For many companies, introducing a new product to market means new packaging. As their product lines expand, so does the range of packaging materials that they need to keep in stock. Even if they only sell 20 or 30 different products, this means finding storage space for all of the different kinds of boxes and protective packaging needed to ship each one. What’s more, if a new product doesn’t sell as anticipated, they may find themselves with a lot of unused packaging taking up space while gathering dust and grime.

Stacking them high is not so cheap

This might not be such a problem if space were cheap.  Even so, packaging materials bought in bulk could still have to be thrown away in large quantities if it becomes too dirty or damaged to use. But the continued growth in online retail is leading to increased demand for space and driving up costs.

While the proportion of total retail sales made up by online shopping stood at 9% in 2011[1] this figure is expected to grow by more than 40% by 2019[2].  This in turn is driving growth in space-intensive industries ranging from e-fulfilment and wholesale through to manufacturing.  For warehouse managers, this means more pressure than ever to make savings by optimising and even reducing existing storage space.

Why use 30 boxes when one will do?

Regardless of whether you’re considering products or packaging, excess inventory is one of the most frequent causes of inefficient use of space in the warehouse. Yet many warehouse managers are unaware of how much space they could free up by simply taking a closer or alternative look at their packaging.

In fact, there are a number of solutions designed to help businesses do just that. Take for example the BoxSizer system which measures how full a base tray is and then, based on this reading, creases and folds in the flaps and then seals the box. Not only does this cut down on the amount of void-fill needed to secure and protect the items inside, more importantly, it replaces the number of different cartons needed with a one-size-fits-all box which reduces the need for extra storage space.

Rationalising packaging to reduce storage costs

Those without a background in the packaging industry are often unaware of possibilities such as this, which is why we at Antalis Packaging work alongside our clients to develop packaging rationalisation programmes. By identifying inefficiencies and introducing alternative solutions that free up valuable space, these solutions help many companies to reduce storage costs and optimise the space in their warehouse.

[1] eMarketer. 20 June 2015. Mcommerce Takes 15% of UK Retail Ecommerce Saleshttp://www.emarketer.com/Article/Mcommerce-Takes-15-of-UK-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales/1009984.

[2] eMarketer. 10 September 2015. UK Retail Ecommerce Sales to Reach £60 Billion This Yearhttp://www.emarketer.com/Article/UK-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Reach-60-Billion-This-Year/1012963.