DHL report: e-commerce driving need to rethink packaging

Packaging will play an important role for the logistics industry in the next three to five years as the expanded variety of e-commerce products has led to new challenges in shipping and packaging, a new survey conducted by DHL shows.

Driven by globalization and e-commerce, the overall volume of products shipped is rising, and packages are traveling further through longer, more complex cross-border logistics networks, DHL’s trend report “Rethinking Packaging” said.

The DHL survey shows that for nine out of 10 logistics companies, packaging will play an important role in the next three to five years. Fast-tracked deliveries and increasingly popular subscriptions services result in frequent single-item shipments, contributing to more carbon emissions and packaging waste.

Moreover, the expanded variety of e-commerce products has led to new challenges in shipping and packaging. Demand for more sustainable shipping is driving new efforts to minimize waste, promote green materials, and implement convenient recovery systems.

“Surveyed customers see themselves confronted with maintaining a reasonable spend on packaging, the number of shipments damaged in transit, as well as optimizing the available transport capacity,” the report said.

“The Trend Report and our customer survey illustrate just how important easy, recyclable, and robust packaging is to an overall positive customer experience. The acceleration of changing needs of companies, consumers, and the wider environment however increase costs and reduce effectiveness,” Matthias Heutger, global head of innovation & commercial development at DHL, explained.

“We believe that the adoption of new packaging optimization tools, materials, and handling technologies will significantly boost efficiency and productivity. That in turn, will drive changes in the operation of supply chains and logistics processes.”

Across industries, increasing demands are being placed on packaging. In the automotive and technology sectors, supply chains must evolve to accommodate growing volumes of delicate, high-value components. In healthcare, logistics professionals must ensure safe and compliant delivery of lifesaving medicines and devices to hospitals, communities, and patients’ homes.

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