Are automated packaging systems right for your business?

Automation is becoming increasingly common in modern warehouse facilitates. 

Automatic packaging systems are common place in most modern warehouse facilities up and down the country. Within Amazon’s fulfillment centres they can measure, construct, seal, weigh and label an order in a custom-fit parcel in as little as seven seconds using only one operator.

Customers expect fast shipping in sustainable packaging. Whilst carriers want lower DIM (dimensional) weights. Sometimes this can seem impossible to meet the best of both worlds, automated packaging technologies help to solve some of these issues. 

Auto-boxing systems are now found at warehouses across the country, including Amazon’s. The state-of-the-art solutions measure, construct, seal, weigh and label each order in a custom-fit parcel in as little as seven seconds using only one operator. Some will also auto-box single- or multi-item orders as well as produce parcels for soft or hard goods without any additional equipment or operators needed.

These proven auto-boxing solutions generate the smallest parcel needed while optimizing all steps of parcel fulfillment, saving retailers on shipping and material costs, and even reducing the warehouse’s reliance on labour.

Amazon turned to these solutions to combat the labour shortage seen in warehouses across the country. As it gets harder to hire these positions, especially in packaging, the retailer saw the advantage automated packaging systems can have on warehouse efficiency. The technology creates custom-fit parcels so employees no longer need to spend time searching for the appropriate-sized shipping package and void fill, which can add a lot of time in getting the order out the door and into the customer.

The number of employees in the packaging department is also greatly reduced with these solutions so employees can be transferred to other departments to create more value and streamline the order fulfilment process across the entire warehouse.

Auto-boxing systems are just one example of automation in the packaging industry, each individual part of the packaging process can be blended with manual labour to create bespoke solution for businesses. Automatic paper voidfill machines, automatic wrapping machines, automatic strapping machines all are available to help automated specific parts of the packaging process. 

Evaluating automated packaging systems

Although these solutions fix many of today’s shipping pain points, they are an investment. Before integrating these automated packaging solutions into a warehouse or distribution centre, it is important to evaluate your specific packaging process and needs. To do this, you must:

  • Research the automated packaging solutions in the market. While they may look similar, there are differences. Be sure you find the solution that best fits your customers’ and your items’ demands and needs.
  • See the machine in action. Videos, infographics and photos are great, but nothing can beat viewing your potential new investment in person. Visit the machine and ask to speak to the warehouse manager and others who use the machine daily to really understand how it helps streamline your packing process.
  • Complete a return on investment analysis. Do your homework to see how long it will be until you receive a full return on investment after installing an automated packaging solution in your warehouse or distribution centre. This includes reviewing labour and shipping material costs as well as the time it takes to manually package each order. Some retailers have found it has taken them only six months to receive a full return on investment post installation of these innovative machines.

With automated packaging solutions, your shipping woes can be solved. After implementing these solutions, some retailers have seen a 50% reduction in shipping volume and 32% reduction in freight costs. Amazon was even able to eliminate at least 24 roles in its packaging department. With reduced freight costs, lower labour costs and less packaging materials used, an automated packaging solution can be your key to parcel packaging success.

To learn more about how to integrate automation in to your packaging process, contact your packaging expert by clicking here.  or calling 01922 472 400