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  May 3rd, 2017 | Written by

Fulfillment Logistics of the Future

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  • UPS and Sealed Air are opening a Packaging Innovation Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Packaging center will help solve shipping challenges of ecommerce retailers.
  • Packaging innovation minimizes waste, reduces shipping costs, and increases brand affinity.

UPS and Sealed Air Corporation have announced the opening of a Packaging Innovation Center in Louisville, Kentucky on the UPS Supply Chain Solutions campus.

The center will help solve the packaging and shipping challenges of ecommerce retailers, and companies in many other industries, by maximizing efficiency, minimizing waste, reducing shipping costs, and increasing brand affinity.

This is the next step in a strategic partnership between the two companies announced in November 2016 designed to help businesses prepare for the future of supply chains, fulfillment, and packaging to enable global ecommerce success.

“One of the biggest challenges UPS customers have with ecommerce, and across other industry segments, is that they struggle to create efficiencies and enhance profit margins while still improving consumers’ perception of their brand,” said Alan Gershenhorn, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at UPS. “UPS customers don’t just need supply chain innovation. They also need packaging innovation. Our partnership with Sealed Air, and the new Packaging Innovation Center, will allow UPS to bring a more complete set of solutions as we help customers re-imagine their entire supply chains, including packaging.”

Brick-and-mortar supply chains have been designed to move in a linear fashion with standard-sized packaging sent from a supplier to a warehouse. From the warehouse, products are sent to a store, where they are unboxed and placed on shelves. In this model, consumers never see secondary or tertiary packaging. In the new ecommerce world, everything is upended and consumers now see, touch and need to dispose of packaging on a more regular basis. As a result, what consumers think about a brand increasingly starts with their experience with a product’s packaging.

“The at-home delivery experience is more important than it has ever been. Consumer expectations for fast, free, on-time delivery leave businesses and retailers with very little room for error,” said Jerome Peribere, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sealed Air. “The partnership between Sealed Air and UPS allows us to combine our decades of expertise and innovation to help our customers create those exceptional delivery experiences from the point of manufacturing all the way through to the last moment of truth in front of the consumer.”

Ecommerce sales between 2015 and 2020 are expected to grow a cumulative 128.9 percent. Worldwide retail ecommerce sales are projected to top $4 trillion by 2020, according to eMarketer.1 At the same time, the change in dynamics with ecommerce logistics and packaging are creating big opportunities to drive new efficiencies.

The partnership between UPS and Sealed Air is designed to help customers in each of these areas, and more. Occupying 6,000 square feet in the UPS Supply Chain Solutions facility, the Packaging Innovation Center houses a wide array of Sealed Air’s cutting-edge packaging solutions.

The selection of packaging technology on display includes an automated system that eliminates the need for outer cartons, which can reduce dimensional weight by as much as 87 percent; an automated right-sizing system that eliminates empty void space in each box by as much as 60 percent; and a portfolio of packaging work-cell solutions that improve labor productivity, reduce product damage, and create a consistent, enhanced experience for the end consumer.

UPS and Sealed Air will also use the Packaging Innovation Center to provide consulting services, including package performance analysis to ensure that companies are using the minimum amount of packaging needed to achieve maximum product protection. Customers can schedule meetings at the center to see the solutions in action and request a packaging analysis based on their specific ecommerce business needs and goals.