Successful and sustainable shipping: It’s all about the box

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On February 25th, 2019

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Successful and sustainable shipping: It’s all about the box

The requirements of packaging for display on a store shelf are quite different from those for goods sold via e-commerce sites. Online packaging shouldn’t focus on presentation and appearance, but instead on protection from damage and easy, efficient, and sustainable delivery.

We’ve all experienced it—receiving a large box delivery only to find out that it contains a single item under a cubic foot of air pillows. Aghast! Or even worse, trying to open that deadly plastic packaging that seems impermeable even with the sharpest tool. You know what I’m talking about—the packaging that surrounds batteries, electronics, and many types of toys that are shipped to your front door.

There’s nothing worse than fighting through a pile of plastic pillows or packing peanuts, and according to a University of Southern Indiana study, 33% of landfills are made up of exactly that—packaging materials. It’s sad to say, but we ship more air than anything else.

For those of us working in the logistics industry, this reality begs a few questions: What must Mother Nature think? What are the environmental and supply chain impacts of package sizes, materials, and methods? And what does packaging have to do with warehouses?

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