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Sustainable packaging solutions collaboration

15 September 2023

KNAPP AND Packsize, have announced a strategic collaboration following a successful project to deliver sustainable packaging solutions for Walmart.

Together, the companies have developed a fully automated packaging solution that has been deployed in multiple Walmart distribution facilities in the US. This joint project has reduced Walmart’s cardboard waste by over a quarter and more than halved its use of filler material.

Right-sized packaging saves space and costs

Everyone is familiar with placing an online order and finding that the goods arrive in a box that is far too big and stuffed with filler material. This not only means excess waste but also that valuable space on delivery vehicles is not optimised due to transporting air. However, the combination of automation technology from KNAPP and right-sized packaging technology from Packsize minimises the number of cartons used and the amount of filler material required in packages.

By making packaging more intelligent, space can be used more efficiently. The results are a phenomenal step forward in terms of sustainability – reduced cardboard waste, fewer trips for delivery vehicles and lower personnel costs – as well as creating a better experience for customers. For companies in segments such as online retail, this provides clear competitive advantage.

Packaging tailored to the goods

Right-sized packaging means that the carton is tailored precisely to the size of the goods.

“As soon as an order is started the software uses master data to calculate the required size for the shipping carton, which the Packsize machine then produces," explains Samuel Krauser, product manager and sustainability expert at KNAPP’s global headquarters in Graz, Austria. "Then the custom-sized target carton is sent directly to the workstation for picking. This significantly reduces unnecessary packaging and fill material, which also reduces shipping costs.”

The benefits for the customer are clear: by tailoring the packaging, carton size is reduced by up to 40%. In addition, one third of the amount of filling material is saved in comparison to traditional packaging, where items are packed in finished cartons and void-fill material is added. Creating smaller packages is also much more cost-effective because this ultimately translates into reduced transport and fewer personnel.

Walmart benefits from right-sized packaging

In the US, KNAPP has implemented four high-tech distribution centres for retail giant, Walmart, with right-sized packaging being utilised. This joint project with Packsize has reduced Walmart’s cardboard waste by 26% and its use of void-fill packaging by 60%. This has not only had positive effects on sustainability, but also created a better experience for customers.

Similar results are expected for an international sports clothing retailer that KNAPP and Packsize are currently implementing a right-sized packaging solution for. This global player in sports fashion ships 6.2 million cartons globally each year. A 45% reduction in shipping volume for this customer will not only reduce void fill by 30%, but also save more than 3000 miles (5000 km) of packaging tape. Total savings are estimated to be up to 500 tonnes of CO2 annually, simply by reducing the amount of material used. In addition to this will be the reduced carbon footprint through optimal loading of delivery vehicles, meaning fewer lorry loads on the road.

Setting trends in sustainable logistics

As a high-tech partner for the entire value chain, KNAPP develops sustainable logistics solutions for manufacturing facilities, distribution centres, last-mile deliveries and retail stores, enabling its customers to be smarter and more efficient than ever.