Many large e-tailers have reputations for using inefficient packaging that is terribly wasteful. Although many companies say they are in fact "green companies", they still insist on using sloppy packaging methods like oversized boxes with oodles of void fill. They're reluctant to change their old ways of packaging because most organizations don't necessarily view packaging as part of their supply chain- it often gets pushed to the side.
But oversized packaging hits a nerve with consumers. They dislike the wastefulness of putting loads of air bags, bubble wrap and paper with an item in a box that is way oversized in the first place. We thought we'd take a look at Twitter to see if anyone has been complaining about packaging fails lately. Here are some of the best ones we found.
Number 1: Here, a retailer had put three items (from the same order) in three different boxes with excessive void fill. The customer doesn't seem too pleased and even states that it offsets the retailer's convenience. Why didn't they just place all three items in the same box?
Number 2: This is one of our all-time favorites. A guy orders bubble wrap and receives it in a giant box with EXTRA padding. Wouldn't want that bubble wrap to break...
Number 3: Oh my! You'd think there'd be a smaller, flatter box for this other box, right? It almost looks like she ordered air pillows! It's crazy how the void fill is at least 4 times as big as the product.
Number 4: Here's an ironic one. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a UK writer and broadcaster, has started a #WarOnWaste in the UK. One of his targets was the common coffee shop and stopping them from using wasteful, disposable cups. This started a giant movement towards buying reusable ceramic coffee cups- many bought them from this popular e-tailer.
Number 5: Two sets of Ping-Pong balls in a package 10 times their size. They could have easily been stacked and put into a tiny box without void fill. Unsettling.
There's a ton more where these came from. What companies don't realize is that smaller packaging yields less waste, and it also means that more freight can be stacked efficiently on a pallet inside of a truck (saving the environment, resources AND saving money).
In the past, packages used to be priced based off of weight and distance. Now, the estimated weight is calculated from the length, width and height of a package. The typical e-commerce shipper is now only achieving 60% cube efficiency utilization- in other words, 40% of their capacity is either air or filler says Jack Ampuja, President of Supply Chain Optimizers.
"Corrugated cardboard is infinitely recyclable. Ultimately that box comes from a tree. The smaller the box, the better it is for everyone. Everyone benefits." -Jack Ampuja, President of Supply Chain Optimizers
Shippers can immediately minimize the impact of DIM pricing, environmental waste and unhappy customers by downsizing their packages and reducing void fill. How?? By thinking out-of-the-box for a better into-the-box solution: Automated package fulfillment.