Interview with BOBST

Ahead of this July's E-PACK Asia, we spoke with Sophia Hooper, Regional Marketing & Communication Leader APAC at BOBST, to get a sneak peek of what we can expect from her presentation on 'Shaping the world of packaging'. Here's what she had to say...

Q1. Sophia, in your session, you will discuss ‘Shaping the world of packaging’ Can you give us a sneak peek of what you’ll be presenting?
BOBST has been more than just one of the leading machine manufacturers for the packaging industry, it has got industry 4.0 vision, and it is committed to providing solutions that are in line with our society’s requirements and environmental needs and being dedicated to developing innovative technologies that are driving sustainability.

Q2. What are the key changes you have seen in e-commerce packaging and supply chain over the last 5 years to now?
More standardized packaging, such as Fengchao cabinet; more user-friendlier packaging in boxing design, such as Apple, easy unboxing, as well as the paper/board quality.
Packaging materials price has gone up drastically; weight has been reduced, non-recyclable materials are reducing and being replaced gradually by recyclable material. Due to pandemic the demand for for e-commerce has increased exponentially, so the Chinese packaging supply chain is highly integrated, a few very big supply chain companies raised, such as Shunfeng, Ytosto, ZhongTong.

Q3. From your perspective, what are the key factors forcing that change?
The key factors are the efficiency & convenience people need for their life, government policy, environmental emergency for greener technology and supplier, and increased awareness for being a responsible consumer from the end-users.

Q4. In your opinion, what e-commerce challenges does the packaging industry as a whole still need to overcome as a priority? What are some of the biggest opportunities?
Where the product protection can meet the goal of sustainability and unboxing experiences will be the biggest challenges, and the biggest opportunity. 
And nowadays e-commerce customers’ requirements have exceeded the scope of structure design and printing, and are further connected with materials and supply chain and circulation.

Q5. Where do you foresee the packaging for e-commerce industry heading? 
In the future, the packaging industry for e-commerce will need holistic, agile and recyclable packaging solutions, segmented or isolated design along, or materials or processes won’t solve the problems, but manufactures will need to integrate technology innovation, supply chain and tools that will ensure to tackle all the challenges.

Q6. What session topics are you most looking forward to hearing about at E-commerce Packaging Asia Summit?
I’d say amongst so many sessions, the topic that interests me most is The future of e-commerce packaging in the Asia region by Maria Vastag.
The reasons being that with all the points she’s touching on, e.g. corrugated and the highly related e-commerce packaging market, flexibles, trends & implications are all the information I’d like to hear from an industry leader.