Following on from our packaging overview last month, we have had a detailed look at the precautions that should be taken when packaging electronic items and components. Every year the online retail industry is growing, and not just for big name online stores. EBay, Amazon and other online marketplaces mean that consumer to consumer selling is also on the rise.
The state of the environment is now a major concern for all governments, industries and companies. It’s constantly in the news and there’s a general acceptance about the great benefits of more sustainable ways of life. Recycling is a big part of this and is now practiced on a very large scale, with many homes and offices now having their own recycling bins and collection services.
But recycling the odd envelope or doodled scrap of paper can sometimes feel like it won’t make much of a difference, and you often wonder what even happens to the paper once it’s shipped off to the recycling centres.
To follow on from our latest look at reusing cardboard, we’ve decided to lay down a few facts about paper recycling to help motivate you to get all the bits of paper you have laying around shipped off for recycling.
Whether you’ve just moved house or ordered a load of online goods, sometimes we all find ourselves with an excess of cardboard lying around – it’s been estimated that each person in the UK uses about 140 cardboard boxes every year. But what can you do with all of it? Just throw it away? Well, this would probably be a waste, because there’s so much more that can be done with cardboard than you might think.
Rajapack has a rich heritage of reusing cardboard – back in 1954, when Rajapack was founded (named “Cartons Raja” back then), the company originally sold reused cardboard as a cheaper alternative to buying new boxes. Being environmentally friendly is still at the centre of Rajapack’s DNA. Things might be a little different now, but this history is still an important reminder that cardboard doesn’t need to be wasted.
Selling online through auction sites and online market places can be an easy way for individuals to make a bit of extra cash, or for businesses to venture in to low-risk ecommerce. Using these sites is advantageous in that most logistical issues are taken care of. However, packaging your item is not one such thing, and Rajapack wants to help you to get it right.
As a seller, you are responsible for the condition of a product up until the point it reaches the customer. Whether it is damaged en route or before dispatch is irrelevant, you are responsible. The last thing you want is to be sending your products to customers, only to receive complaints and returns. This costs you money as well as inconveniencing both you and your customers. So how then do you best protect your goods?
We all know the feeling: ordering something and having a long wait for it to arrive. Before the internet became so widely used and the fast-food way of life truly began, there was a time when a delivery (usually ordered over the phone) would come in a matter of weeks or months, rather than days or minutes. Not only that, but there was always that bizarrely ambiguous period in which the item could turn up – something like 4-8 weeks. Nowadays a month-long window for your parcel to get to you seems absurd. What variables could possibly have influenced a package to arrive one month after the order the first time, and two months after the order the next? What changes are there that result in a four week difference?
In late February the internet was awash with speculation around Volvo’s sneak preview of their pioneering home delivery concept Roam. Rajapack gathers some expert opinions on whether Roam could really revolutionise the way we receive our online shopping.
It’s an all too familiar sight for many of us, coming home to stumble over that cardboard slip containing the words “Sorry we missed you”. As well as being an awkward inconvenience, it’s also a problem that creates a huge financial burden on the courier businesses, estimated to have cost the industry £820 million over the last year alone. Volvo believes its latest Roam concept, which was officially unveiled at Mobile World Congress this year, could be the answer to all of these troubles.
Roam works by utilising Volvo’s existing ‘On Call’ technology, transforming a customer’s car into a parcel drop off point and by doing so removing any need to alter your schedule around expected deliveries. Couriers are provided with a digital key that allows access to the car’s GPS co-ordinates, colour, registration plate and grants one time entry to the car, allowing the courier to drop off the goods. Once deposited, the car then re-locks and sends an acknowledgment message to the customer, notifying them their parcels have been delivered.
The Packaging Innovations show 2014 was a great success with visitor numbers at a record high. It was great to see so many faces around the NEC Birmingham; highlighting the increased confidence that is coming back into the packaging industry. Thanks to all those who came to say hello at the Rajapack stand. As well as speaking with everyone who came to see us, we managed to squeeze in time to see what innovations the packaging industry has in store.
With more promotional demos popping up from Amazon, Rajapack looks at a few of the more creative packaging and delivery based stunts from the past few years and answers a few key questions; for example, how many Amazon “Octocopters” would it take to lift the recently delivered “giant box”?
Amazon are at it again: earlier this year an enormous parcel with the Amazon logo printed on the side was spotted in a Wisconsin street – arguably one of the biggest boxes anyone’s seen in a long while. What could they possibly have been delivering? Thinking about Amazon products, it could be anything: 900 books, 1000 DVDs, a pair of scissors, endless second-hand digital cameras – anything. Not many people could figure it out, until it was later revealed that inside the giant box was…..a car. It was a Nissan Versa Note in fact – part of their ambitious advertising campaign which allowed customers to purchase the car by clicking a link on Amazon, with a selected few having their vehicles delivered inside the big box.
To be honest, some of us preferred the mystery. But after the big reveal, many were left wondering what Amazon were going to do next; first we see automatic drones delivering directly to the customer’s door, and now this.
Single, Double and Triple wall boxes are all designed to fit different purposes and for use in different circumstances. Triple wall is the strongest and most heavy duty of the three options, so what is it that makes the triple wall box so strong, and what are triple walled boxes best used for?
The strength of any corrugated box lies within its material and its construction. Standard fibreboard corrugations have two components: the liner board and the medium. The liner board encloses the connected mediums of arched material, all cemented with strong adhesive – the sandwich like construction is where the strength of corrugation lies.
There are 5 types of standard box wall construction: these range from A-flute to F-flute – examples of the formation of A, B and C-flutes can be found below:
A-flute is the thickest gauge of corrugated card, followed by C and then B to F in alphabetical order. C-flute is the most commonly found size due to it being a happy medium between A and B-flutes. As a compromise it offers good strength but without compromising ease of use or storage.
When making multi walled boxes it is common for a combination of different flutes to be used as each category has different characteristics which can help to strengthen a box. A frequently used combination in corrugated boxes is BC, which consists of one B-flute and one C-flute – it’s usually regarded as a strong box-type and can hold very large items safely.
With Amazon’s parcel drone demo still fresh in our minds, Rajapack gets some expert views on whether delivery by automatic drone is really as close as we think.
Back in December a small robotic delivery-copter flew out from a product depot with a parcel strapped to it and headed to its destination; it then carefully placed the package down on to the patio of an eager customer who was waiting a few miles away. There was no knock on the door, no slip of paper saying “sorry, we missed you”, and no van waiting outside with the engine still running. There was very little human involvement at all.
The automatic parcel drone in question had “Amazon Prime Air” written on the side – it was a recent demonstration by the online giant showcasing their game-changing drones (or “Octocopters”) that fly directly to a customer’s home to deliver a package in thirty minutes of the order being placed.
Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos says that the drones can carry items of around 5lbs (which accounts for most of the products bought on Amazon) and insists that they will be able to deliver those parcels in the promised half hour.
It’s bold and it’s impressive, but is it the first step towards a world in which endless Octocopters sail overhead while you’re doing the shopping? Could the flying robots soon be as commonplace as other technological paradigm shifts, such as the UK’s giant web of power lines that dominate the countryside? Well, it might not be that simple – there are a number of challenges to face before this idea really inserts itself in to the normal running of society.