Environment
Climate

PostNord – Eliminating extra space in packages

It is more a rule than an exception that a shipment from an online store is delivered in an oversized package, the content of which is mostly air. To eliminate this excess space, PostNord has invested in a packaging automation that optimizes and minimizes the size of packages. The size of a box can be reduced by up to 30 percent on average, and at the same time, the impact on the environment caused by its transportation is reduced.

Reduced CO2 (tCO2e)
7
Total impact 1 360 380 See all »
Reduced CO2 (tCO2e)
7
Total impact 1 360 380 See all »
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Chief Impact Builder at Solved - The Cleantech Company
Eetu Helminen
Review

Logistics has a growing carbon footprint due to the growing trend of online shopping. Therefore it is important to look at all angles to mitigate all the possible carbon emissions from the whole logistics chain.

This solution is, naturally, only a part of answer to the global logics chain footprint. Never the less, it is a good step for the home delivery part of the problem.

For this to have even more impact, the solution should already be at use at the start of the deliverychain from the factory onwards.

About Eetu
I’m an enthusiastic, goal-driven, experienced, and inspiring change leader as well as an impact builder and communication professional. I have been leading and played major parts in many sustainability business concepts, design processes, and impact projects. I have been building tools for scaling up impact and business for the past decade at Solved, Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation, and Siemens. My background comes from news journalism.
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Purpose

Cutting CO2 emissions caused by transportations is a key challenge for the logistics industry. With the help of packaging automation, the size of boxes used for packaging shipments can be minimized, whereby a larger number of packages can be transported in one delivery truck. More tightly filled trucks decrease the total amount of transportations needed, which reduces their overall impact on the environment.

Results

The most significant benefits packaging automation brings are the reduction of transporting unnecessary air in packages and improving the fulfilment rate of delivery trucks. With the help of automation, the size of packages can be reduced by up to 30 percent on average. Consequently, 100 transportations can be eliminated each year. This amounts to a 7470 kilogram CO2 emission reduction yearly.

Implementation

PostNord’s warehouse in Turku was equipped with an automation line that minimizes the size of packages. The machine handles up to 900 shipments per hour. The technology works by placing standard cardboard boxes in a line that measures the fulfilment rate of the box and eliminates any excess space in it. When no air is left in the package, filling materials, such as plastic or paper, are no longer necessary.

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