Lead times: It's never too early to start your custom packaging journey

Lead times: It's never too early to start your custom packaging journey

What Are Lead Times? Lead times refer to the period between the approval of a proof and the receipt of the first payment (depending on customer terms) and when the final product is delivered. In the context of custom packaging, this includes production, quality checks, and shipping. Lead times can vary based on the complexity of the packaging, quantity, and the current production queue.

Why Do Lead Times Exist? Several factors contribute to lead times in custom packaging:

  1. Print Plate Creation:
    • For new orders, creating print plates is an essential step that typically takes about a week. These plates are crucial for the printing process, ensuring high-quality and consistent results.
  2. Production Scheduling:
    • Manufacturing facilities operate on schedules that balance multiple orders. Your order will be slotted into the production queue based on the facility’s current workload and if there is a need to rush the order.
  3. Quality Assurance:
    • Ensuring that the packaging meets all quality and sustainability standards is a critical step. In some cases, like for pouches that need to meet certain barrier levels, this involves rigorous testing and inspections, adding to the overall lead time.
  4. Shipping and Logistics:
    • Once produced, the packaging needs to be shipped to your location. Shipping times can vary based on distance, customs clearance, and the shipping method chosen.

Planning for Lead Times To avoid last-minute stress, we recommend planning your packaging needs well in advance. Here are some tips:

  • Communicate your needs and goals: Provide detailed information about your current packaging solution, requirements and expectations. If you are uncertain about material choice, share your sustainability goals and budget and let our experts guide you through this process.
  • Get samples: Stock samples or samples of previous projects can arrive in just a few days! Custom samples can take a couple weeks, sometimes longer if barrier testing on products like pouches is required.
  • Start designing early: Begin the design process as soon as possible. This allows ample time for iterations and approvals. 

Rush Services: For those times when you need packaging quickly, rush services are available. These come at a premium but can significantly shorten the lead time. Rush services prioritize your order in the production schedule, often involving expedited shipping options as well.

Ready to start your custom packaging journey? Contact your EcoPackables support team today to discuss your needs and explore our range of sustainable packaging solutions. Whether you’re planning ahead or need rush services, we’re here to help you achieve your packaging goals.

Back to News