Packworld shines light on Automated Packaging

05/11/2017

An interesting article by Packaging World. When it comes to e-commerce, how much is too much packaging? And, what is the cost of using too little? It’s this balance more than anything else that determines the sustainability of e-commerce packaging.

Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor, Packaging World shines light on Mason Companies and the use of the CVP-500 automated packing solution. E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world today. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. market for e-commerce reached $400 billion in sales in 2016 and is expected to grow to $684 billion by 2020. Currently representing just 8% of total retail sales in the U.S.—according to Census.gov and the Office of National Statistics—e-commerce presents an extraordinary growth opportunity for brand owners.

But this opportunity is riddled with challenges. Among them, meeting consumers’ expectations for low shipping costs, speedy delivery, and packaging that both protects product while at the same time minimizes material. Meanwhile, the dimensional weight (DIM) pricing method used by UPS, FedEx, and USPS, which calculates costs based on package volume rather than weight, is having a significant impact on shipping costs. 

For online retailer Mason Companies, Inc. based in Chippewa Falls, WI, USA, DIM weight costs were of particular concern when shipping its general merchandise to customers across the country. Under DIM weight pricing, items in shipping cases with empty space were increasing Mason’s costs. The solution: a new box-making technology that creates cases to the exact size of the product being shipped. Installed at Mason in December 2016, the CVP-500 - a 3D Fit-to-size Packing Automation—has not only addressed the online retailer’s increased shipping costs, but it has also improved its warehouse efficiency as well as saved money on labor and packaging materials.

Since beginning operation of the CVP-500, Mason has seen a number of benefits in addition to reduced shipping costs resulting in what Mason estimates is a $1 to $2 savings per package. Read more...