Staples delivers custom box sizes with every order

By Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor in Cartons on November 26, 2012


Staples PackSizeStaples, Inc. Framingham, MA, the world's largest office products company and second largest internet retailer, has launched new packaging technology nationwide that customizes delivery box sizes to each order. Staples "Smart-size" packaging, developed by Packsize International, brings more convenience to customers in every delivery order and improves supply chain sustainability and efficiency:


• Customer convenience: With delivery boxes custom fit to each order, customers don't need to break down oversized boxes and excessive air "pillows."


• Sustainability: Smart-size packaging reduces air pillow use by 60 percent and the average cardboard box size by 20 percent. This results in an estimated annual carbon footprint reduction of 30,200 tons, equivalent to about 120,000 trees.


• Operational efficiency: Customized box sizes allow more shipments to fit on each line haul and more orders in each delivery truck. In addition, just-in-time packaging with Smart-size reduces costs and warehouse space from storing delivery boxes.


"At Staples, our supply chain team works tirelessly to help ensure a great customer experience with each and every delivery order," says Don Ralph, senior vice president of supply chain and logistics at Staples. "Smart-size packaging is an important example of our commitment to supply chain excellence and sustainability throughout our operations. We're already hearing positive feedback from satisfied customers across our delivery business." 

"Packsize is thrilled that Staples has adopted our lean packaging system," says Hanko Kiessner, chief executive officer of Packsize. "This is an inflection point for mainstream adoption of Packsize packaging technology that reduces box inventory, eliminates inefficient use of warehouse space, and minimizes wasted space and dunnage material within the shipped product box." 

Staples has implemented Smart-size packaging in several facilities in its nationwide network of delivery fulfillment centers and will continue the roll-out through 2013. 

Source: Packsize International



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I think Staples needs to re-think that strategy. I just purchased a 1-inch thick air pad for my laptop on Cyber Monday, and when I received the package I was amazed that the 1-lb device was packaged in an oversized box about 10 inches high with the packing "sausage". If this is Staples' sustainability supplier's idea of sustainable packaging, Staples should get a refund from their vendor.