The Packaging Dilemma; Pre-Assembled vs Assembly on Site

Hydropac Pre-Assembled v Self Assembly packaging

Pre-assembled packaging has a lot of merits, as it’s much more efficient to pack items in their containers for shipping straight off the bat, without the need to assemble the packaging before you can actually pack any items to be dispatched. That said, there are also cons to doing this, as buying in “flat pack” that can be assembled at the end location is often cheaper due to being able to buy in greater bulk for the same cost.


You may find that switching to self-assembly packaging saves initial outlay costs, as you will be able to buy in larger bulk orders that take up the same space as the equivalent in pre-assembled packaging.


Pre-assembled packaging can lead to higher or less efficient storage costs, especially for bigger items, as they take up more storage space than flat pack equivalents. Switching could save money in storage costs or improve the value by freeing up space for more pieces. That said, standard boxes and cartons can usually be stacked to save space.


Initial shipping costs may vary depending on whether you buy pre-assembled or self-assembly pieces, as they are calculated on shipping air used by space of product. Compact pieces may reduce the amount you pay to get them to your warehouse, or increase the amount you can ship for the same cost.

The same will apply when you ship them to the end user, especially if you are using pre-assembled cartons that may have a lot of empty space inside. Compact packaging may work out cheaper as it is typically easier to build to the size of the products you are sending.

Order Capacity

Using self-assembly packaging may limit your order capacity per hour, as it takes more time to assemble the packaging as well as load it and prepare it for dispatch. This time can in turn be impacted if staff require training, staff sickness etc. it is likely you will see higher order capacity when using pre-assembled packaging, although as technology improves, the majority of compact packaging pieces can be ready in seconds to fulfill an order.

Packaging Operations

Pre-assembled packaging does lead to speeder packaging operations all round, from initial order to final dispatch. This is partly because less training is required to train operatives to prepare the packaging when an order is received, and also because pre-assembled packaging is usually stacked in set sizes so it’s easy to select the best fit on first glance.

Size Options

Compact packaging may give less size options than pre-assembled, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a lot of products on the market can be sized as per the products to go inside, unlike pre-assembled cartons and boxes that may be shipped with a lot of empty space, and an additional protective packaging requirement.

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Knowledgebase Packaging branche