Tools for more sustainable packaging and logistics
Ecological, regulatory and economic pressures. Packaging is at the heart of thinking today. Acting in favour of its eco-design, reducing empty space, rethinking its use and ultimately initiating a virtuous collaboration between manufacturers, logisticians, retailers and end consumers to achieve this are among the major objectives. For manufacturers, but also for the players in the supply chain.
To achieve this, logisticians and supply chain managers are making investments. In the warehouse first of all, where more and more solutions are being installed for innovative and tailor-made packaging to adapt the package to its contents and reduce empty space. This is evidenced by the success among e-merchants and retailers of automatic, intelligent packaging machines, capable of producing a made-to-measure parcel. In terms of transport, the use of recycled and reusable materials such as bins or pallets or the optimization of volumes and truck fill rates are also common practice.
Bringing the eco-design of packaging and the supply chain closer together to promote the circular economy
From the production and transformation of raw materials to the manufacture of packaging and finally to the dedicated sorting and processing of waste, logistics is intrinsically linked to packaging and omnipresent in its life cycle. Thus, by transforming their packaging, manufacturers are also helping to reduce the ecological footprint of their logistics. "It's not just a question of aiming for reduction at source and recyclo-design, it is also about the need to design the use of packaging better according to the product’s logistical flows. Packaging design necessarily has an impact on logistics" stresses the designer Fabrice Peltier, who is a consultant for ALL4PACK Paris and author of the white paper Packaging ready for its revolution.
Solutions combining innovative packaging, transport and logistics
Among the solutions suggested by this packaging specialist is the use of single-material, single-component, less bulky, lighter, void reducing packaging, manufactured wall to wall or designed and shaped on the packing site. Finally, one of the major challenges also lies in the implementation of an optimized pallet plan. "57,000 units of metal cans represent 90% of a truck's load compared to packaging in the form of Doypack, which for 37,000 units represents only 42% of the vehicle's total load. Another example: choosing 100% plastic packaging upstream rather than glass packaging with a metal lid and a label reduces logistics flows by a factor of three. You may be using a fossil-based material, but the carbon footprint is lower" says Fabrice Peltier. It is therefore necessary to make some trade-offs and measure their impact as closely as possible. "There are no ideal solutions, but many options depend on what you produce, where you produce it and where and how you deliver it. In the end, the most optimal solution is customization" concludes Fabrice Peltier.