DHL’s Supply Chain division in Japan has developed “multipurpose returnable containers” that are claimed to reduce the environmental footprint of shipping precision equipment.
An international patent is currently being filed for the container, which traps air within two layers of urethane film to provide shock absorption. By using hardboards made of recycled paper for the frame supporting the urethane film, the weight of the container itself was reduced to 5kg, around 50% less than the weight of previous containers.
In addition, the containers have a maximum load capacity of 50kg, two and a half times that of previous containers. The durability of the containers means they can be reused up to 100 times.
4 tons CO2 saved
The container will be used in Fujitsu Limited’s IA server repair service. DHL Supply Chain manages over 55 packaging operations across Asia Pacific, and the eco-friendly packing materials made in Japan will also be offered to customers in other markets with similar needs.
Previously, cardboard and foam absorption materials were used when shipping precision equipment such as servers and storage devices were disposed after just one use, which incurred costs for recycling.
The successful development of these returnable containers means reduction of approximately 4 tons of CO2 emissions and 3.7 tons of packing materials annually in the delivery process for IA server repair services ordered from Fujitsu. Consequently, this results in a reduced environmental footprint.
Furthermore, these “Multipurpose Returnable Containers” are highly versatile and can be used for products in various sizes by simply adding some auxiliary components. The versatility of these containers means that the more than 50 types of foam absorption materials that had been individually designed for each Fujitsu product are no longer necessary.
The new containers can also be folded to half their original size, taking up less room when they are not in use. Designed for ease of assembly, these containers were developed taking load efficiency into consideration which ensures that they can be built up to 2 meters tall to fit the height of truck containers.
The seals for these containers are also specially designed to leave a clear mark on the labels if they are opened – an enhanced security feature.