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-July 17, 2008


Supply Chain Graphic of the Week - The Transportation Benefits of Improved Packaging


New Milk Cartons Reduce Deliveries Per Week by 50% or More; 11,000 Shipments Eliminated at Sam's Club?


By SCDigest Editorial Staff


Many companies, especially in the consumer packaged goods industry, are finding that what might be the easiest way to reduce transportation expense in the face of soaring fuel costs is to improve and reduce product packaging.

One of the more dramatic examples of that came to light this week with news of an improved milk carton, cylindrical in design, that can increase shipping density in trailers by 50% or more. (See New Milk Jug Design Shows Promise of Improved Packaging to Reduce Transportation Spend.) Key to that savings is elimination of traditional plastic milk cartons to move the milk, and the ability to palletize the new containers.

The chart below, from the inventor of the new design (Superior Dairy), illustrates some of the many benefits.

A brilliant idea, even if not all consumers are wild about the design. Sam's Club, which like Costco has been testing the new packaging, estimates it can reduce truck load deliveries by 11,000 per year as a result when it takes the program natonal, which it has committed to do.

The real question is what other products/companies have similar opportunities.

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