There is a great article that I came across in the Aluminum in Transportation website that talks about the advantages of using aluminum in the transportation industry.
We’re aluminum packaging people but many of the advantages the article points out are as relevant to packaging as they are to transportation. I wanted to focus on two points in the article:
- Aluminum allows manufacturers to maintain or increase the size of their SUVs while reducing weight by up to 20 percent
- Aluminum can compete successfully with less costly materials because of the advantages it brings in primary and secondary weight saving, structural performance and design flexibility
In my previous post, I pointed out aluminum’s weight advantages vs. glass and plastic from a simple layman’s perspective. From a manufacturer’s point of view, reducing weight by 20% makes aluminum a lot easier and cheaper to handle in both manufacturing and physical distribution. Its structural strength also makes possible lower breakage rates in handling across the supply chain. Many manufacturers sometimes overlook this weight advantage, focusing too much on the initial costs.
Manufacturers can potentially ship more products per pallet-load or container-load using aluminum packages instead of glass or steel. That makes for savings that could be significant.
Going back to my layman’s perspective, this weight advantage has practical value for the end user. I can lug a lot more beer, wine, whiskey in aluminum bottles when I go to my next picnic. And I don’t have to worry about breaking them.
I think I’ll do another experiment. I’m going to load up two coolers – one with aluminum bottles and another with glass bottles. Then I’ll compare the overall weight and number of bottles in each cooler. I suspect the cooler with aluminum bottles wins 🙂