Packaging 101: The Complete Guide

Meet Kyla Moore, the dynamic project coordinator at Arka, who is driven by her passion for sustainable packaging. She is dedicated to assisting businesses.

What Does a Packaging Engineer Do?

The list of duties that packaging engineers have is actually quite long. The first task he must accomplish is communicating with the client. With appropriate communication, a packaging engineer can determine his client's needs. Despite ensuring visually appealing packaging designs, the packaging engineer must ensure the package is strong enough to protect the product. Combining all these demands requires a set of skills that only a small number of people have.

To make things clearer for you, we made a list of obligations that people involved in packaging engineering have. They are:

Choosing the best design for the package

The purpose of the packaging is to promote the product. Yet, it also serves as a great brand identity booster. That’s why packaging engineers must explore the market and determine what the target audience expects. Also, the design must be compatible with the values and storyline of the brand.

Material selection

There are two reasons why selecting packaging materials is very important. First, the packaging must be strong enough to protect the product. That means he has to ensure the product is not damaged during the shipping procedure. Less damaged products ensure a higher level of satisfaction of the customers. Yet, they also reduce the return rate, which results in higher costs.

packaging engineer

Credits: ThisisEngineering


The selection of materials will also ensure lower investments in the packaging. Also, the packaging engineer can think of the best ways to customize the packages to achieve the same goal. By doing that, he can help businesses achieve better profit margins.

Sustainability Considerations

Today, people demand sustainable packaging that is less harmful to the planet than usual. That is why packaging engineers must focus on analyzing sustainable packaging materials. Fortunately, they are all easily customizable and accessible. That task does not make the entire packaging engineering procedure more challenging.

Law Considerations

All the packages businesses use must comply with law regulations. These regulations are sometimes strict, especially for the food and beverage industry.

• Testing and Validation

Ultimately, the packaging engineer must test and approve the quality of each package that gets out of the warehouse. It must be confirmed that all the standards planned before that are met. Without validation of packaging quality, consequences could be terrifying.

The Skill Set of a Packaging Engineer

After explaining all the duties of packaging engineers, it is important to highlight the skill set you need to have for this position. These skills are:

• Design proficiency;

Being familiar with the features of every packaging material;

Technical Aptitude;

Market awareness and being familiar with the latest trends in a particular industry;

Marketing skills.

packaging engineers

Credits: Remy Gieling

Does a packaging engineer need to have a bachelor’s degree? Yes, but the good thing is that there are multiple universities people can attend to work in such a position. The first option is to get a degree in engineering or science. However, it is also possible to get such a job if you have a bachelor’s degree in design, marketing, and similar fields.

Speaking of personal skills, they are also crucial for this job position. Packaging engineers must possess problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities. Also, these individuals must be flexible. The entire packaging design procedure involves a lot of people. They will have to collaborate with different characters. Without flexibility, that won’t be possible.

Why You Should Work with a Packaging Engineer: Key Benefits

Working with a packaging engineer can benefit businesses involved in product manufacturing, distribution, and retail. Here are some key advantages:

• Expertise and Experience: Packaging engineers are specialized in designing, testing, and optimizing packaging solutions. They understand the complexities of different materials, manufacturing processes, and industry regulations, ensuring your products are packaged safely and efficiently.

Cost Savings: Packaging engineers can help reduce material waste, optimize packaging designs for better space utilization, and find cost-effective solutions without compromising quality leading to long-term cost savings.

Enhanced Branding and Presentation: Packaging engineers can collaborate with marketing teams to create packaging designs that enhance your brand's identity and improve the product's presentation on shelves.

packaging engineer creativity

Credits: Andrew Measham

Innovation and Creativity: Packaging engineers bring creativity and innovative thinking and stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in the packaging industry. So they can offer fresh ideas to improve your packaging strategy.

Efficient Supply Chain Management: Unique and optimal packaging designs can lead to better space utilization during transportation, reducing shipping costs and minimizing the carbon footprint. This also helps improve logistics efficiency and streamline supply chain operations.

Packaging Engineer in Different Industries

All the tasks that packaging engineers have highlighted in the previous part. Yet, the way they work also depends on different factors. One of the factors is in which industry the business he is working with/for is involved. There are 4 different industries in which packaging engineering is a crucial process. Continue reading for more info!

Packaging Engineer in Ecommerce Industry

Without any doubt, selling products online comes with many benefits. Unfortunately, it also has some disadvantages. One of them is a lack of physical contact with entrepreneurs. The first physical contact between the brand and the buyer is made when the product reaches the home address. More precisely, the first thing consumers see in person is the package. Because of that, ecommerce packaging has become a crucial marketing tool that tells the brand's story and boosts its awareness.

