Difference Between Packing and Packaging

What is Packing?

Packing is the process of preparing a product for both storage and transportation by securing it into a box or container. It involves different methods; which can be cushioning, wrapping, sealing, weather-proofing etc. 

There are several different types of materials that are used for packing of products. The materials could range from cellophane, cardboard, bubble-wrap to foam-packaging. Primary objective of packing is to provide cover a product and stop it from getting damaged or moving around during shipment. 

Packing of a product can be considered effective only if there are no instances of leakage, breakage, pilferage etc. 

Importance of Packing 

The main objective of packing is to make sure that the product that is to be shipped to the retailers or customers reaches in intact condition.

It is likely that in the course of shipping, transportation or loading, the product may suffer damage. It becomes even more probable if the product is fragile. 

If the product is damaged, the same may be returned to the manufacturer, or the end customer may claim reimbursement. In any event, it will disrupt the flow of business and service delivery. Hence, proper packing is necessary before transportation of products. 

Here is a trivia on packing for you!

Origin of product packing was found in Egypt approximately 3500 years ago. 

The oldest form of packing was with mulberry bark containers and glass. Branding and design came into existence much later in the 1890s, while Peter Durand obtained first patent for metal packaging in 1823.

What is Packaging?

Even though packaging is one element of packing, it goes beyond simply storing or transporting products. The storing and wrapping is done in an attractive manner which helps in marketing as well. Customers make purchase decisions based on how well a product is presented. 

The customer engagement may lead to generation of higher sales, and may also acquire customers from an organisation’s competitors. 

Packaging is of three types – Primary, Secondary, Tertiary.

1. Primary 

Marketers use primary packaging for selling products to end customers. Here, products come in direct contact with retailers or consumers. The packaging acts to contain, preserve and inform customers.

Primary packaging can comprise more than one components. For instance, a bottle of wine containing the alcohol as well as the outside label will fall under primary packaging. 

2. Secondary 

Secondary packaging involves product transportation from one end to another. Its main objective in a display of branding and aiding in logistics.  

Secondary packaging is more prominent in food and beverage industry. Such packaging displays numerous units that also helps in re-stocking from inventory to a shelf. It may include counter-top-display units, shelf-ready packaging and retail-ready packaging.

This packaging has high standard finish with well-thought-out design and branding. It plays an integral part in marketing chain. For instance, beer carry packs have secondary packaging. 

3. Tertiary 

Tertiary packaging focuses on handling and protection of sales units so that everything is grouped during units loads for transit. This packaging usually does not have a consumer interface.

For instance, tertiary packaging of beer is more likely to be a hardened carton with sufficient padding. 

Importance of Packaging?

Packaging of a product is directly related to marketing and may lead to brand enhancement. Product packaging plays a critical role in consumer purchase decisions. How a product is packaged can communicate the values of the company as well as what the product can do for its customers. 

Product packaging is also crucial for differentiating the brand from its competitors, especially at a time when there are hundreds of same products that are vying for customer’s attention. 

Industry research indicates that even the colour of packaging has a bearing on purchase decisions made by consumers. Right packaging creates brand recognition and can be leveraged as an important marketing tool.

These classifications in packaging manifest the inherent difference between packing and packaging. 

Packing vs Packaging

Find out the Difference between Packing and Packaging below. 





It creates a box-like structure or container for transporting and storing products. However, packing is not for display to customers.

It is both a manufacturing container and designing process. The former is for protection of products and latter is for a display to customers.


Primary objective of packing is to ensure safety of products. 

Primary objective of packaging is to lead customer engagement which may generate higher sales. 


Process of packing is only for transportation and protection of products. 

Process of packaging includes transportation of products as well as sales and marketing.


Packing of product utilises different protective wrappers for safe transport of products. 

Packaging or product utilises protective wrappers that are specifically designed for marketing purposes. Such wrappers are likely to mention product name and information, logo, and other commercial signage.  


Packing of products, as it is commonly understood, falls under secondary stage. This stage focuses on transportation of products. 

First stage of packing process accounts to packaging. 


If you want to know more about difference between packing and packaging, refer to the online materials available in Vedantu’s platform.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Packing?

The process of putting the product in a storage box or container for shipping or transportation to a retail outlet or the customer is known as packing. Packing can have different methods such as cushioning, wrapping or sealing.

2. What is Packaging?

Packaging is distinct from packing. It deals with the requisite modification in the container or the box itself that will be utilised for transportation. Packaging is an important element in product marketing which may further lead to higher sales.

3. How do you Differentiate between Packing and Packaging?

The packing and packaging difference becomes distinct in purpose as well as a process. The purpose of packing is to ensure safety, whereas packaging deals with attracting more customers. Packing is related to transportation, but packaging also covers marketing.