KNAPP, Packsize develop sustainable packaging solutions for Walmart

USA – KNAPP, a leading technology partner for value chains, and Packsize, a global right-sized packaging specialist, announce their strategic collaboration following a successful project to deliver sustainable packaging solutions for Walmart.

Using KNAPP’s automation technology and Packsize’s right-sized packaging technology, the companies have created a fully automated solution expected to minimize the number of cartons used to ship products, as well as the amount of filler material they contain.

In turn, it is hoped that cardboard waste will be decreased; delivery vehicles can fully optimize their space and take fewer trips for deliveries; personnel costs will be reduced; and consumers’ shopping experience will improve – all of which could give online retailers a competitive advantage.

Samuel Krauser, product manager and sustainability expert at KNAPP’s global headquarters in Graz, Austria, explains: “As soon as an order is started, the software uses master data to calculate the required size for the shipping carton, which the Packsize machine then produces.

“Then the custom-sized target carton is sent directly to the workstation for picking. This significantly reduces unnecessary packaging and fill material, which also reduces shipping costs.”

Tailoring a pack to a product apparently saves one-third of the amount of filling material used in traditional packaging solutions and reduces carton size by up to 40%.

Four Walmart distribution centers in the United States are currently utilizing the technology, reportedly reducing cardboard waste by 26% and void-fill packaging use by 60%.

KNAPP and Packsize now state that they are implementing a right-sizing solution for an international sports clothing retailer that ships 6.2 million cartons every year in its global operations.

By adopting this solution, it estimates a 30% reduction in void fill and a 5000km decrease in packaging tape.

Furthermore, the companies claim that an annual 500 tonnes of CO2 will be saved each year. They also suggest that the optimal loading of delivery vehicles will serve as an additional reduction of the company’s carbon footprint.

For Walmart, right-sizing cardboard packaging is a step in its packaging sustainability strategy, which also includes the utilization of recyclable paper mailers, a complete transition into electric delivery vans, and giving consumers the chance to opt out of single-use plastic bags.

In June, Walmart announced plans to introduce changes aimed at reducing waste and promoting sustainability across its business operations.

The company said it will implement three key initiatives: replacing plastic mailers with recyclable paper ones, adopting made-to-fit technology in its fulfillment centers to optimize packaging and allowing customers to forgo plastic bags for curbside pickup orders.

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