Online shopping is now the norm for everything from hi-tech devices to everyday products. This constantly growing trend encouraged many entrepreneurs to open home delivery businesses. One of them approached our company looking for smart ways to create an efficient supply chain from the start. In this case study, we will show how small foldable containers proved to be the winning solution for the online grocery startup.
Customers Expect Delivery within the Hour for Groceries
When it comes to ordering groceries, the time is ticking very fast. Consumers may wait for one-two days for a flat screen smart TV. However, they want their groceries at their doorstep within the hour after ordering them.
This means that online groceries must have a well organized logistic flow, with strategically located warehouses and carefully planned routes for delivery drivers. And this is not the end of the challenges for home delivery businesses.
Packaging Plays a Key Role in Fast Deliveries and Product Integrity
The online grocery startup realized that they cannot rely on cardboard boxes and wooden crates – the go-to cheap packaging for new companies. The vans could not be fully stocked because these fragile packages cannot be stacked. They also take up a lot of space when empty.
This meant that a driver would make several trips to the distribution hub just to unload empty packages and load a new batch of order. In the meantime, orders would keep coming and the customers would soon start getting impatient.
Logistic Packaging Experts Weigh In
Looking at the client’s business model, several things were clear to our logistics experts:
- Delivery drivers must be able to cover a large area and make many deliveries within one trip
- They must be assigned to a distribution hub within their regular delivery area
- Each delivery hub must have fast order picking capacities, so that the driver does not have to wait for the van to be loaded
- The driver must be able to effectively store empty packaging inside the van in the most compact possible manner.
The only packaging solution that meets the demands of this fast-paced logistic flow is the small foldable containers range.
Our Recommendations for the Online Grocery Startup
To kick off their operations, we recommended our client to start with a batch of collapsible containers and a batch of foldable crates for fruit and vegetables. In making this recommendation, we considered the following features and benefits of the packages:
- When folded, they reduce their own weight by up to 80%
- Approved for contact with food
- Provided with ergonomic handle for easy lifting and unloading
- Sturdy build, adequate for intense use over a long period of time
- Standard footprint, allowing stacking on EURO and ISO pallets
- Reduced own weight, but above average loading capacity.
By distributing the packages across all distribution hubs, the online grocery business could ensure a steady flow of orders, without running out of packaging material. Delivery drivers can easily fold down empty containers and place them under loaded ones.
Thus, they could start with a fully loaded van and reduce their trips to the distribution hub to unload empty packages and load new orders by one quarter.
The First Results after Implementation
The grocery delivery service proved successful from the start. Customers were pleasantly impressed by the fast delivery and the cleanliness and professional look of the crates and boxes used to store their order.
On the other hand, delivery drivers and warehouse employees appreciated the easy handling and sturdiness of the small foldable containers. They are able to pick orders very quickly, without incidents resulting in injuries or damaged products.
Within half a year after launching its business, our client ordered new batches of foldable crates for fruit and vegetables and collapsible containers with various loading capacities. The Logistic Packaging team assisted the client in customizing the packages with their brand colors and logo, as well other helpful advice to maximize the lifespan of the containers.
The team of experts at Logistic Packaging is always ready to help any business identify the adequate packaging materials and implement logistics best practices to optimize their operations. Send us an email to start discussing your packaging needs with us!