Online shopping isn’t going away anytime soon. The sheer convenience of same-day shipping without ever having to leave the couch ensures it. However, those of us who can change online shipping and e-commerce for the better need to step up—and soon. Some may ask why we need to ask these tough internal questions rather than keep the conveyor belts running at warp-speed? The answer lies in the World Economic Forum’s estimate that by 2050, there will be more plastic waste in the ocean than fish. This is one of those statistics that sounds too crazy to be true. And while there is debate about the rate that plastic is added to the ocean versus the best way to count the total weight of fish in the sea, we know that the increase of plastic in the ocean is growing at an alarming rate.
A June 2018 Forbes article about the side effects of online shopping, mentions that roughly 165 billion packages are shipped in the U.S. each year. That’s a lot of cardboard, and it’s also a lot of fillers that could be eliminated outright if smarter packaging techniques were more widely implemented. According to the article, meal kit provider Blue Apron will include two packs of ice in each of its 8 million monthly deliveries. These two six-pound packs of ice have been cited as contributing 192,000 tons of waste annually. Another logistical concern that companies have had to solve is the fact that packages get dropped nearly 20 times before arriving at their destination. To counter this, air pillows—essentially bags of air—are used to cushion the product from the blows.
It’s a lot easier to craft a smaller box than it is to figure out what to do with ice packs and air bags that outlive their useful lifespan in days, or less. Packsize helps companies of all sizes design a better-fitting box. And because of this, we take umbrage with the notion that dead space in a corrugated cardboard box means enhanced safety during handling and shipping.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
That empty space is often larger than necessary, and often not properly filled with void filler. Because of this, that empty space provides room for the product to rattle in the box during shipping, sustaining damage every step of its journey.
Packsize, on the other hand, advocates for shipping products in boxes that fit like a glove. This prevents any rattling in the box.
In cases where cushioning is needed, Packsize machines can print form-fitting corner and edge protectors that counter bumps and drops during shipping. What’s more, these boxes can be fitted by a single worker without the need for any heavy lifting. This dead space can also be filled with environmentally friendly fillers to keep damage to a minimum. We provide these sustainable void fillers for companies that need them.
A quick look at the machines we offer shows that solutions to the above environmental problems – and they are pressing problems with very real ramifications – already exist. When a custom box-making machine is put to use, “custom” is the key word. The dimensions of the box that are required is the data that’s entered into the machine. What is printed out is corrugated packaging material that can then be pieced together and folded around the item. It fits better, it presents branding opportunities, and it helps companies connect with Earth-conscious consumers. Best of all, it helps protect the environment.