Packing Optimization

When we do what we do best, we create win-win situations. Not too long ago we had the chance to help a client who had been stuck in the proverbial rut when it came to packing up, warehousing, and shipping their manufactured goods.

For years they had been using solid wooden crates to ship their goods. These crates weighed almost 100 pounds before they were loaded, and once they had been filled, they were difficult to move and sometimes dangerous to unload. Each time the crate was packed, a staff-member would have to stack the contents inside the crate and use screws to attach the lid, and then they would reverse the process when it was unloaded. As if that wasn’t enough, these crates were expensive to construct and hard to stack in an already crowded warehouse. It was one of those situations where everyone agreed that there had to be a better way. These are the kinds of projects we live for!

The first obvious decision was to get rid of all this lumber. We designed a triple wall corrugated paper packing system that was built on an internal pallet. The pallet offered strength and easy portability at just over half the weight of their original crates. On top of the pallet we designed a series of corrugated paper containers that could each hold a single layer of contents. Those boxes could easily be stacked into a smaller freight cube for shipping. When it came time to unpack the goods, the paper containers could be unpacked one at a time without any tools and with easier access to the interior. This design lessened the chance of damaging the goods or injuring facility staff. These stackable containers gave us plenty of high-visibility real estate to show off our client’s logo, and a bit of extra branding never hurts.

Inside the warehouse you could immediately see the differences that these changes made.  The move away from bulky, wooden crates reduced the space requirements by 45%. This gave our client the choice of keeping stacked containers at the same height and freeing up floor space, or using the same amount of floor space with stacks half the size.

Before they went to our redesigned container plan, the wooden crates our client was using would be damaged in transit or would often just wear out. When they had to be replaced, a new crate had to be built from scratch. By ditching these crates and going with corrugated paper containers, they saved over 20% on packaging costs. You might think that all this paper would start filling up the dumpsters behind their plant. In truth, switching away from crates to their new container system reduced their landfill contributions by over 400,000 pounds!

Like most businesses, you’ve got your hands full. You’d love to be able to do a deep dive on all your processes, but don’t let time constraints slow you down. Get in touch with Western Industries and let our team of specialists tackle your challenges. We’ve got the experience and the resources to help you get lean and ready for your next phase of growth.

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