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Green Packing Material Promises Better Protection

As the e-commerce revolution finds distribution centers shipping more and more items in ever smaller packages, boxes and packing material are becoming a bigger concern.

(Boonton, NJ, February 20, 2014) — As the e-commerce revolution finds distribution centers shipping more and more items in ever smaller packages, boxes and packing material are becoming a bigger concern. Some companies, such as office supplies seller Staples, have begun creating custom-made boxes that minimize wasted space.

Many others, though, rely on foam, paper, void fill, or packing peanuts and hope for the best.

The maker of a new packing material made of cardboard says its solution offers more protection, lower cost, and fewer environmental impacts.

The material, known as ExpandOS, uses strips of cardboard folded into triangles to protect fragile items. A packer places ExpandOS into a box, and the triangles become entangled in a way that offers surprising stability, ExpandOS Chief Executive Officer Jeff Boothman, tells Distribution Center Management.

ExpandOS client Ten Strawberry Street, a distributor of ceramic dinnerware, says breakage rates fell by half after it began using the cardboard packing fill instead of kraft paper. The material was cheaper, too — just over $1.20 per box, compared to nearly $1.60 a box for kraft paper.

Details on ExpandOS and the DCs that are using it appear in the February issue of Distribution Center Management.

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For more than 40 years, Distribution Group publications have helped distribution center and warehouse managers increase productivity, cut costs, and meet increasing customer demands. Distribution Group publishes Distribution Center Management newsletter, books and reports, and a free e-newsletter.

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