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Repac - reduced packaging assortment costs for sustainable transport packaging optimization

: Ströhmer, Marcel

Singh, J. ; International Association of Packaging Research Institutes -IAPRI-:
18th IAPRI World Packaging Conference 2012. Proceedings : 17-21st June 2012, San Luis Obispo, California, USA
Lancaster, Pa.: DEStech Publications, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60595-084-6
World Packaging Conference <18, 2012, San Luis Obispo/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IML ()
computer aided optimization; E-Commerce; sustainability; transport packaging optimization; volume utilization

Global e-commerce sales are heading for the $1 trillion dollar mark. In 2010, 170 million people purchased goods online in the US alone [1]. The growth of world wide web sales results in an increasing number of parcel deliveries. Most of the time a shipment consists of more than one product or the packaging design is not suitable for parcel transport. Therefore transport packaging is used to bundle the products and to ensure safe transport. The volume utilization (product to packaging ratio) of most shipments is poor, 20 percent or less is not unusual. The outcome is a lavish use of packaging and void filling materials which then have to be disposed of by the unsatisfied customer. The impacts on the environment are enormous. This excessive use of material destroys ecological resources. Furthermore, the poor utilization of transport capacities leads to increasing carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, neither the carbon footprint nor the packaging related costs (material, storage and distribution costs) are at an optimum. Triggered by this problem, the research project "repac" (reduced packaging assortment costs) was initiated at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, Germany. The scope of the project was the development of a tool which carries out computer aided optimization of packaging spectra with regard to volume utilization.