The Amazing Packaging Race – Pack Expo 2013

Packsize exhibits at a lot of trade shows every year, but this was one to remember. We decided to mix things up a bit at Pack Expo this year by participating in the Amazing Packaging Race.

Students from various universities—such as Cornell, Virginia Tech, and Cal Poly—participated in this race by completing various exhibitor challenges. They had 3 hours to visit as many exhibitors as possible and complete each challenge. It was up to the exhibitor whether or not the students passed their challenge. The team who had the most completed, passed challenges at the end, won.

And what did they win? iPads.

These were high stakes!

Many of the students were engineering majors at their universities. The point of the race was to get them involved and excited about the world of packaging. They got hands-on experience with the exhibiting companies and their machines.

We had several teams find our booth right after the race started at 10:00 a.m. Only one team was allowed in the booth at a time, so the others had to wait their turn (taking up valuable time!). Packsize decided that we wanted the students to do more than just complete the task and leave. We wanted them to understand all about On-demand Packaging® and how we are helping customers.

It was an intense Competition.

It was an intense Competition.


Their challenge was to create a box—something we all know isn’t too difficult. The fun part is that we clocked their cycle time to see how fast they could make one. An average cycle time—including making the box, folding it, taping it, and putting the product inside—is about 30 seconds. The fastest time we saw during the race was 23 seconds!  After the entire team had a chance to make a box and clock their cycle time, they were asked a couple of questions.

Packsize customers like to know that our supply chain system is efficient. We asked the students to figure out how many boxes they could make in an hour, based on their cycle time. The answer, of course, depended on their cycle time, but all of them answered the question correctly!

The next question we asked them was what the volume measurement is for the amount of corrugated we save our customers. We showed them the standard size box for two products compared to one of ours. They measured both boxes and found the difference, by volume, between the two.

The first item they measured was Libby glasses. The standard size box for this product is 8x8x8. A Packsize, right-sized box, measures 6.3×6.3×6.3. That’s a 49% reduction in volume! Plus, no need for filler.

The second item they measured was a Mr. Coffee machine. A standard sized box for this would measure 12x9x9. The students found a 53% volume savings when using a Packsize box measuring 8.55×8.55×7. A perfect fit. That sure hit-it-home for a lot of students!

To the students’ credit, even though they were racing, they were all truly interested in the Packsize mission—we even received a résumé! They took particular interest in what Packsize was doing to help the environment by saving corrugated and reducing filler materials.

We could tell that a lot of students wanted to stick around and ask questions, but had to move on to complete the race. The really, really smart ones came back after the race was over to ask more questions about Packsize. We had several students who wanted to know more about our technology and process, and we were more than happy to share! If you’re curious, like these really really smart students, visit for more information.

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