It’s no secret that since the pandemic, e-commerce has skyrocketed, presenting retailers with a raft of new opportunities even in these challenging times.
Due to the increase in consumers switching from shopping in physical stores to going online, many retailers have been forced to find ways to fulfil orders faster at much higher volumes than before. In addition, customer expectations in recent years have been on the rise – they want their orders delivered and they want it now.
A recent report found that only 14 per cent of consumers claim that their parcels are always delivered on time. It also revealed that 71 per cent of people consider details such as the delivery timeframe before choosing to buy from an online retailer.
“The growth of e-commerce has required the need to move to more automated solutions in packaging to achieve fulfilment operation demands. Speed to market is absolutely critical in this space, and by automating the packaging process, retailers can ship goods at a much faster pace,” explains Russell Speechley, Packaging Automation Manager at ABBE.
The challenge for retailers and logistics companies is to deliver products as fast as possible, while using less packaging material and keeping pace with picking operations.
The fastest packaging machine
Catch is an example of one retailer that excels at fulfilling orders in a speedy manner, thanks to their adoption of innovative packaging technology CMC Cartonwrap 1000.
“It was crucial for us to find a reliable machine capable of working fast and reducing waste and damage,” says Saar Davidi, Distribution Centre Manager, Catch.com.au.
“In one hour, it can prepare around 850 orders for sending,” he says. “We do have box-size-optimisation machines with a throughput of 500 to 600 packages per hour, but that’s for same-sized-footprint boxes with variable height, where we have to manually place and arrange the order items inside the correct footprint box, a task which substantially slows the process.”
According to Davidi, CartonWrap has enabled the company to work substantially faster.
“Every 3.6 seconds, the machine can induct an order. Then, the creation process takes between 12 and 20 seconds, but it’s continuous – this machine is the fastest I have come across,” he said.
“We were looking for a 3D carton optimisation machine for a while until we came across the CMC Cartonwrap machine, it simply ticked all the boxes for Catch and came highly recommended by our European peers.
“We’ve seen the benefits of the Cartonwrap since its integration into our fulfilment model back in 2018 and now with the additional CMC packaging machines on the horizon this will enable us to continue to deliver 3D sized sustainable packaging more efficiently and faster than ever before.”
These days, customers also expect retailers to step up and offer eco-friendly packaging solutions. Major retailers who are already on board include David Jones, Myer, Lush and Mecca.
ABBE and CMC Machinery’s new innovative packaging system, the CMC Geneys, is a new 3D development that creates right-sized packaging utilising laser cutting technology resulting in a smaller footprint machine, and achieving gains in reduced package volumes, materials and shipping cost savings. This means less waste, less filler material and less cardboard, whilst maintaining a robust carton ideal for shipment. The consumer on-line purchase experience is further enhanced by the Genesys system providing a resealable and returnable box.
A report from Nielsen last year found that 73 per cent of global consumers would be open to changing their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.
“The new CMC Genesys is a pick to tote solution and is designed to meet both the needs of the demand for sustainable and recyclable packaging and to optimise the production processes as well as significantly reducing labour and shipping costs,” Russell says.