DHL Supply Chain Develops Multi-Purpose Returnable Container

Leading logistics provider DHL has developed “Multipurpose Returnable Containers (MRC)” that can reduce the environmental footprint during shipping of precision equipment by reusing the containers multiple times. Under a three-year agreement with DHL Supply Chain Japan, 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.

An international patent for this container is currently being filed for the “Multipurpose Returnable Container” developed by the DHL Supply Chain with support from Fujitsu. The containers were developed to promote the 3R principle — to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle — while minimizing shocks and vibrations during shipping, with a particular focus on durability, work efficiency, versatility, and load efficiency. The containers use a special technology to improve fortitude by trapping air within the two layers of urethane film used for shock absorption. By using hardboard made of recycled paper for the frame supporting the urethane film, the weight of the container itself was reduced to 5kg, approximately 50% less than the weight of previous containers. Additionally, these containers achieved a maximum load capacity of 50kg, or 2.5 times that of previous containers, as well as a durability that allows for reuse up to 100 times.

Previously, cardboard and foam absorption materials were used when shipping precision equipment such as servers and storage devices, and 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.

Easily Customizable Containers: Reduces Fujitsu’s 50 types of packaging

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.

Shuichi Kawamura, President of DHL Supply Chain, said, “By providing eco-friendly packing solutions, we are supporting our customers’ promotion of environmental management in their transportation requirements. As a global leader in the logistics industry, we continue to develop solutions and services by offering added value to support our customers’ business.”

Jerome Gillet, Vice President of Consumer and Packaging, DHL Supply Chain Asia Pacific said, “With the strength of our Japan Team in eco-packaging and packaging design and an increasing demand for more sustainable and cost effective packaging solutions from our customers, we will offer many innovations in the coming years in multi-purpose and customized reusable containers.”

Source: DHL

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