Tertiary packaging

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Tertiary packaging
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Tertiary packaging (also known as transport packaging) forms the third layer of packaging and is used for bulk handling, storage and transport. The most common form of the third package is to place the products on the pallets of the load unit that the packages are tightly sealed in the containers. In the foreground is the protection against damage during transport. Packaging is often adapted to the dimensions of the truck or container in order to achieve optimal use. Transport packaging consists of various materials, such as corrugated cardboard, wood or foamed plastics, so that it can be protected against impacts and impacts from the outside. Tertiary packaging is intended to facilitate the handling and transport of a number of unit loads or packaging, while preventing damage[1]. Due to the fact that consumers rarely see the tertiary packaging of boxes used for transport usually do not have a company logo or it is very small. However, changes are coming as retailers of large boxes have pallets with the product displayed below or above the main merchandise. The main and original role of tertiary packaging is determined by its efficiency in terms of production, packaging, palletising, shipping, storage and unpacking. Although tertiary packaging is useful in the mass transport of products, it contributes to the generation of so-called packaging waste[2].

The product packaging layers[3]:

  • Primary packaging is the material that first surrounds the product and holds it. It is usually the smallest unit of distribution or use and is a package that is in direct contact with the content.
  • Secondary packaging has no direct contact with the product, performs branding functions and facilitates storage and transport.
  • Tertiary packing is most commonly used for transport.


  1. Ek, M., Gellerstedt, G., Henriksson, G. (2009)., Paper Products Physics and Technology, Walter de Gruyter
  2. Muthu, S. (2015)., Environmental Footprints of Packaging, Springer
  3. Capsule (2008)., Design Matters: Packaging 01: An Essential Primer for Today's Competitive Marke, Rockport Publishers


Author: Weronika Kmiecik