To conserve is not just a new and trendy idea, it has been a good business model to reuse as much capital as possible to help the bottom line. I was looking at my Redbox cases, and also the Netflix system of shipping, I thought why not use this same principle for retail shipments?
Currently many companies use for their inter company shipment plastic collapsible boxes. I do not know of any retail site like Overstock , or Amazon doing the same for customer shipments. Think of it, building a box that could be used over and over again, then recycled when the life of the box has taken its course. Again this is not a new concept yet one that has not been adapted to be used to ship the frequent shipments to the end user.
The issues of making such a bold move to reusable boxes to ship for retail are cost, size limitation, and reverse logistics to retrieve said box to reship. Costs are coming down not only due to the horrible economy, but the “green” idea has taken hold, as a trend becomes a norm then prices come down. Plus there would have to be some sort of “Green Credit” to the company that started this concept. Size could be solved by understanding what popular dimension of one product is, then merely use one size for many products. Plus the plastic totes are much easier to stack and load, they are stronger than corrugate. Reverse logistics would not be that hard to do, a charge would be related to the shipment sent, and said charge would be reversed as soon as these collapsible boxes where returned by the customer.
Logistics is the platform to make real change with regard to conservation, after all we as logistics professionals believe in being efficient.
Conservation does it belong in Logistics? Let me know..