I realize this may be a stretch but when engineers are designing products I doubt they think about the final packaging processes. Your article, however, tells me the savings would be substantial if the idea behind cubing could be extended farther insight the design chain. Should engineers be concerned about packaging? They do reflect and take the issue of small form factor into consideration but packaging? Any thoughts?
Hi Jenn, Great article and thanks for bringing additional attention to cubing.I have been designing and implementing cubing solutions for many years to a wide array of companies.The results I have noticed are nothing more than spectacular.Cubing, in my opinion, is still an untapped market and the new frontier in supply chain and logistics optimization.The technology can definitely have an impact on the environment, but the benefits to the bottom line are what excite the corporations and the shareholders.Either companies can sell more products at higher margins or they can apply cubing technologies to their manufacturing and distribution processes, which can have an almost immediate impact to profitability.Cubing, especially cartonization is being looked at even more seriously and aggressively by companies recently due to the rise in e-tailers and online shopping due reduce shipping charges.
Jenn is correct that there is not a lot of information available by companies on this.There are several reasons for this, many companies have yet to implement any efficient, integrated cubing technologies, and the companies that have are reluctant to share their results to the outside world as it provides them with a major competitive advantage.
With that said, I can point you all to two articles which are available online about cubing or mentions cubing and actual savings due to its use:
This article highlights UPS’s use of cubing algorithms for one of its customers:
“In one particular case, cube optimization was able to help a company save on oversize charges on its packages, save on container costs because it was able to put more packages in a container, and save on the amount of floor space in their warehouse because it was able to stack its product more efficiently. The bottom line savings for the company was nearly $11 per package. This is not an isolated occurrence, and more and more fulfillment personnel are catching on to the potential cost savings associated with cube optimization.”
Great post and good videos! The cubing optimization technology definitely adds to the efficiencies of the shipping companies. I am wondering if packaging companies are paying attention. I recently got a small item from staples in the mail that was packaged in a box 10x its size. It was not a brakable material and it needed no fillers. Maybe we can go greener with right sizing the shipments too.
I think this is an interesting piece of technology. We need to give it some time to gain ground. I also think it will be good for many companys.It will also save and reduce some spending cost. Depending on the ways we look at it , the overall effect of the material is what matters the most.
I read through Dave Sasson's posts in the thread you linked to, but I'm interested in hearing more... maybe Dave could be convinced to write an article with further details? I'm very curious to know the specifics of his situation, the implementation challenges involved, etc.
But again, very interesting stuff, and thanks for the videos... was very useful to see some of this tech in action. And this reminds me that maybe I need to get down to warehouse more than twice a month or so!
Impressive piece of technology that seems to have been designed based on what logistics and warehouse managers wanted and needed. It certainly addresses the mailing industry's shift toward "shape-based" rates.
I think that cubing has saved millions of dollars logistically and has helped out the environment by reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gasses. Having worked for a large shipping company out of high school, I had firsthand knowledge of hand loading trucks and how to optimize all available space. Granted this was in the early 90's and this practice was mainly done by shipping companies. As word spread, this practice has taken off well. I have seen the new processes and I think many companies would benefit greatly by implementing this process.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.