Packaging and Fulfilment Glossary (A - L)

Untitled design 19

There is ample of topic-specific vocabulary associated with packaging and fulfilment. We have decided to compile a list of important words to know for you to use as a reference. Today’s article features all packaging and fulfilment words from A – L.

3PL: a 3PL performs all logistics processes on behalf of a business including packaging, warehousing, delivery, inventory management, shipment tracking etc.

4PL: a 4PL does everything that a 3PL does but also manages the overall supply chain and often offers business advice and consultancy services.

Adobe Illustrator file: otherwise known as an AI file. Files created in Adobe Illustrator (a design programme by Adobe) will have a .ai extension. It’s only possible to open these files in Adobe Illustrator. These are often used by designers.

Biodegradable: A biodegradable material can be decomposed and broken down by bacteria and other organisms which means that they avoid polluting the environment and are eco-friendly.

Barcodes: Barcodes have machine readable data which contains information about the product. You can apply for universal barcodes before your packaging is designed.

Bleed: When printing packaging, a bleed might be used when your design goes to the edge of the material. Designers add a little bit of extra colour, pattern or design to the edge so that when your packaging is cut and adjusted to the right size there is a little bit of room for error. When printing you can sometimes choose whether to print with or without the bleed section.

Blister pack: a blister pack is pre-made plastic packaging for small goods. There are pockets (or ‘blisters’) made from plastic usually with an aluminium lid. The most common use is for pharmaceutical tablets.

Compostable: Compostable is similar but not quite the same as biodegradable. In fact, a compostable material requires a specific environment to break down, whilst biodegradable products break down naturally.

Contract packing: contract packing is another term for fulfilment services and is the operation of packing items for distribution.

CAD: CAD stands for computer-aided-design and is a design process using specific software to help the design element.

Coatings: coatings can be used on corrugated board to add a waterproof, anti-abrasion, or anti-corrosive protective layer.

CMYK: this stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key – the four colours used in printing. Every colour has a CYMK code used by printers to help match the right colours from your design to your packaging.

Corrugated packaging: corrugated packaging is a type of packaging that can be used for a huge variety of designs (despite common misconceptions). It is versatile and is used in many industries to create effective packaging designs.

Dimensions: dimensions are used when referring to packaging length, depth and height. You might hear your designers talking about different packaging dimensions.

Displays: displays are used in retail to promote different products. They are often made from corrugate and are an effective way of pushing sales.

Drop test: this is a test used to check the effectiveness of packaging in protecting items. This is often an important stage in testing packaging for potentially fragile items.

Dielines: dielines describes the flattened pattern of your product packaging.

Dropshipping: Dropshipping is a type of business model which allows businesses and companies to operate entirely without managing or directly owning inventory.

Emboss: embossed packaging usually has raised lettering or design which can be made by pressure dies, printing presses or rollers.

EPS: an EPS file is a file extension for a vector-based images. A vector file is a file that is mathematically correct so is used in design. In other words there are files used by designers that can be opened in a specific design based programmes such as Adobe programmes like illustrator.

Flute: flute paper is the central layer in corrugated cardboard. This provides strength and rigidity to corrugated packaging.

Fulfilment: fulfilment services are part of a 3PL. Find out more about our fulfilment services here.

Foam lining: a foam lining can help to protect the objects inside packaging. This is particularly useful for fragile objects.

GSM: this stands for grams per square meter and is a measurement frequently used in packaging.

Impact strength: how much a package can withstand when it has large impact.

Ink jet printing: a type of printing that puts tiny drops of ink into a letter, image, or number which are then sprayed onto the surface to be printed.

In-mould labelling: this is a process where pre-printed labels are put in the mould before the plastic, this means that the packaging does then not need to be decorated after it is created.

ISTA: the ISTA stands for the international safe transit association. It is a non-profit organisation that helps find shipping solutions that implement effective packaging and fulfilment systems.

Jigsaw packs: jigsaw packs are foam cushion packaging that slot together. They are used to protect fragile items.

Laser etching: a process where lasers engrave a design onto a material.


Back to Articles