Before consumers click the checkout button to complete their online orders, they’ve likely contemplated the shipping options available to them: How much will it cost? How fast will the order arrive? How difficult and expensive will returns be?
But few of us will spend much time wondering exactly how these orders will get to our doors. Where do the products come from exactly? Who or what packs it up? Does it travel by air, land, or sea?
Like many folks, you may imagine some kind of anonymous warehouse facility filled with conveyors, and a fleet of rumbling trucks waiting at the loading dock. That’s the typical fulfillment center model that has fueled the rapid growth of e-commerce over the last decade, but that was just the beginning.
Omnichannel fulfillment started to earn it’s buzzword status a few years ago, but the proliferation of actual channels that omnichannel can encompass is on the rise.
These days, orders might be drop shipped straight from the manufacturer, or sent from the back room of a brick-and-mortar retail shop, or even picked up, packed, and delivered by a full-service online shipping provider. Or the packages might come from one of those big, anonymous distribution centers in the middle of nowhere, or just a few miles away.
As the fulfillment sector of our global economy has grown more complex, so too have the selection of packaging solutions that support it. But that complexity isn’t a virtue. The key to unlocking fulfillment efficiency is less, not more.
Less packaging material and void space in every box.
Less stock materials taking up valuable warehouse space.
Less time to pack.
Less labor training.
And yes, less cost to ship.
The future of fulfillment will be delivered in boxes that are magically made to fit every order – or even eliminated altogether. It will be protected by packaging systems and solutions that are effortless to operate and supremely space-efficient. And it will be powered by virtual testing data, labor productivity data, even consumer purchase histories.
We look forward to giving you this glimpse at how packaging technology is evolving to meet the demands of modern fulfillment, and getting your perspective on the challenges that are standing between you and the future of your business.