The Great Packaging Presentation and The Crushed Product Fail

Pablo Curutchet Massive Cardboard Box Man

On Monday December 9th Allen and I attended the 14th NY Hardware Startup Meetup at NYC Alley. Disclaimer: MakeSimply is a sponsor of the NY Hardware Startup Meetup. It was a well attended event. There was not an empty seat in the house, It was standing room only. One of the presentations that stood out, for me, was one given by Ryan Vinyard from Lime Lab/Highway1. His presentation reminded me of an article I read awhile ago that described a first time hardware entrepreneur that had a packaging fail. It also reminded me of a presentation Allen and I gave at MakeIT NYC.

“Stacking one pallet on top of another crushed them”

He had a great Kickstarter. He met his goal and then some. The entrepreneur did not take into account the logistics, package labeling and kit packaging. These things are often forgotten. It is sad actually. You designed a great product. You worked very hard to find a factory. You shopped around the BOM. The product is coming off the assembly line. It passes quality control. You designed the packaging, but you left out the design of the kit packaging.  This is where experts with import/export experience come in handy. They know what labels to use to place on the boxes so they are stacked properly. They know what packaging works best depending on method of transport of the product from point A to point B. They there is the amount of product per package that has to be calculated. Calculations are done on how many product will fit in the carton, how much will fit on a pallet and then how much will be in a container. Then there are these costs to consider:

  1. Container freight cost
  2. Packaging Cost
  3. Documentation handling cost
  4. Harbor Maintenance fee
  5. Fuel Surcharge
  6. Duty Cost

After you have calculated all of this, then you know how much your product costs to build and get to your customer. I would not recommend including shipping unless you have a deal with a shipper or fulfillment.  If you don’t have an agreement you will be paying a lot more money for the shipping, taxes and tariffs if you are shipping internationally. Until next time.

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