Features

Why one size doesn’t fit all

With e-commerce volumes reaching record heights in 2020, retailers are on the hunt for sustainable and efficient packaging solutions to meet consumer expectations and keep up with demand. MHD finds out more about the latest on-demand packaging solutions.

Everten, Australia’s first online kitchenware retailer, saw demand skyrocket during the pandemic. Off the back of 2019’s peak period, there was no sign of things slowing down in early 2020.

Order volumes reached record numbers, and as a result Everten kept their entire team of Christmas casuals throughout 2020.

With more than 18,000 kitchenware products available, from knives to bread loaf tins to cooking appliances, Everten has an extremely varied catalogue.

As stay-at-home directives prompted a huge uptake in everyday Aussie’s to return back to basics, with people taking up baking and cooking with their families, Carla Penn-Kahn, Managing Director at Everten says the family-business has never been busier.

With a commitment to sustainability and the environment, in 2018 Everten started working with on-demand packaging specialist Abbe Corrugated and deployed the Panotec solution. The Panotec solution creates the right-sized box, in real-time every time.

By introducing on-demand packaging solution, Everten is able to reduce waste, as well as limit or eliminate void and void filler.

“On-demand packaging offers a holistic solution to sustainability. It creates the optimum size parcel. Not only can you limit or eliminate void and filler, you can reduce the amount of space needed to ship the parcel, allowing many retailers to deliver more parcels within the same shipment,” Russell Speechley, Packaging Automation Manager at Abbe Corrugated says.

When COVID-19 caused a surge in online orders, Everten was well placed to meet this demand, having already invested in an on-demand packaging solution.

“By creating the right fit every time, you can save warehouse space and run a much more efficient operation,” Russell says.

With more customers than ever before, Everten was able to continue to offer a first-rate service through improving the unboxing experience for the customer as well as keeping up with demands.

“No one wants to receive a large box that’s filled with non-recyclable filler materials and a small item,” Russell explains.

Abbe Corrugated is a leading on-demand packing provider who boasts the likes of Catch,, Booktopia and Toll as its customers.

For these customers, Abbe Corrugated offers a large-scale automation that offers impressive throughput rates. According to Russell, this level of productivity is near-impossible to emulate in a manual-only operation.

“On-demand packaging offers a number of different benefits. You have enhanced speed to market and throughput capability. You can also optimise your transport distribution network and ensure that the product arrives in optimal condition by using well designed and robust packaging,” he says.

With a number of different types of equipment on offer in this space, Abbe Corrugated has a solution for any size of organisation. “We have equipment that is suitable for small to medium size operations, but we also have our high-end automated solutions for the likes of Catch and Booktopia whose operation will see a large volume of orders every day,” Russell says.

With on-demand packaging, there are also further sustainability benefits available through providing the ability to use the same packaging to return any items.

With customer experience topping the agenda of most online consumers, anything that makes life easier for the consumer, is seen as a positive in today’s digital world.

Since COVID-19, Abbe Corrugated has seen a huge increase in enquires for its innovative on-demand packaging materials.

To respond to this heightened demand and with international travel hindered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Abbe is bringing its packaging automation innovation to Australian shores by way of an Open House and Demo Centre in Melbourne, Victoria.

Abbe will be presenting its full range of sustainable e-commerce solutions, starting at hand-packed standard boxes and easy-close tape solutions, right through to full automation of 800 boxes per hour.

“We’ve made this significant investment to enable many leading and growing Australian companies to come along with their team (and of course their products) and experience the technology for themselves in real-time,” Russell says.

Opening in April 2021, the Open House and Demo Centre will see the unveiling of the CMC Genesys, a new solution for the Australian market.

After many years of research and development, the CMC Genesys was launched in May last year and finally provided the solution to the problematic issue of multi and odd shaped orders.

“The new CMC Genesys is a pick to tote solution and is designed to meet both the needs of the demand for sustainable and recyclable packaging and to optimise the production processes and significantly reduce labour and shipping costs,” Russell says.

The Genesys goes one step further by utilising it’s unique VaryTote® it has developed to eliminate pre-consolidation. It fully automates the packaging process of multi-orders by robotically transporting the order from the tote to a perfectly sized box without the requirement for void fill.

Furthermore, Genesys uses a new innovative laser to cut and crease the exact box templates. “There is no waste and all excess trim is folded into the four sides of the box to create a barrier to contain multiple items and remove the need for void fill,” Russell says.

With no signs of e-commerce volumes slowing down, Russell says having the ability to show Australian retailers the benefits of on-demand packaging first-hand presents a great opportunity.

“We can get businesses from across the retail, logistics and manufacturing space to cone into the centre and see this high-end large-scale equipment running in real-time. We look forward to educating the market and explaining the wide-reaching benefits of on-demand packaging to businesses throughout Australia in Melbourne soon,” Russell says.

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