6 Smart Ways to Vet Through Contract Packaging Companies

Picture of  Joan Simpson

Joan Simpson

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Contract packaging companies have become an integral part of many consumer goods companies, helping them fulfill packaging and warehousing needs. Contract packaging companies are well equipped to handle a wide range of needs that consumer goods companies face. By outsourcing your packaging needs, you not only reduce costs, but you open a new world of customization that is too expensive to have within your company.

Choosing the right contract packaging company can be difficult because there are a number of things to look at. In this article, I’ll walk you through elements that you need to ensure are in place before committing to outsourcing your packaging needs to a contract packaging company.

Understanding Your Needs

Before you start looking at qualities that make a particular contract packaging company great for you, you need to understand the needs of your company. Start with your current process and work your way to future predictions of your company. How do you see your product line change in the next 12 months or 3 years? Will you be introducing new products? Are you rebranding? Understanding where you are now and where your company is headed will help you quickly weed out packaging companies that don’t have the capability you’re seeking.

Contract Packaging Company Capability

The capability of the contract packaging company is one of the most important aspects you need to assess. Without it, all other aspects become trivial. You should assess the capability and capacity of the contract packaging company to deliver your product on time and efficiently. If you receive heavy volumes at certain times of the year, then you should also inquire about this surge so that you don’t get stuck at the busiest time for your company.


Location is not just important in real estate. When it comes to contract packaging companies, their proximity to you has a number of great benefits. Being close to you means that you can easily access the facility for walk-throughs and meetings. Although many contract packaging companies work just as well remotely, having the opportunity to visit the location and seeing first hand the workflow will greatly help you and your team visualize the process.


Cost is an important aspect to consider when looking to outsource your product packaging needs. Although it’s easy to go for a less expensive service, you may want to consider all the details related to pricing to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. While one company may offer you a lower price, another company may offer you a flexible schedule and more customization which may prove to be of more value than the lower price from the first company.

The contract packaging company should provide you with an itemized breakdown of the cost, volume, and other features so that you can analyze and make an informed decision about the service that best fits your needs. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for so choose carefully so that what you get is what you really need.


You need to understand how flexible or more rigid a contract packaging company is before committing to outsourcing your product packaging needs to them. In a perfect world, everything is perfect and there’s no need to make last-minute changes. However, the world we live in is full of imperfections that we need to plan for. A flexible contract packaging company will be able to handle some modifications or changes in fulfilling your project but it also depends on where they are in production.

Certifications & Licenses

Lastly, your product may require that a contract packaging company must have certain certifications or be licensed. Some certifications may not be required but show a commitment to zero or low carbon footprint, prevention of natural forests, or high sanitation standards. Ask for a list of current certifications and licenses to ensure that you stay in compliance with established regulations. Here are some well-known certification bodies that you may need to be in compliance with or may be good to have:

  • The Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
  • International Organization Of Standardization (ISO)


Outsourcing to contract packaging companies can open your company to a world of possibilities. The most important decision you’ll make is choosing the correct packaging company to outsource to. Use the ideas shared in this article to find out which contract packaging company is right for you.

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