Packaging expertise

Optimising your cube for efficient transportation

16 Aug 2019 —
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efficient transportation

For a packaging operation to be successful, particularly during peak, it needs to run at optimum efficiency, from picking and packaging right through to delivery to the customer’s door. Through insights gained from working with customers, and from studying and testing lots of products, ideas and technology, we have identified 5 tips that could help you to optimise your cube in order to maximise efficiency with regard to your delivery schedule, costs and environmental impact.

For a packaging operation to be successful, particularly during peak, it needs to run at optimum efficiency, from picking and packaging right through to delivery to the customer’s door. Through insights gained from working with customers, and from studying and testing lots of products, ideas and technology, we have identified 5 tips that could help you to optimise your cube in order to maximise efficiency with regard to your delivery schedule, costs and environmental impact.

For a packaging operation to be successful, particularly during peak, it needs to run at optimum efficiency, from picking and packing right through to delivery to the customer’s door.

Through insights gained from working with customers, and from studying and testing lots of products, ideas and technology, we have identified five tips that could help you to optimise your cube in order to maximise efficiency with regard to your delivery schedule, costs and environmental impact.

The cost of not optimising your cube

The key to cube optimisation is reducing void in order to maximise the amount of product that can be stacked onto a pallet. This might sound simple, but getting it right can be challenging, especially for businesses that are shipping parcels with a variety of weights, shapes and sizes.

One option is to use a one-size-fits-all carton, which allows pallets to be stacked neatly to consistent dimensions. This approach is fine if everything going into the cartons is the same size, but for businesses packing multiple shapes and sizes of product it could result in inefficiencies, such as using more void fill than is necessary, an increased possibility of cartons and products being crushed or damaged while in transit, and fewer packages being loaded onto each vehicle than if ‘right-sized’ cartons were used. It ultimately leads to more vehicle journeys, delivery delays, and a poor carbon footprint.

The key to cube optimisation is finding the right balance between all the variables: pack weight, pack dimensions and compression strength. It’s a bit like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with weight an added complication. However, time spent getting it right is never wasted because more packs on a pallet means more packs on the delivery vehicle, resulting in reduced transport costs. It can also help to improve efficiency in the warehouse thanks to fewer pallets taking up valuable working space.

5 tips to optimise your cube for efficient transportation
Our packaging experts have identified these five tips for optimising your cube:


1.Avoid pallet overhang
Pallets that are neatly stacked with straight, uniform edges are easy to load side by side. However, it takes only one overhanging parcel to jeopardise load efficiency and could result in an entire pallet being left of a vehicle.

2. Use less packaging, especially the bulky kind
Reducing the amount of packaging used, especially bulky void fill and cushioning, means it is possible for smaller cartons to be used, which, in turn, means more cartons can be loaded onto a pallet. There are some great packaging options on the market that offer excellent protection without needing to use lots of materials. For example, retention and suspension packaging eliminate the need for void fill and cushioning altogether, reducing weight and space; plus, they look good and cut down the amount of waste the end customer has to dispose of.

3. Use right size packaging
Machinery that automatically matches a box size to its contents can increase speed and efficiency, and save money. Once the box contents have been placed in side by hand, the machine measures the height of the contents before folding the box to size and gluing the upper flaps to seal it. Compact and neat, the boxes are easy to stack, with no wasted space.

4. Remember your geometry
When boxes of different sizes, shapes and weights are to be stacked – ensuring there is no overhang – can be challenging. The best approach is to look at it like a geometric puzzle, aiming for straight outer edges with whatever combination of cartons it takes to achieve the neatest result, avoiding gaps between cartons, and ensuring that lighter boxes are not being crushed by heavier ones.

5. Pallet boxes
For the storage and transportation of bulk products, pallet boxes are ideal. They offer economy of space and are robust enough to bear heavy loads. They are supplied collapsed flat with an integral pallet and unfold to create a cap, sleeve and tray into which product can be loaded with no need for lots of separate boxes.

If you would like some first-hand, expert advice about how to best optimise your cube in time for peak, contact our experts today.

 

 

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