Reusable Container Case Study for Building Products Distribution: B&Q/Ceva Logistics

B&Q and CEVA Logistics have previously worked together on a reusable packaging format for kitchen countertops – Carrierpacs. The two companies collaboratively developed, pilot tested and rolled out reusable packaging for home delivery of kitchen worktops. Following on this successful venture, the partners developed a new reusable packaging for long kitchen components such as plinths, pelmets and cornices.

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Carrierpac reusable packaging was developed for shipping kitchen counter tops

The goal of the project was to replace 290,000 single flute corrugated boxes used annually with a multi-trip container. Outpace Packaging Solutions, a packaging consultancy, worked with CEVA Logistics and B&Q to develop a multi-trip plastic package called “Longspac‟. Twice the weight of the single-trip corrugate used previously, the Longpac utilizes a woven plastic (polypropylene) outer and a corrugated plastic (polypropylene) inner liner.

By the end of the trial the Longspacs performed an average of 22 trips, and had diverted an estimated 3,200 kilograms of cardboard from the waste stream, while delivering several thousand longs products to the customer with no reported damage.

With an anticipated lifespan of 20 trips, a pool size of 14,500 reusable Longspacs would be sufficient to cover both seasonal variation in delivery volumes and the cycle time for Longspacs to return through the system. This pool size is based on total number of deliveries and reuses, as well as taking into account cycle time and loss rate which would be important factors to consider.

  • Approximate annual usage of 290,000 single-trip corrugated Longs boxes at 1.5kg = 435 tonnes, which equates to approximately 457,000 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents.
  • The weight of reusable packaging used (for the same 290,000 deliveries) would be 14,500 x 3.06kg = 44.37 tonnes, which equates to approximately 130,000 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents.
  • Considering solely packaging material inputs, this gives a net saving of approximately 400 tonnes per annum and 327,000 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents.

As well as reducing the amount of packaging used by 400 tonnes per year, achieving 20 reuses would save over £150,000 annually.


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