Efficiency is nothing new to the automotive industry. More efficient production means higher profit margins, and now that energy costs and supply chains have reached their limits, it is smart business to challenge existing relationships and refocus on efficiency.
The automotive packaging industry plays a much larger role in overall supply chains and distribution strategies than ever before. Packaging engineers and specialists focus on sustainability, ergonomics, workplace safety, and packaging durability and quality, while also considering new options for change.
Working together with OEMs and their suppliers to reduce the use of packaging and packaging materials in their automotive operations is one way to work towards the industry’s long-term goals based on recycling and reuse.
Like falling dominoes, package improvements have cascading enhancements. For example, fine-tuning packaging to the millimeter means more individual packages can be loaded into a single container, enabling more efficient shipping and transportation.
At scale, this means significant savings in logistics and a reduced carbon footprint, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is recyclable.
Transitioning to a circular economy
A new global study by DS Smith explores the attitudes of supply chain and sustainability managers in four key sectors. In the automotive industry, he is only one-fifth (19%) of companies investing more in packaging to make their supply chains more sustainable and efficient. Why is this number so low?
At the same time, 72% of automakers are more likely to prioritize reducing packaging costs individually than considering the end-to-end total cost of ownership.
However, cost savings from other areas of the supply chain can be used to offset the costs of moving to a circular economy. The benefits of reduced complexity, maximized space, streamlined processes, and flattened touchpoints all reduce operating costs. These cost savings can be redirected to meet your sustainability goals.
A DS Smith survey gets the message across, with 65% of automakers saying they fully understand the impact of their packaging solutions and can measure outcomes across their supply chain.
On the supply side, automakers understand the need to reduce emissions, with sales of hybrid and electric vehicles more than doubling to nearly 7 million units in 2021, a trend that will continue into 2023. It is expected to continue. The US and EU have banned the sale of gasoline. Many automakers have already announced plans to sell only electric vehicles by 2030.
Behind the scenes, with complex supply chains blaring, huge opportunities remain on the table to reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing and logistics.
Circular economy principles combined with innovative packaging mean that overall efficiency and sustainability can be significantly improved through recycling and reuse.
Using circular packaging is one of the measures auto companies can use to reduce their CO2 footprint.
bumper to bumper
One of the solutions developed by DS Smith for automotive customers concerns the transportation of bumpers. Bumpers are relatively fragile and have an inconvenient shape, making them difficult to transport.
The original boxes were perfectly stackable for stable transport, but were bulky and time consuming to assemble. Boxes could be improved based on DS Smith’s Circular Design Metrics.
Circular Design Metrics is a tool that helps customers compare the environmental performance of different solutions to create a more circular package. This is a collaborative process involving her PackRight center at DS Smith. The metric includes eight different indicators that give a clear picture of circularity performance and help identify potential areas for improvement. The tool is the first of its kind for brands looking to drive sustainability performance through their packaging by considering recyclability, renewable content and supply chain optimization. is.
“It’s more important than ever for companies to manage their environmental impact,” said Chay Ankers, Director of OEM Automotive Global Business Development at DS Smith. “We want to show all our customers the beauty of the circular economy and give them a clear understanding of what our packaging choices mean for their model. , is a game changer in driving the environmental performance of packaging.We are excited to use our expertise to help companies both large and small in their efforts to become circular ready.”
The new box maximized efficiency throughout the supply chain. Pre-folded and glued, each box is assembled 31 seconds faster, uses less material (1.39 square meters less per box), and frees up 1.34 square meters per pallet in the warehouse.
More importantly, the new boxes are stronger, lighter and designed to maximize the number of units that can be loaded into a single container, resulting in better protection and lower shipping costs. . The box itself is one way to streamline your supply chain.
For 80% of automakers looking to improve logistics and reduce their carbon footprint, innovative packaging can create a series of positive effects. Now is the time to see what you can save.
This is where packaging partners can help automotive companies understand the savings they can realize, both directly and as a result of simplification and streamlining. We need to help companies build these business cases in key areas and understand when it makes sense to invest.
This allows us to work with partners to present end-to-end solutions that balance cost control, sustainability and a supply chain that works better for everyone.
Five principles of circular design
1 Protect your brand and products
Packaging protects products and all resources invested in them from physical damage and waste (shock drops and vibrations), environmental conditions (heat, moisture, dust) and protects people from harm. (ergonomics and ease of handling).
2 Optimization of materials and structures
Do not use more material than necessary. By optimizing the use of packaging materials, we conserve resources and reduce waste such as physical construction (using materials only when necessary) and material orientation.
3 Maintenance and collection of materials
Quality, durability and recyclability are key to keeping packaging products and materials as long-lasting and waste-free as possible. This means maximizing the use of fibers and recognizing their value beyond their intrinsic function (reusability, foldability, recyclability).
Four Maximize supply efficiency
Packaging makes the supply chain from converter to consumer more efficient. We use an end-to-end approach that considers every step from storage and warehouse optimization (reducing costs and carbon dioxide) to optimizing customer plants, packaging lines and ergonomics.
Five we find a better way
By putting our values into practice, we challenge ourselves and our customers to develop more circular packaging solutions.