Our relationship with packaging is changing and with the boom in e-commerce, says Rob Carle, UK Head of Sales E-commerce at DS Smith, packaging more than ever has been recognised as a critical part of the supply chain, showing resilience to transport and the protection of essential goods, and saving shoppers valuable pennies by keeping items fresher for longer.

Rob Carle, UK Head of Sales
E-commerce at DS Smith.

But, finding the balance between protecting goods and limiting the amount of materials used is a constant source of concern for retailers. Likewise, shoppers do not want to receive broken goods or have to deal with excess packaging. By using DS Smith DISCS™ technology, (named after the types of testing – Drop, Impact, Shock, Crush, Shake), each part of the product journey is replicated, providing real world testing that allows for the development of specific sustainable performance solutions using no more packaging than is necessary.

This includes considering: a customer’s overall product size, type, and fragility to allow for the right packaging when shipping, the modern complex distribution model that takes into account failed delivery attempts and returns which together can reach up to 50 touchpoints for a single package, and finally, the real life damage risks of when a product is loaded onto different modes of transport, is carried, and is possibly dropped.

Designs developed using this technology ensures that lighter weight materials can be used and still provide the same, if not increased performance in the supply chain. And, by considering a product’s specific supply chain upfront and applying DS Smith’s Circular Design Principles, customers can still work with packaging experts to design out waste and pollution to make sure materials are kept in use by optimising recyclability, material use, the potential to replace problem plastic, reuse and more.

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