Bernard Lab: Navigating Lubricant Packaging Challenges

October 4, 2023
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In the world of lubricants, packaging plays a crucial role, and it has undergone significant transformations over the years. The evolving landscape is shaped by various factors, including material availability, cost fluctuations, advancements in packaging components, and the growing emphasis on sustainability within the lubricants industry. So, what’s the deal with lubricant packaging, and how are these factors influencing it?

According to the source, “What’s the Deal with Lubricant Packaging?” by Lubes’n’Greases Magazine, lubricant packaging has necessarily evolved over the years as materials availability has wavered, costs have risen, different types of packaging components have become available, and more functional designs have been developed. All of these elements are joined by an ever-increasing emphasis on sustainability that has permeated the lubricants industry.

One of the primary challenges faced by lubricant producers is the wavering availability of materials. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains across nearly every industry, including lubricants. Even when manufacturers managed to secure enough raw materials for their lubricant blends, they encountered difficulties in sourcing the appropriate packaging, such as drums and totes, to transport their products to customers.

Steel drums, a common choice for lubricant packaging, became particularly scarce due to a global shortage of steel sheet. According to Paul Rankin, President of the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association, this scarcity can be attributed, in part, to import policies implemented during the Trump Administration and continued under the Biden Administration in the United States.

While tariffs were replaced by a quota system for European steel imports, the supply of steel remained insufficient, causing concerns. The issue seems to persist, with steel shipments arriving slowly or not at all due to import quotas. As Rankin notes, this situation is likely to endure for the foreseeable future.

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Photo and article with all rights reserved, courtesy of lubesngreases.com