Contract packers rise to online shopping demands as new restrictions take hold

THE BCMPA has revealed that its members are responding to the latest Covid-19 restrictions after experiencing “significant growth” in their packaging, warehouse and logistics services.

The Association for Contract Manufacturing, Packing, Fulfilment & Logistics, said the latest lockdown period has ‘further intensified’ the move towards online sales and deliveries made direct to consumer (DTC).

The new restrictions are impacting retail shopping at a time of traditional seasonal demand peaks such as Black Friday and Christmas.

The BCMPA highlighted stats which revealed almost three quarters of UK consumers announced they would be avoiding shopping in stores this Christmas, and a report by Barclays predicting the busiest ever online retail season with sales already running 50% higher than this time last year.

To avoid the risk of being unable to service demands, many companies are employing third party contract packers and fulfilment houses. The BCMPA said outsourcing these elements helps to ‘spread the load’ and provide sufficient infrastructure, staff and space to make deliveries possible.

Rodney Steel, CEO of the BCMPA, said, “The pandemic has certainly sped up the change in consumer buying habits, driving demand away from the high street to online stores; at the same time, many brands have seen an opportunity to connect directly with customers, rather than relying on resellers. This change, however, often requires significant investment and infrastructure, which is where our members can help.

“Whether it be creating the Christmas and limited-edition gift packs that form part of our festive celebrations or the picking, packing and despatching of consumer goods from warehouse direct to homes, BCMPA members are able to provide a complete end-to-end service.”

The association also attributes the growth in online sales to other factors, including the opportunity for smaller brands to sell directly to consumers via e-commerce stores.

“Major brands usually have the firepower and finance to switch to new ways of selling, but for many smaller brands it can be unknown territory,” Steel added. “This is where outsourcing makes total sense, enabling businesses to tap into the expertise of our members across the supply chain to deliver their products to customers and at the same time ensuring they derive the full brand experience.

“The agility and responsiveness of our members makes them the perfect partners in this important part of the supply chain, and their efforts will provide the much needed help Santa will need to deliver Christmas on time.”