CORDIS - EU research results

Improvement and sustainability of box production’s process for e-commerce

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FASTBOX (Improvement and sustainability of box production’s process for e-commerce)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-05-31

Fastbox is a next-generation system that allows the production of in-house customised boxes. The idea was conceived to meet the needs of the on-demand packaging industry that currently sends boxes worldwide in an inefficient manner. The use of standard packaging has a negative impact on the generation of waste and on emissions of CO2 into the environment. The aim of Panotec is to create a productive sustainable packaging cycle, one that is on- demand and also more efficient for the customer who will be using it.
The proposal sought to quantify the impact of the new system on the market. The analysis and market research showed weaknesses in the system initially conceived, resulting in reformulation of the design to meet not only European targets but also the needs of end customers.
The revamp started from the notion of a cardboard box that was specifically designed for the new Fastbox concept. Reviewing the features of the box, a new production and formation process was created which made it possible to meet the needs of the industry. In fact, with the new production process it is possible to achieve a high production speed and to maximise final box volumes. Analysis of the market and of competitors' products highlighted the critical points on which to develop a more reliable and faster technology, allowing us to create a competitive product for the on-demand packaging market.
The end result was a feasibility study with positive forecasts regarding the impact of the Fastbox system, both in terms of environment and business benefits and also regarding advantages for the international market.
The Fastbox design has a high scope of potential that is able to convey positive impact at the European social and economic level.
The filling rate is the degree of filling of a box, which means the entire volume not occupied by the item being shipped is occupied by air. The minimum acceptable filling rate for Panotec is 70%. The market currently ships with an average filling rate of 40%. This means that with Fastbox, the quantity of plastic fillers used is far lower than current standards.

Given that the data indicated below was calculated on the basis of analysis of the shipping techniques of a beta customer, the following effects on the use of the system were reported.
The Panotec technology applied to the Fastbox concept allows savings of cardboard and plastic materials in the percentages indicated in the table below:

Company A - Transport logistics 3 64.45% 79% 97.39%
Company B – E-commerce 7 36.43% 56.8% 90.77%

For company A, in one year, the following savings are assumed:
• Cardboard Volume: 39,242 m2 out of 60,888.92 m2 currently used, equivalent to 18.21 tons per year.
• Filler Volume: 1,821.19 m3 out of 1,869.99 m3 currently used, equivalent to 6.94 ton per year.

For company B, in one year, the following savings are assumed:
• Cardboard Volume: 21,452.88 m2 out of 58,892.75m2 currently used, equivalent to 9.98 tons per year.
• Filler Volume: 1,103.21 m3 out of 1,215,45 m3 currently used, equivalent to 4.20 tons per year.

Optimising the box, it will be possible to reduce CO2 emissions linked to transportation by reducing the air volumes being shipped. In fact, using customised boxes it is possible to deliver multiple orders with a single truck, reducing the routes taken and allowing a decrease of CO2 emissions.
The design thus contributes to the achievement of the goals set in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (94/62/EC) and in the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC).