Packaging optimisation to boost efficiency and productivity: DHL

A report from Deutsche Post DHL Group has revealed that packaging will be in the spotlight over the next five years as companies and customers demand sustainable packaging materials and less waste.

Rethinking Packaging, according to DHL, offers a comprehensive look at the future of packaging in the logistics industry. The report breaks down the trends accelerating the need to rethink packaging, how industries and their packaging needs are evolving and provides insight on how packaging innovations will shape greener, more efficient logistics operations across all sectors.

Driven by globalisation and e-commerce, the overall volume of products shipped is reported to be rising – packages are traveling further through longer, more complex cross-border logistics networks.

A survey conducted by DHL on its customers and partners shows that for nine out of 10 companies, packaging will play an important role in the next three to five years. Fast-tracked deliveries and increasingly popular subscriptions services result in frequent single-item shipments, contributing to more carbon emissions and packaging waste. The expanded variety of e-commerce products has led to new challenges in shipping and packaging. Surveyed customers see themselves confronted with maintaining a reasonable spend on packaging, the number of shipments damaged in transit, as well as optimising the available transport capacity.

Demand for more sustainable shipping is driving new efforts to minimise waste, promote green materials and implement convenient recovery systems. '

Leading retailers are answering these expectations by providing hassle-free and recyclable materials, capitalising on the new opportunity to delight the customer with aesthetically pleasing accessible packaging features. 

“The Trend Report and our customer survey illustrate just how important easy, recyclable, and robust packaging is to an overall positive customer experience,” said DHL SVP – Global Head of Innovation & Commercial Development, Matthias Heutger.

“The acceleration of changing needs of companies, consumers, and the wider environment however increase costs and reduce effectiveness.

“We believe that the adoption of new packaging optimisation tools, materials, and handling technologies will significantly boost efficiency and productivity. That in turn, will drive changes in the operation of supply chains and logistics processes,” he said.

DHL said the logistics industry will play a key role in reducing cost, inconvenience and environmental impact of packaging and must adopt new technologies, materials across the value chain. These include: packaging optimisation, the introduction of software to maximise order picking and pallet storage; packaging automation,  sustainable packaging material, reusable packaging / reverse logistics to eliminate waste; and smart packaging with labels, tags and last mile protection measures.

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