Due to a new way of product purchasing, packing engineers now have a crucial role in this industry. Today, even secondary packaging needs to look amazing. Its purpose is to ensure an amazing unboxing experience. That is the reason why packaging engineers must closely collaborate with the marketing section and designers of every business. Altogether, they must find the best way to customize the package and boost the product's value that way.

ecommerce packaging and packaging engineers

Credits: Anirudh

Packaging Engineer in Pharmaceutical Industry

The visually-appealing packaging design may not be the main focus of packaging engineers. The pharmaceutical industry comes with stricter rules regarding packaging that need to be met. That is the reason why packing engineers must focus more on law considerations and control of packages. Mistakes must be completely avoided with medical products. Not storing them properly may boost the side effects of most pharmaceutical products.

Packaging Engineer in the Food Industry

Packaging engineers must be multi-practical if they work in the food industry. Logically, the packaging must be fantastic and highlight the main benefits of the food inside. Yet, these packages also need to have proper labeling that is required by the law.

Ultimately, the quality of the food must remain untouched. That requires in-depth knowledge of all the materials that can achieve that goal. At Arka, we offer top-quality custom food boxes that help brands build customer trust and increase awareness.

food packaging

Credits: Calico

Packaging Engineer in the Electronics Industry

Most electronics people purchase today are expensive. Unfortunately, they can easily break and stop working during the shipping procedure. Packaging engineers must ensure proper protection for them.

Also, these designs usually contain some futuristic elements due to the target audience's demands. Instructions on using the electronics also must be highlighted on the package. All of these things require a high level of creativity. Many elements must not make the packaging look monotonous. Close collaboration with designers is essential here!

At Arka, we offer premium quality custom shipping boxes that ensure the safe delivery of your products.

Packaging Engineer Considerations

There is a good reason why we said that packaging engineers must be good at decision-making. There are many doubts and considerations they meet while accomplishing every project. Some of the main considerations each one has are:

Clear communication with all the sectors within the business, such as design and marketing,

Collaborative approach; ready to accept the opinions of others and try to be as friendly as possible

Timeline; organizing all the tasks properly to meet all the deadlines established by the client

Budget; turning all of his ideas into reality must stay within the budget

custom boxes

We understand that some people want to take care of these tasks independently. Hiring a packing engineer would be a much better solution. Yet, if you are ready to take risks, here are some of the common questions an average packaging engineer asks himself:

What are the most important features of the packaging? Is it design or protection?

Which law regulations the packaging has to meet?

How to ensure the quality of the packaging and meet all the standards while staying within budget?

How to ensure a package that will remain compatible with the sustainable policy of the brand?

What are the packaging trends within the industry? How to upgrade them and remain unique?

Where can I find packaging suppliers that will meet all of my requirements?

Emerging Trends in Packaging Engineering

A professional packaging engineer must follow the latest packaging engineering trends. That probably is one of the most complex considerations of all. Fortunately, everything about these trends is transparent. Some of the most emerging trends are:

• Sustainable Packaging Solutions

As stated on this page, sustainability has become the demand of many people. Packaging engineers must turn their design ideas into reality with sustainable materials in mind. Some of them are extremely strong and durable and ensure appropriate product protection. Being familiar with the features of different eco-friendly materials is mandatory for a packing engineer.

Smart Packaging

Thanks to advanced technology, some high-tech elements can be part of any packaging design. These packages are most popular in the electronics industry and ensure a better unboxing experience. They look futuristic!

arka packaging

Minimalistic Design

Simple products require simple designs. For some products and industries, it is unnecessary to experiment with artistic designs or a variety of colors. It will be enough to use a one-color packaging and put the business’s logo on it.


Personalization always boosts the value of the product and makes a strong connection between brands and buyers. Most packaging engineers add personal notes or messages inside the box. That way, they want to ensure an even better unboxing experience and potential word-of-mouth marketing.

Final Thoughts

We are glad you got all the answers to the “What is a packaging engineer” question; as you see, the responsibilities of a packaging engineer can be complex. There are a lot of things these individuals must put into consideration. One of their tasks is to find a good packaging supplier. That’s why getting in touch with Arka would be a wise move!

Our team can ensure larger quantities of packages for a fair price. All of our packages are made of sustainable materials. We create custom boxes for any niche; whether you need custom retail boxes or candy boxes, we are here to help!

Thanks to our knowledge and equipment, we can customize packages in all possible ways. Also, thanks to our experience in branding and packaging, we can provide hints on how the quality of the packaging be better. Let’s chat!

FAQs on Packaging Engineer

Is a packaging engineer’s role limited to just designing boxes?

No, there are many other considerations that packaging engineers have. They must select the packaging materials wisely, find the appropriate supplier, ensure that packaging complies with all regulations, etc.

Are packaging engineers only focused on the external appearance of the packaging?

No, they are involved in all the design procedures, including the ones dedicated to internal appearance, labeling, etc.

How does a packaging engineer ensure compliance with regulations?

Being familiar with law regulations is mandatory. Most of them require specific packaging protection and usage of materials. Packaging engineers must be familiar with all the available materials and their main features. Also, all the packages must be controlled and tested before they leave the warehouse. That’s the only way to ensure compliance with regulations.

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