Travel broadens the mind…
The 2023 event was particularly important given the challenges of the last few years. This was the first time it has been held since 2017, with the 2020 event cancelled due to Covid restrictions. For our General Manager Kylie Taylor and Business Manager Jed Goudie, the trip proved enormously rewarding.
“Interpack is the world’s leading trade fair for the packaging industry,” said Kylie. “It was critical we attended to ensure that we can stay ahead of innovations and understand what is going on in the broader packaging space around the world. It’s also a fantastic forum for us to connect with all our international suppliers in one place.”
Experiencing new international trends up close was especially helpful for how our company plans for the future.
“There has been significant investment in supply chain resilience over the last few years,” said Jed. “It’s not just that automated solutions are reducing the reliance on manual labour – it’s that machines are being designed with standardised rather than proprietary parts, and consumable producers are adding additional production lines to meet future contingency.”
It should be no surprise to hear that the other significant investment area is in sustainability, with paper-based, PIR, PCR and cutting edge virgin films on display at the fair.
“There is a lot of talk around sustainability and recycled content product. There is already progress in these spaces in the European market and over time these will seep through into other areas of the globe,” said Kylie.
“What we can do in NZ now is continue to think outside the square and work with our client base on ways to deliver the best outcomes from an environmental perspective.”
“The major takeaway is the need to have a holistic view on any changes ensuring we get the best outcome for the environment, transport safety and meeting the performance requirements of the operation,” said Jed. “It was good to see we’re well positioned to add value for our customers as they focus on both supply chain resilience and the environment.”
“The major takeaway is the need to have a holistic view on any changes ensuring we get the best outcome for the environment, transport safety and meeting the performance requirements of the operation.”
The trip proved invaluable both for “reconnecting with so many people and meeting plenty of new faces” said Jed.
Kylie and Jed were able to meet face-to-face with the Ergopack team – a German agency that Universal has recently secured a partnership with. We look forward to demonstrating their equipment at Foodtech Packtech in September.
Our UP representatives were also impressed by another partner, with TG Stretch’s exhibit of a mobile load containment centre a crowd-pleaser.
“They had a truck fitted out with an acceleration bench and a pallet wrapper,” said Jed, “It’s an ideal resource for the onsite analysis of pallets, ensuring goods can be packaged and tested in real-world conditions. They (TG Stretch) are really front footing the charge in load containment innovation.”
This technology was only the tip of the iceberg when it came to the week-long show. With so much to see, and so much inspiration and innovation to deliver back to New Zealand, the trip proved well worth the wait.