8 Sept 2006
A Power Package(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2006)
Flocking Industrial Co
|Flocking Industrial Co exports blister pack and PVC boxes, mainly to the US and Europe|
Flocking Industrial Co has enjoyed success in the packaging business since starting out in 1986, when initial products included PVC blister wrapping. Observing that the end-product was usually used with a box of some sort, in 1996 the company developed a container with built-in blister packaging. Early customers for these items included toy and electronic product manufacturers.
The company is located in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, where it employs 200 workers at a three-floor factory of 1,000 square feet per floor. The client base is mainly in the US, the UK and Saudi Arabia, with about 20% of orders originating from the Chinese mainland. The export value of the monthly production capacity averages US$500,000, and standard delivery is 7-14 days after confirmation of order.
"We make various packaging items from PET and PP, which are more environmentally friendly than PVC. This is an important marketing factor for Europe and the US," says sales manager William Cheung.
"In the early days, there were very few requests for environmentally-friendly packaging - it was almost unheard of," he adds. "About 80% of all our shipments include boxes that meet the increasingly tough environmental criteria demanded by important clients in Europe and the US. We must guarantee the raw materials are biodegradable and recyclable."
Appearance is also important, as is the capability to handle different jobs. "We operate one four-colour printing machine, five silk-screen printing machines and two machines to smooth the materials from the rolls," says Cheung.
He also reveals that a new five-colour machine is on order. "Having an additional five-colour machine will make the printing process much faster."
It is also important to be flexible. "For example, manufacturers of cosmetics goods want eye-catching, finely-printed designs to present their goods," Cheung notes. "We have serviced this sector for the past couple of years, and we anticipate good growth over the next five years."
He says that the unit prices of products range from US$0.05-2.00. "With this wide range, we expect to be able to meet all requirements and give the client exactly what fits the bill - including the most popular offset-printed boxes."
He also reveals that Flocking intends to venture further into the European market. "Although still very important, the US market is highly competitive. In Europe, however, there is greater demand for more upmarket packaging materials and boxes."
To date, Flocking has remained an OEM manufacturer. "We prefer to work with established clients rather than try to create our own brand and attempt to do our own marketing," Cheung states.
"We have some big-name customers, and this makes for demanding work as we have to get the content exact. That means using the right raw materials and having to pass all kinds of inspections, including everything from machinery and handling aspects to working conditions," he adds. "The clients come right over and go straight into the factory, and they are very strict."
Flocking gets new custom by relying on advertising in trade magazines, and thus far it has not joined any trade fairs. "Our website brings in about 10% of our new business," says Cheung. "Although the site is pretty basic, we do have plans to enlarge our online presence. We have a team working on that now."
A hot topic in the packaging sector is the cost of raw materials, which is directly affected by the price of oil and petrochemical by-products. "The prices of the materials we use have increased 100% during the past 18 months," describes Cheung.
"We try hard to maintain stable prices," says Cheung. "However, the best way to counter rising material costs is to trade up and find more high-end customers. That way, we have a little bit more room to negotiate."
Flocking Industrial Co looks destined to continue to supply high-quality, finely-printed wrapping and boxes for years to come.
WRITTEN BY TONY HENDERSON