Automating the packaging process and the major gains that come with it

By Steven Brandt, former Director of Automated Packaging Solutions, ProShip, Inc.
Published in Supply & Demand Chain Executive, August 6, 2018

CVP is no longer part of the ProShip product portfolio. Please visit our CVP page for additional information.

Everything in the third-party logistics (3PL) industry is accelerating, it is an instant-everything world and companies want parcels packaged and delivered ASAP at the lowest cost possible. As companies search for cost saving opportunities to meet this demand, order packaging is one of the fulfillment processes that continually gets overlooked. In most cases, order picking, put walls and shuttle systems are the only areas analyzed to discover any cost saving opportunities. But in reality, order packaging can be the most manual and labor-intensive part of the formula, leading to higher overall costs. With parcel growth predicted to rise 17 to 28 percent through 2021, 3PL providers must investigate all parts of the order fulfillment design to stay competitive.

A Complex Problem

Some argue that robots threaten millions of jobs, but that is not the case within the 3PL sector. The dwindling order fulfillment labor force is facing major skill shortages, and companies are finding increased competition for warehouse labor and an aging workforce. This means what was once simply a gap is now a crisis.

Only making this crisis worse, the average parcel shipped is 60 percent air! With some carriers charging users dimensional (DIM) weight of parcels instead of the actual weight (when the DIM weight total is higher), large but lightweight parcels incur unnecessary high shipping costs. To avoid upcharges, shippers must package orders into the smallest possible parcel in order to receive the lowest DIM weight and shipping costs. Exposing this process to human error isn’t an option anymore, and overcoming these challenges isn’t easy. E-commerce and 3PL providers can reduce labor and parcel sizes while decreasing use of shipping materials by utilizing innovative packaging solution.

An Automated Packaging System for Increased Efficiencies

The CVP Automated Packaging Solution by ProShip, Inc., is an in-line autopacker that optimizes all steps of package fulfillment. The solution creates a fit-to-size box around every order and can handle single or multi-items. This solution measures, constructs, tapes, weighs, and labels each custom order every seven seconds with only one operator to create the perfect parcel and reduce or eliminate the need for void fill materials.

“We are always looking to be at the forefront of automation within the supply chain and are proud to have been the first company in the world to use the CVP,” said Ingram Micro, a multi-billion-dollar 3PL provider of information technology products.

This machine continues to be a proven strategic tool for the third-party logistics industry, including companies like Ingram Micro and CEVA Logistics in Europe, but also supports companies in e-commerce, retail, manufacturing and many other industries world-wide.

[Watched this auto-boxer in action]

Labor Gains to Combat the Labor Crisis

The CVP Automated Packaging Solution is engineered and proven to alleviate the labor-intensive packaging process. This system saves companies an average of 88 percent in labor costs and eliminates eight to 15 packing stations. Workflows continue to run smoothly throughout the year and minimize the need for laborers, especially when peak production periods are experienced. The CVP does not take any vacation or sick days, allowing companies to run a lean operation, shorten the packaging process and fully support shipping demand 24/7.

“Automation is crucial to our company as we work with short delivery times. And we have a lot of customers, about 35,000 who we serve with just 26 employees,” said Richard Rensen, owner of The Label Collective Group. “The CVP allows us to pack parcels much faster.”

Reduce Shipping Costs to Save Thousands

The CVP handles a diverse product mix and reduces the dimensions of every order by building the minimum-sized box required. “Packaging is more efficient and cheaper. We don’t need any filler materials to protect the product,” said Rensen. “And as the CVP packs much tighter around the product, we have less damage.”

Additionally, if shipping costs are DIM weight dependent, this innovative technology provides users an average of 45 percent shipping savings. This allows the per unit parcel cost to be significantly lower!

Reduce Corrugate Materials to Add to Your Cost Savings

The CVP consumes only the minimum amount of corrugate required when creating each parcel, saving companies an average of 29 percent in corrugate material. In addition, ProShip does not require a long-term corrugate commodity contract and customers can purchase corrugate directly from suppliers. Multiple box size inventory is significantly reduced by utilizing one corrugate fan fold width, eliminating over dozens of box inventory SKUs.

Pierre Yves Escarpit, director of operations at Cdiscount, France’s leading online retailer with almost four-billion-dollars in sales and over 30 million products available said, “With the CVP, we are now able to completely adjust the size of the parcel to the size of the goods which make up an order. This is a breakthrough and major step forward, not only in relation to our carbon footprint, but also in terms of economic impact.”

Integration Advantages with 24/7 Support

The CVP integrates seamlessly with automated shipping software, which will rate shop among your carriers choosing the lowest cost and will print carrier-compliant labels for every parcel. There are many additional customization options available, including an Automatic Document Feeding System to insert printed documents in each order, such as invoices, packing slips or return labels.

With these additional software integrations, ProShip offers many service options that are customized to fit every customer’s unique needs, including remote support, daily reporting, on-site services, parts support, product training and software maintenance. ProShip values each customer and our support team makes a personal commitment to deliver the best customer experience in the industry. The company’s number one priority is to ensure customers meet or exceed their production and service levels by providing direct customer support.

A New Way Forward

The order fulfillment process is the lifeblood for third-party logistics providers and many other industries, and an automated packaging process can change everything, including transforming your packaging function from a cost center to a profit center. The CVP Automated Packaging Solution by Proship Inc. ensures all steps of the package fulfillment process are optimized and helps you stay ahead of the competition. It is an investment with huge returns.

ProShip is beyond the box, your business should be too. It’s your turn to expand your business potential in today’s challenging market with the CVP Automated Packaging Solution. Contact us now for more information about the CVP solution, the ROI opportunities, or a no charge consultation to see if the CVP Automated Packaging solution can save your business on labor, shipping, and corrugate costs.

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