DHL Optimizes Packaging for e-Commerce Warehouses

DHL Optimizes Packaging for e-Commerce Warehouses

February 23, 2021

DHL has developed a set of algorithms that determine the best fitting box for each order, which ultimately arrives at the boxing strategy that minimizes shipping costs.

DHL found an expected cost savings of 5%– 7% on annual shipping costs, when the system was tested in  e-commerce warehouses across three different industries in October 2020.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Supply Chain Dive article, How DHL optimized packaging at warehouses to cut shipping costs, by Matt Leonard, January 12, 2021, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Source: B4LLS/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1.  What other benefits, aside from shipping cost savings, will DHL’s carton optimization system provide?

Guidance: Potential topics are “green” sustainability contributions by avoiding excess packaging, and because of optimizing carton sizes, potentially less warehouse space being used to store prepared shipments.

2.  Ask students to explore packaging options on the web.  Discuss the many Continue reading

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Origami Paper as Packaging

Origami Paper as Packaging

September 13, 2019

As more and more people see plastics as an environmental problem, companies are looking for ways to remove plastics from their products. Packaging is one area that is drawing attention.  A variety of approaches are being considered.

The environmental tactics include:

  • Use recycled material for packaging.
  • Make the packaging more recyclable.
  • Eliminate or reduce packaging.
  • Encourage reuse.
  • Create alternate uses for the packaging after the product is removed.

One interesting approach being tried in Japan is the use of origami paper as packaging for the KitKat Minis by Nestlé.  The packaging will include instructions for origami.  Nestlé anticipates over 380 metric tons of plastic waste will be saved by the change.  The company had previously launched its snack bar “YES!” in recyclable paper packaging.


Video Spotlight: Nestle is swapping plastic wrappers on KitKats for origami paper


This post is based on the Verdict Food Service article, Nestlé Swaps From Plastic To Origami Paper On Japanese Kitkats, by Rosie Lintott, August 14, 2019; the BBC article, Plastic pollution: The plastic alternatives making a comeback, by Newsround, August 15, 2019; and the YouTube video, Nestle is swapping plastic wrappers on KitKats for origami paper, Continue reading

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P&G’s New Waterless Cleaners: Big Ideas in Small Packages

P&G’s New Waterless Cleaners: Big Ideas in Small Packages

January 30, 2019

Ten years in the making, revolutionary new DS3 cleaning products by Procter and Gamble are liquid-free and have no plastic packaging.

Personal care products like body wash, hand soap, and shampoo as well as home cleaners like laundry soap and toilet cleansers are sold in dry packets.

The removal of water reduces the weight of the product by 80% and the space by 70%, offering sustainability as well as convenience for home use or travel.  Eight DS3 products are due to be in stores in late 2019.

This post is based on the Cincinnati Business Courier article, P&G launching liquid-free cleaning products for home and body, by Barrett Brunsman, December 31, 2018; and the Global Cosmetics News article, P&G to launch waterless, plastic-free beauty brand DS3, by Georgina Caldwell, January 1, 2019. Image source: McGraw-Hill Education.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the new waterless design relate to sustainability?

Guidance: Since the packets are lighter and smaller, shipping costs and storage space are reduced.  Additionally, the products contain fewer chemicals than those typically used in home cleaners and no unnecessary ingredients.  For instance, these cleaners have no chlorine-based bleaches or phosphates.  Biodegradable and recyclable Continue reading

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