Big retailers are moving to tackle the cardboard overload in their e-commerce operations, says The Wall Street Journal. Walmart and Amazon are among companies rolling out technology that aims to fit packaging to the items being shipped, cutting down on the number of small items that are sent out in bulky, oversized boxes.
The made-to-fit packaging addresses a major environmental issue in online shopping, and a cumbersome expense in shipping out orders.
The problem has been magnified during the pandemic, with a surge in e-commerce orders sending a flood of boxes onto household doorsteps, and eventually into trash heaps and recycling centers. Fluctuating prices and availability of cardboard have also added headaches for online merchants trying to keep up with the online demand.
Walmart has installed machines that make custom boxes at 12 of its fulfillment centers, and plans to add the technology to more facilities.
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