eCommerce businesses are witnessing a high volume inflow of products and customer demand. An eCommerce business operates day in and day out. For such companies, warehouses are an essential link in the supply chain. Setting up a warehouse and managing it for supply chain management is a huge task for an eCommerce company. eCommerce companies start small, but they have the potential to be very big with their scale of operations. For upscaling, they need not only huge spaces for warehousing but also a sound warehouse management system.
Any eCommerce business that handles a high volume of orders daily knows the challenges of packing and shipping. Firms in the eCommerce and retail industry must recognize the packing and shipping processes because these are pivotal to the venture's overall operations and revenue generation.
Every order for the eCommerce business is unique and must be packed with a lot of care. Therefore, the packing and shipping process has to be optimized for the sustained success of the whole setup. Every order that the eCommerce venture packs have to be packed securely so the customer gets what he has shopped for without any damage in transit.
Packaging is a crucial process, but it also changes occasionally. With the increase in demand for products or the product catalog's diversification, the packaging rules also diversify and change. For example, a wooden item will have different packaging specifications than a glass item. Packaging is more than just a box that fits the product.
The packaging is done in a way that protects the product even during the long transit of products. To streamline packaging for different products and ensure proper packaging for every order, eCommerce warehouses take up the practice of cartonization. Cartonization is possible with cartonization software and tools often custom-made for warehouse management systems.
What is cartonization?
Cartons are packaging materials used for products so that they can be shipped. Simple. However, when we extend towards the practice of cartonization, it becomes an advanced automated process that determines the best packaging configurations for an order to be shipped based on various specifications of the product.
The cartonization software specifies the size of the carton to be used and the packaging material apt for packing inside the carton. Based on these specifications and packaging material, the cartonization software also estimates the cost of packaging. The cost of packaging for a product is an important parameter and detail for any eCommerce company. Packaging costs are linked with companies' profit margins from order fulfillment.
Cartonization software and the adoption of proper packaging smartly can reduce waste and the costs of packaging for the company. If the same process is done through manual processes, optimization and adoption can be time taking. Therefore, cartonization software has become popular, along with packaging optimization guidelines. Cartonization processes are specially adapted in large to medium warehouses with automated processes that handle large orders.
In the most straightforward words, cartonization is choosing the most effective packaging specifications for a product so that it can be shipped over large distances. Cartonization can be used by any level of warehouse and any scale of eCommerce business. The emergence and upgrade of cartonization software have also streamlined and widespread this entire process.
Usually, eCommerce businesses align cartonization software with warehouse management systems for better output and fully automated processes till shipping. Many companies use customized cartonization software so that the specifications can be adjusted and used as per their product dimensions. This creates customized and efficient packaging for products. Cartonization software has become very advanced and intelligent.
This software matches the product with its packaging and lets robots do the job. The algorithm of modern cartonization software analyzes every product, dimension, and nature. The product's height, weight, width, and other specifications are considered before the product is packaged.
The cartonization software's thorough analysis also considers the packaging and labor costs for every product and order. This way, the eCommerce business can choose the best cost-effective option for the packaging and simplify shipping. The automated cartonization software brings speed and efficiency into the processes, so orders are shipped at the earliest.
The cartonization software determines the dimensions of the packaging and which products, as well as how many of them, should go into them. The automated software decreases the costs and labor of packaging and increases the productivity of the business setup.
The process can also immediately ensure that the customer gets undamaged, well-packaged products. The operational efficiency is increased, but so is the customer experience enhanced.
Today, when every business is turning into a more or less eCommerce business, automated cartonization software can be any company's advantage. With the help of cartonization software, eCommerce businesses can offer speed and accurate delivery to customers.
Large enterprises that offer same-day or next-day delivery work with automated warehouse processes, including automated cartonization processes.
How Does Cartonization Work?
Cartonization works based on the analysis done through software. The software has advanced algorithms and estimation tools that help estimate the package dimensions needed for a product. There are some variables that cartonization software takes into consideration to start packaging accurately. The variables include the material and shape of an object.
Based on the shape, the type of packaging, and the overall size of the packaging are chosen. For example, a round object is packaged differently than a rectangular object. A glass object is packaged differently than a steel object. The packaging is chosen Based on the available inventory and the type of material. The size of the product and whether it can be disassembled is also a significant consideration that the cartonization software makes.
If the product can be disassembled, it needs smaller packaging. Similarly, if an order has multiple products and they are small, they can be clubbed together in one package. The cartonization software makes all these considerations. The product is well analyzed for its material, nature, and other dimensions before the cartonization software selects its packaging.
When Is Cartonization Used?
Cartonization can be used for multiple types of warehouses. However, cartonization is only partially used for small businesses. Businesses with a limited product line and few product varieties usually do not need cartonization. They can, however, use automated robots and tools for packaging and sorting. eCommerce platforms where customers can find nearly everything using cartonization software.
