Big boxes are a big help
Amazon has taken over online shopping. From everyday items to groceries to your final resting place, you can purchase pretty much every single thing that you need on Amazon. Your items can come straight to your door or to your local store for easy pick-up. The online retail giant has even toyed with the idea of using drones to deliver your wares for added convenience.
With all of those products being bought every day by consumers, packaging is a large part of Amazon’s operations. Some consumers are noticing that the small things they purchase online are arriving in increasingly larger boxes. It seems like such an obvious waste of money for Amazon. However, science says that small things should definitely be shipped in larger packages to decrease waste. Here’s how it works!
Hundreds of people have showcased how their small items were shipped from Amazon. SD cards that could fit in an envelope came in rather large boxes. A couple pairs of socks came wrapped in several feet of air bags. Even small picture frames arrived in two sealed boxes.
While Amazon takes all of their complaints about over-packaging and unnecessarily large boxes into consideration, Amazon has shown that it’s usually more efficient overall.
Amazon’s packaging system works to reduce waste, lower operational costs, and increase the density of the packages for transportation efficiency. While there are some people who work in the distribution centers, robots and computer programs are used to calculate algorithms that involve all of the products that are to be placed on trucks that take packages to their final destinations.
The Better Way to Ship
If a truck has too many small boxes or envelopes, for instance, it can lead to a lot of empty room in the truck. If the truck goes over bumpy roads or has an accident, the boxes can shift wildly and fall, leading to ruined products. Well-stocked and organized trucks lead to less waste.
Amazon has also worked with their partners to decrease waste with packaging initiatives. They claim on their website, “To date, our suite of sustainable packaging innovations have eliminated 182,000 tons of packaging material and avoided 307 million shipping boxes—enough boxes to fill more than 558,000 semi-trucks.”
For 10 years, Amazon has been using “Frustration-Free” packaging, which was developed by Fisher-Price. Frustration-Free packaging is easier to open than traditional packaging, it’s more protective for the items inside, and it’s recyclable.
“Frustration-Free Packaging is designed without plastic clamshells, wire ties, and other redundant packaging features, so it’s super easy to open and 100% recyclable – eliminating ‘wrap rage’ for customers,” Amazon claims.
Let’s note that the online retailer stress test their packaging at the Amazon packing Lab in Seattle to optimize their boxes.
In addition to making their packaging as efficient and recyclable as possible, Amazon strives to create and support sustainable energy, which they feel is important to them as a company and good for their millions of consumers. Amazon’s Wind Farm Texas in Snyder, TX adds more than one million megawatt hours to the power grid each year.
“We now have 18 wind and solar projects across the U.S. with more than 35 projects to come. These are important steps toward reaching our long-term goal to power our global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy,” stated Kara Hurst, Amazon’s Worldwide Director of Sustainability.
While you may think that your items are arriving in too large of packages, it may have been placed in there in an effort to help out with balancing the truck’s load. If you want to feel better about the box, recycle it, or break it down and reuse it for something else later. How do you feel about Amazon’s packaging practices? Let us know in the comments and SHARE this story!