Packaging in the logistics industry: environmental impact

Packaging performance development will require close collaboration between supply chain experts, packaging specialists, and customers

DHL report

Packaging in the logistics industry: environmental impact. Source:

DHL has released the “Rethinking Packaging” report offering an extensive look at the future of packaging in the logistics industry.

The report is devoted to the needs of the packaging rethinking and evolvement, along with insights on how packaging innovations will develop greener logistics operations.

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. 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
Matthias Heutger, SVP, Global Head of Innovation & Commercial Development, DHL

The report reveals that the logistics industry will play a key role in reducing the cost, inconvenience, and environmental impact of packaging. However, it must adopt new technologies, materials, and processes across the value chain to fulfill that.

Sometimes badly-packaged shipments are the major cause of product damage. This way, the companies presented software that allows calculating the best possible ratio of items, cartons, and pallets. For instance, OptiCarton, DHL’s innovative package density optimization tool, maximizes carton and pallet space by more efficiently selecting and arranging packages based on size and weight.

Companies will be able to balance the growing e-commerce market by automating unloading processes, end-of-line packaging and labeling systems, the report says.

According to the DHL survey, the majority of respondents said they prioritize the introduction of sustainable packaging materials. The adoption of reusable materials and closed-loop recycling programs to eliminate waste has increased lately.

The report reveals that to strengthen the connection between the customer and the package via real-time updates, companies consider smart-packaging technologies, such as smart labels or tags, and last-mile product protection measures.


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