American packaging giant 3M is developing a new material that is to revolutionise parcel delivery. It will significantly shorten the time, reduce the amount of material and space needed for shipping.
A tiny box of cream, a small gadget or any other small product ordered via the Internet is usually delivered in surprisingly large cartons. It is understandable that shippers want to protect their goods as much as possible. However, now that e-commerce is booming, every square inch of storage space and every minute of work in the warehouse counts. That is why it is worth looking for new solutions.
Such a need was noticed by the American company 3M, which manufactures and sells various products, including plastics, abrasives, electronic and pharmaceutical materials.
The Minnesota-based company has created a new type of packaging that requires neither tape nor filler, fastcompany.com reports. It can be customised to fit all products weighing less than 3 pounds (1.36 kg), which according to 3M account for about 60% of all items purchased online.
Cartons are the nightmare of online retailers
Companies such as Amazon and Target regularly improve their cardboard packaging. And for the thousands of smaller online retailers who trade on platforms such as Amazon, Etsy and eBay, as well as small businesses that ship products directly to customers, it takes a long time to prepare a package.
3M decided to conduct a survey among them and it turned out that cartons, due to the lack of an alternative, are treated in the e-commerce industry as a ‘necessary evil’ and a ‘real nightmare,’ we read on the portal.
Plastic roll instead of cartons
Flex & Seal Shipping Roll reduces packing time, the amount of material used for packing and the space needed to ship parcels by up to 50%.
The roll is made of three layers of different plastics developed by 3M, including a grey inner adhesive layer that sticks to the surface of the material. Inside there is a cushioning layer, similar to bubble wrap, to protect the contents. The most durable waterproof outer layer is tear-resistant.