Thinking Inside The Box – Cutting Costs With Cartonization


If there is an underrated joy in this digital age, it has to be the ring of the doorbell that brings your parcel. My joy was no different as the delivery guy rang the bell, announcing the arrival of my much-awaited headphones. But what I was not expecting was a humongous package, big enough to house a small microwave. Did they give me the wrong package? Instead, on opening the package, I discovered a ridiculous amount of bubble wrap, and my headphones hidden in them midst. What a gigantic waste of packing space!

The carriers echo the same sentiments, as they struggle to deal with packages with large volumes and low weights. As you know, both volume & weight are critical for attaining high packing efficiency, and a lopsided package eats right into it. Blame it on shippers and their outdated sorting systems. Currently, their sorting systems are programmed to only identify if the product can fit inside a package, but it cannot determine if the packing is done efficiently. To counter this, carriers have come up with a ‘Dim’ weight calculation, that calculates cost based on how much the package should weigh according to its size. It ramps up the cost of shipping, adding avoidable cost to product value.

How does ‘Dim’ or Dimensional weight calculation work?
Say, if you’ve got a package that weighs 21 pounds and has dimensions of 30x12X12 (in inches). The carriers will calculate its ‘Dim’ weight by calculating its volume, which comes out to be 4320 cubic inches, and then divide it by the multiplication factor 166 (can vary). The ‘Dim’ weight comes to be 26 pounds, which is 5 pounds more than the actual weight! Extra cost has to paid to the carrier for those extra 5 pounds; money which could be saved if the new cartonization technology had been deployed

What is the new cartonization technology?
It is a new packaging & sorting system that works on the principles of 4-Dimensions. What it means is that it considers the weight of the package as the 4th metric, along with length, breadth, and height. Using this, it can calculate the most efficient way a product can be packed, what kind of filling material is to be used, and what will be the costing.

What metrics does the cartonization technology work with?
-Dimensions of the package
-Special requirement if any (fragile etc)
-Ability to nest multiple products in one package
-Maximum weight the carton can hold
-Cost incurred for packaging

The simple aspect of cost should be a big enough initiative for logistics companies. Currently, the extra charge on shipping is bore by the consumer. Companies who employ cartonization would soon be able to offer better rates for the same product, making competition even more ruthless. Soon, even packing efficiency will become a strong point for cost-cutting in the market.