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ANALYSISPACKING


Houston based Santini


Export Packing Corp neatly wraps this project cargo.


Wrapped up in their work


Faced with cheap but often ill-equipped and inexperienced competition, specialist packers are focusing on their ability to ‘add value’ for their clients in the project and heavy cargo sectors. Felicity Landon reports.


ood competition is good – but stupid competition just is not, asserts Dominick Cocciemiglio, president of the Illinois based industrial packing and crating specialist D/C Group. If a company is ‘buying in’ business, it can only go negative for a time, but the overall effect can be to push price expectations way below what is reasonable. “To become a packing operation, there are very few barriers to entry at the low end. You can buy power saws and a pneumatic nailer for USD2,000 and you are in the


G 110 July/August 2013


packing business – but you will be very limited in what you can do,” he said. “To be able to be a project packer, you need a big facility, and big equipment to match. You need the experience and capability to deal with project type items and oversize freight. “However, there will always be those trying to use prices to attract business into their facility, and customers are always pushing down costs. And there are people out there who, for whatever reason, are willing to risk a great deal in the effort to make money or save money.”


Cocciemiglio said that the take-up of the


low-end packing option depends on the type of customer. “We have customers that are incredibly astute and understand the rigours of shipping, especially to third world countries and for demanding sectors like mining. They want their stuff packed properly so it gets there and there are no issues.”


However, he added: “There are third-party logistics people typically offering crating services as an add-on. Packing to them is just one more profit centre; many have no idea about lifting and loads.” Some might be tempted to go for the cheaper option in the market where used equipment is being shipped to third world countries, he said. “But whether someone is buying a brand new million-dollar CNC (computer numerical control) machine or a ten-year-old piece of used equipment, if it is the same shape and size, we basically have to


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