Reputation Factor Packaging

According to a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of packaging specialist DS Smith, more and more consumers in online retailing are saying: the less packaging, the better. But packaging optimization also has countable advantages for logistics.

The already booming online trade is likely to receive another strong boost during Christmas time. For example, the German Retail Association (HDE) expects Christmas sales in online retailing to rise by 19 percent this year to over 17 billion euros. This will also put a strain on logistics: from the end of November until Christmas, Deutsche Post DHL is expecting new record volumes, with over 11 million shipments on peak days compared to an average of 5.2 million parcels on normal days.

Differentiation by means of packaging

Packaging manufacturer DS Smith now warns against ignoring the negative consequences of additional and often avoidable packaging waste. DS Smith bases this on a survey carried out on its own behalf. The survey revealed that “too much packaging” can ultimately be associated with reputational and business risks for retailers. For example, 40 percent of those surveyed said they would switch to another supplier if the desired product was delivered by them with less packaging. This applies in particular to young consumers (ages 18 to 24), of whom even almost one in two (49.5%) agreed with this statement.

Impact on logistics

“The rapid growth of e-commerce that occurred over the lockdown period combined with the always-busy Christmas period is putting unparalleled pressure on the behind the scenes logistics operation,” said Stefano Rossi, CEO of DS Smith Packaging. “Where poorly designed packaging is used it has consequences. It leads to more journeys which means it takes longer for products to get from A to B.” Businesses should therefore carefully consider how to package goods effectively and with sustainable materials.

As an example of optimization possibilities, DS Smith refers to a joint project with the Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize. Delhaize worked with DS Smith’s team of experts to redesign its e-commerce packaging. The result is the “Direct Box”, which saves the retailer 160 tons of packaging waste per year. According to DS Smith, it also means 32 fewer trucks in the supply chain and a reduction in storage space requirements of over 1,000 pallets.

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