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Why every parcel should be your brand ambassador

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Opening the box is the only ‘in real life’ touch point you have with your consumer. With right-sized packaging every parcel serves as a brand ambassador.

Remember when receiving a parcel was an event? For your birthday, perhaps, or for Christmas, a complete surprise, or a purchase you had saved up for and keenly anticipated. 

Now, of course, parcels are a daily occurrence, and our attitude towards packaging is somewhat different – more enlightened. Surveys show that up to half of consumers rate grossly oversized packages among the things they really don’t like about Internet shopping.

What do we do with all these cardboard boxes? We break them down, squash them up and cram them into our recycling bins, if we can. But it isn’t just the outsize boxes themselves that annoy consumers; it’s all the void-fill, such as air bags, bubble wrap, and horrid polystyrene beads. At least with card we know it’s recyclable.

And although, as consumers, we are seduced by the idea of ‘free delivery’, we know that all this excess material must have a cost. While we may not be up to speed on the intricacies of Dimensional or Volumetric Weight as applied to shipping rates or realise that the average shipped box contains 60% air, we intrinsically know that shipping fresh air around the country has a significant financial, as well as a high environmental, cost. Consumers are increasingly aware, even anxious, about the negative impact of wasteful shipping practices on air quality and bigger than necessary boxes mean more vehicles on the road, more congestion, more particulates and more CO2.

For ecommerce businesses with high order volumes, this is an issue that needs to be solved. But how? They can’t have packers manually cutting boxes down to size – far too slow and messy, and the result may be a box that fails in delivery.

But there is a solution that will greatly improve packing line productivity and maximise transport utilisation, while minimising the monetary and environmental cost of materials and giving the consumer a consistent, positive brand experience.

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Using 3D scanning technology, Sparck Technologies’ automated packaging systems size, construct, weigh and label each individual order – regardless of whether it is made up of individual or multiple items in just a matter of seconds. The CVP Impack Automated Packaging Solution packs up to 500 orders per hour. With a cycle time as short as three seconds the CVP Everest can do the work of up to 20 packing stations – constructing up to 1,100 fit-to-size boxes per hour.

On average, right-sizing packages cuts parcel volumes by 50% – significantly reducing freight charges – and saves up to 30% on material costs.

Will this delight your customers? Well, if the ‘free’ and almost instant delivery model that is so valued by consumers is to be sustainable, these sorts of savings in cost and in labour are essential. But, more significantly, opening the box is the only ‘In Real Life’ touch point you have with your consumer, and as we have seen, wasteful and careless packaging can strongly alienate them from your brand – which, in an age of endless social media comment, means all their friends as well. 

With right-sized packaging every parcel serves as a brand ambassador.

More information on Sparck’s fit-to-size auto-boxing systems: www.sparcktechnologies.com

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