e-Commerce era drives rethink on logistics and packaging | Sunday Observer

e-Commerce era drives rethink on logistics and packaging

International logistics company, DHL has called on customers and partners to collaborate on rethinking packaging to drive innovation in logistics operations, as a survey commissioned by the company highlighted a growing demand for sustainable packaging materials and less waste – in an e-commerce era demanding fast-tracked deliveries needing optimisation, automation and smart-packaging solutions.

The company’s new Rethinking Packaging document, a new Trend Report that offers a comprehensive look at the future of packaging in the logistics industry, breaks down the trends accelerating the need to rethink packaging, how industries and their packaging needs are evolving and provides insights on how packaging innovations will shape greener and more efficient logistics operations across all sectors.

Driven by globalisation and e-commerce, it notes that the overall volume of products shipped is rising, and packages are travelling further through longer, more complex cross-border logistics networks.

A survey conducted by DHL on 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 subscription services result in frequent single-item shipments, contributing to more carbon emissions and packaging waste,” it noted.

“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.”

It said demand for more sustainable shipping was driving new efforts to minimise waste, promote green materials, and implement convenient recovery systems, adding: “Leading retailers are answering these expectations by providing hassle-free and recyclable materials, capitalizing on the new opportunity to delight the customer with aesthetically pleasing accessible packaging features.”

Global head of innovation and commercial development at DHL, Matthias Heutger said, “The Trend Report and our customer survey illustrate just how important easy, recyclable, and robust packaging is to an overall positive customer experience. 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 optimization 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.

Across industries, increasing demands are being placed on packaging, the report highlighted, noting: “In the automotive and technology sectors, supply chains must evolve to accommodate growing volumes of delicate, high-value components. In healthcare, logistics professionals must ensure safe and compliant delivery of lifesaving medicines and devices to hospitals, communities, and patients’ homes. “As e-commerce usurps traditional retail, the package on the doorstep is now a critical touchpoint between consumers and brands,” Heutger said.

Noting that the logistics industry will play a key role in reducing the cost, inconvenience, and environmental impact of packaging, it concluded that the sector must adopt new technologies, materials and processes across the value chain.