The cartonization process lays the foundation of the order fulfillment process for many businesses. The automated cartonization process streamlines the process in large warehouses. In these large warehouses, the practice of cluster picking and wave picking is supported by automated cartonization.
Wave picking is an efficient way of order packing in which multiple orders are clubbed together to speed up the process and reduce cart traffic. Once the deliveries are grouped based on the delivery partner and location, the cartonization software determines the number of boxes needed for the order packing and shipping.
Related: How to Optimize your Warehouse Picking Process
What Are The Benefits Of Cartonization?
Cartonization is very popular today because eCommerce companies and warehouses are witnessing high orders and consistent customer demand. In such cases, an automated cartonization process can streamline the entire packaging process so that shipping is fast and deliveries are undamaged. Here are the benefits of cartonization for large warehouses and eCommerce companies.
Reduced Packaging Costs
Every eCommerce business must consider the packing material and packaging costs. By optimizing packaging with the help of cartonization software, the eCommerce business can reduce the costs related to packaging. The dimensions, material, and prices are minimal without compromising safe packaging.
Improve Customer Relationship
The order fulfillment process depends heavily on the customer business relationship. eCommerce businesses rely a lot on customer relationships and experience to create a strong base of users. Some parameters affect customer relationships in the eCommerce sector. Speedy delivery and care in packaging are some of the significant factors. If the packaging is well-optimized and secure, the product is not damaged or spoiled in transit.
When the customer receives an intact product, he is highly satisfied with the brand and repurchases from the same platform. For speedy delivery and fast operations, cartonization software is a must. To provide customers with better services and improve trust between the brand and customers, businesses deploy automated cartonization software.
Better Picking Pace
When the packaging is optimized with the help of cartonization software, all other processes linked with packaging go on smoothly. Cartonization allows the workers to pick up the order in the final shipping container to ship the packages to different locations. Warehouse processes are enhanced in pace, and shipping times reduce drastically. Companies can therefore extend one-day or next-day deliveries to their customers. Cartonization ensures reliable, accurate, and fast deliveries, which enhance customer experiences.
Optimizing processes and automating them is essential for a large warehouse that faces a high volume of orders daily. With the help of the cartonization process, the packaging standards are set for products. The team does not have to look into the packaging of each product individually.
The team also does not have to calculate the packaging details manually. Thus, time-consuming and repetitive tasks are addressed with this software. Workers focus on other processes, and the packaging, picking, and shipping processes are fast. Thus, cartonization increases the productivity of the entire workforce by optimizing and streamlining processes.
Lower Shipping Costs
These days, many eCommerce platforms are offering free home delivery with zero shipping costs attached. The process of cartonization allows them to extend low or zero shipping costs. As packaging is optimized, the cost of packaging is reduced. This cost can be put into shipping to cover shipping costs. The reduced packaging and optimized packages mean that more packages can be sent out in one shipping trip. Therefore, cartonization saves money for the eCommerce company and helps lower shipping costs. This benefits both the company and the customer.
These are the most notable benefits of cartonization. Now that we know about the benefits of cartonization let us know about the types of cartonization. Since there are different types of products and packaging, it can give rise to varying kinds of cartonization.
Types Of Cartonization For WMS
Single-item cartonization happens when a single product type is matched to the same kind of packaging. This means that whenever there are products with the exact dimensions, they are grouped under the same type of container. Businesses with limited product lines and few products with the exact dimensions use this cartonization.
Mixed Item Cartonization
Mixed item cartonization is for businesses with multiple product types and dimensions. Here the cartonization software might put different products into one carton for packaging if these fit into the dimensions of a single container. The software considers the dimensions of the container and matches them with the dimensions of products from different products. Customers can be grouped under assorted items if they have ordered other products of varied sizes. If a customer has composed many small products, they can be clubbed into one large package instead of a singular one.
Pick Slip Grouping
The pick slip grouping process depends on the packing slip. Based on the packing slip, the workers know which orders to pick and club together in a package. One carton is assigned by the cartonization software, which is used for packing according to the packing slip that the worker is handling.
Cartonization is a powerful tool that can help to take your warehouse management operations to the next level. With the right strategy and implementation process, you can quickly and easily realize cost savings and increase efficiency. By understanding how cartonization works, what considerations need to be considered, and the available benefits, you can more effectively manage your warehouse and optimize productivity. If you're looking for support in creating a customized cartonization plan tailored to your needs, Conveyor is here to help. We offer various innovative solutions and highly skilled professionals to design a system that will best serve your business's long-term goals. As the industry leader in warehousing logistics, we build the tools 3PLs use to compete and win new business. Reach out today and give yourself a competitive edge—the advantages of reliable cartonization await!
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