Quadient targets ecomms with fit-to-size packaging

Jo Francis
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Quadient is anticipating booming demand for its fit-to-size packaging solutions as ecommerce sales continue to grow, while at the same time consumers rail against the use of oversized packaging.

Fit-to-size creates optimum pack size for items or combinations of items
Fit-to-size creates optimum pack size for items or combinations of items

The manufacturer cited pre-pandemic research from Smithers Pira that predicted ecommerce packaging use will grow by 14.3% a year over 2017-2022.

The UK’s Office for National Statistics has since reported that internet sales grew dramatically because of the pandemic, rising to 31.3% of total retail sales in December.

However, consumers are annoyed by boxes that are way too big for the items they contain, and therefore require additional materials to fill the resulting voids.

Jo Bradley, business development manager for packaging solutions at Quadient, said: “Sustainability is a growing consumer concern. The same surveys show that many customers feel more positively about brands that are trying to reduce unnecessary packaging.

“At least the cardboard is seen to be recyclable – not so the bubble wrap and the polystyrene beads. Particularly baffling to consumers is when voids in the box are filled by even more cardboard boxes!”

Quadient’s range of fit-to-size packing lines include the 500 packages per hour CVP Impack autopacker, and “enterprise-level” CVP Everest that can make up to 1,100bph.

Bradley said additional benefits with the use of fit-to-size include a reduction in the amount of cardboard required – typically 20% – which is particularly relevant at present with the squeeze in cardboard supplies. Shipping costs are also optimised.

She said a single operator could achieve the same as throughput as that of up to 10 traditional packing stations. “The technology now exists to create fit-to-size boxes for every consignment while improving throughput at packing stations and dramatically reducing a range of costs."

Hedde Biesma, marketing director for Quadient Packaging Solutions, said the equipment offered a compelling return on investment for users with suitable volumes. 

“On average the ROI is between 24 and 36 months and then the machine starts earning money. But we do have customers who have achieved ROI in 12 months. It all depends on the circumstances,” he stated.

“The price of cardboard is going up, so that means that an ecommerce company or webshop needs to be clever about the packaging. The less waste you have, the less cardboard you use, the less material you use and the better off you are.”

Quadient has a number of UK installations. Boots is using two CVP Impack machines for its Boots.com fulfilment operation, which has resulted in reduced material and shipping costs at the retailer. Multi-channel retailer The White Company became the first commercial user of its  CVP Everest system last year. Asda also uses Quadient Packaging systems for its George.com homewares business, where it has installed a CVP Impack together with partner Clipper Logistics.

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