer wishes to gift the item to another person. They may also be customized for limited product releases or to boost seasonal sales, such as the holiday season.
  • Labeling. Labels serve multiple purposes for packaging. They may provide important packaging information, like safety instructions, contact details or nutritional facts. Labels can also be used to advertise other products in the business or be used as part of a marketing strategy, such as competitions.

Because of this focus on visual appeal and design, packaging also benefits your marketing and branding efforts. This is because consistent, branded packaging can make packaged products much more appealing, giving them a distinct identity that adds to your buyers’ purchasing experience.

In many cases, a business may present the product inside packaging on its storefront or, if sold via e-commerce, on its online store. This can boost a product’s appeal and help attract key influencers or reviewers in your product’s domain. A powerful example of this are unboxing videos or photos, where influencers capture and share their experience of opening the product’s packaging for the first time to potentially millions of possible buyers online.

In summary, packaging goes further than packing to support a business’ wider goals. While packing is focused solely on securing a safe transit of an item, packaging is often integrated into a product’s design and promotion to add extra value for the consumer.

Crownhill Packaging Has Got You Covered for All of Your Packaging Needs

If you are looking for packaging supplies or solutions for your business, consider getting in touch with Crownhill Packaging. As a leader in the packaging space, we champion innovation and deliver the very latest in packaging technologies, including environmentally-responsible options. So whether you are seeking simple yet effective packing materials or want expert advice on elevating your product’s packaging, you can rely on us to find the best options available for you.

To learn more about how we help your business package your products efficiently and effectively, contact our team today.

Skip to content