3 March 2004
Cardboard Boxes(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 01,2004)
Boxing The Best
Ijen Enterprises Ltd's box range includes novel containers (from left) such as a mirror box, a music box that plays "Row, row, row your boat" and a Valentine's bowl heart box
World-class brands demand essential packaging that enhances their upmarket image. Given the myriad of distinctive packaging boxes available from Hong Kong manufacturers, there is little doubt where international brands turn when it comes to their packaging solutions.
Take, for example, seven-year-old Glamour Box Mfg Ltd, which specialises in jewellery packaging and is producing for a string of prestigious brands including Cartier, Dunhill, Michel Klein and Bloom.
"Packaging can impress a consumer as much as the product itself, so we strive to explore new ideas from different aspects, like the choice of materials and construction details," enthuses supervisor Kelly Yeung. "Of course, we are careful that our designs don't overshadow the product itself."
The company's new series comprises boxes made of paper from the US and pigpell velvet from Italy in different sizes and shapes for earrings, rings, necklaces and watches. "In the latest range, we give a new twist to conventional closures," Yeung hints.
Glamour Box has a 30,000-square-foot, 700-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland that supports a monthly production of 1.2 million pieces.
It requires a minimum order of 1,000 pieces and delivery to major markets like the US, Japan, Korea, Germany and Taiwan is 30-45 days after order confirmation.
Similarly responsive is Green Production (Overseas) Group, which began commercial printing in 1981 but diversified into manufacturing shopping bags and packaging boxes three years later.
Today its market is split between Hong Kong and overseas, with the former taking up 70% of production and the rest bound for Austria, the US, Switzerland and France.
Service and product quality are of utmost importance to Green Production, and director Anthony Kung takes pride in noting that the firm seldom loses its old customers.
"Our staff always respond promptly to customer enquiries, and we also have a reputation for reliable quality," claims Kung. "The fine edges and shapes on our bags and boxes that require a lot of hand work show that we have a skilled workforce."
Importing grey broad paper from Europe and paper boxes from Japan and Korea for further processing, the company focuses on OEM orders, many for well-known cosmetic brands.
Green Production manufactures minimum orders of 1,000 pieces at its 11,000-square-metre, 800-worker factory in Shenzhen on the mainland for shipment 21 days after order confirmation.
Diversification was also the name of the game for Hung Hing Printing Group Ltd, which was established in 1950 as a printing house before venturing into packaging in the 1960s when Hong Kong's toy industry began to take off.
Today, the company manufactures packaging items, mostly for toys and home electronics, prints children's board books and trades paper. Utilising paper imported from Indonesia, Canada, Finland, the US, Japan, Brazil and the mainland, Hung Hing manufactures at factories in Shenzhen and Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces, which provide six million square feet of space and employ 10,000 workers. "We need such a big area because we have expanded into 'packaging' literally," says business development manager Peter Chiu.
Hung Hing is providing a complete logistics service, packing products such as small books-cum-soft toys to big electronics display units in boxes and shipping them to final customers.
"The new development not only brings more business, it also enriches our experience and know-how, empowering us to provide better advisory services to our customers when developing packaging prototypes," says Chiu.
Hung Hing, which holds ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certificates, requires a minimum order of 3,000 pieces for delivery 10 days after order confirmation.
Famous names flock to Ijen Enterprises Ltd, which offers a profusion of custom-made gift boxes for high-end cosmetics, jewellery, fashion and fashion accessories.
"We win the confidence of many prestigious brands because we understand what our customers need and our design team always finds breakthroughs in raw materials and product structure," boasts general manager Francis Leung.
Leung cites one of his firm's innovations, a gift bag with folding line on the bottom. "This impresses our branded clients because the line, traditionally found on the front, often distorts the appeal of logos that are usually printed there," explains Leung.
Similarly, a baby gift box designed by Ijen Enterprises for a jewellery brand, transforms into a music box, giving the packaging extra value. "We also have another niche that gives our customers greater flexibility," claims Leung. "With our own factory producing specialty paper in-house, we can offer unique paper at a lower price, with lower minimum order quantities and faster lead times."
Ijen has a 170,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the mainland, which employs 450 workers who produce minimum orders of 3,000 pieces per item for delivery worldwide 35 days after order confirmation.
When it comes to cardboard boxes, it's obviously sensible to box clever and check out the enormous variety produced by skilled and versatile Hong Kong manufacturers.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI
Fame Products Ltd
Well Fung Ind Centre
58-76 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Box Mfg Ltd
Flat A, 8/F
Yeung Yiu Chung (No 8) Ind Bldg
20 Wang Hoi Rd
Kowloon Bay, Kowloon
Printing Group Ltd
Hung Hing Printing Centre
Tai Po Ind Estate, 17-19 Dai Hei St
Tai Po, New Territories
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