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Graphic showing the demand for online shipping packaging solutions.

Why Shipping Air in Your Cardboard Packaging Is Not a Great Idea

Posted 01/19/2016 by Frederic Di Monte, Marketing Manager, Packaging Solutions

Think about the last time you received an online order in the mail. Did you notice how much packaging material came with your item?

Oftentimes, the cardboard packaging that protects your item during the transportation process is too big, resulting in over packaging.

Over-packaging can be frustrating for consumers who have to cram the excess cardboard waste into the trash bin. But shipping air results in several problems beyond the customer experience with waste packaging.

Environmental Impact

Using more cardboard materials in the online retail packaging process than necessary can be detrimental to the environment. In addition to being an inapropriate use of our planet's limited resources, it also diminishes our capacity to offset CO2 emissions (more cardboard materials means more trees cut down).

Financial Impact

Shipping air also means that brand owners and fulfillment houses are spending more money on cardboard materials than they should. Additionally, shipping boxes that are half empty results in poor optimization of freight costs.

Future Outlook

Fortunately, there is good news on the horizon in the world of online retail packaging. Technology is catching up to address this online retail packaging challenge, and will enable the circular economy by preventing unnecessary waste. This is in the form of automated cut-to-size packaging lines that allow for less material waste and optimized freight costs.

This new type of end-of-line packing equipment evaluates the exact dimension of each individual item, and then cut and flap the box to adjust its size accordingly.

This process avoids having to source smaller series of boxes of different sizes, thereby reducing the number of stock keeping units for packaging material. Economies of scale, reduction of cardboard waste and optimized freight should positively impact online retailer’s bottom lines.

Finally, by using high-performance hot melt adhesives for sealing boxes and automated cut-to-size packaging lines, the result is higher productivity than manual closure processes that use packing tapes. Plus, hot melt adhesives add an extra layer of tamper-resistance against content theft. 

As an online retailer, there are many ways to do better than shipping online orders full of air. At H.B. Fuller, we are one step ahead. Learn more today about our hot melt adhesive solutions for online retail packaging that help improve productivity and reduce waste.



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