Packaging contributes to logistics 4.0 improvements
Logistics 4.0 is the ability to manage the transportation of goods through digitization and networking. Logistical packaging plays a key role in improving the supply chain from producer to consumer.
The fourth industrial revolution is on its way
The digitalization of society can be considered as the fourth industrial revolution, after steam around 1760, electricity at the end of the 19th century, then the digital revolution at the end of the 20th century with the use of electronics.
Logistics 4.0 integrates highly sophisticated communication and information techniques, including networking, thanks to AI (Artificial Intelligence) which optimizes the work of humans in relation to machines.
How packaging contributes to supply chain improvement
Thanks to new technologies, the merchandise follows a process that facilitates the work of the various stakeholders and improves the customer experience. New ways of delivering the product have also emerged:
- at the client’s home ;
- in a drive ;
- in an independent click & collect with code lockers;
- in a click & collect in a local business.
Delivery by drone is still in its infancy, yet it is evolving.
The importance of the type of packaging in logistics
The packages undergo numerous manipulations that can be manual or automated. In addition, as we are seeing with click & collect and soon with drones, it is becoming more and more common for the customer to have no contact with the delivery person. It is therefore important that the goods are perfectly protected, thanks to well-designed packaging, available in sizes adapted to their contents. They must be secured inside the package to avoid damage during transport, and the containers must be able to be secured together to avoid falls and shocks during the journey.
It is also important to reduce the size of the package as much as possible, taking into account some standard sizes, including the classic letter box.
Tracing of packages
Another essential asset of packaging 4.0 is that it is labeled so that its route is traceable and that it is always well signposted on its way so that it is not delivered to the wrong address, forgotten in a depot or misplaced.
It is essential that the labeling allows for contactless delivery, while proving that the package has been delivered to the right address.
With e-commerce, order returns have soared. However, the customer does not always have the right information to send back his package. Any error increases the return time, as well as the price, which may result in a second source of customer dissatisfaction, after being dissatisfied with the product they received.
The use of “round trip” packaging facilitates this type of operation. The package is sealed for delivery to the customer, but it is provided with a second adhesive strip for the possible return of defective or unsuitable products. This type of packaging is also ideal for orders with a recycling option, such as printer ink cartridges or dishwasher detergent cartridges. Once the batch of cartridges or cassettes has been used up, it is returned for refilling. These items may or may not be recorded.
For returns, an adhesive system is provided for resealing the packaging, as well as a return label, which may be prepaid by the manufacturer. This ensures that packages are delivered in a timely manner and that there are no address errors, which improves the customer experience.