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Telescoping boxes reduce shipping costs and emissions

International shipments are costly enough without having to pay for empty space within the shipment containers. As part of our Supply Chain Optimisation and Process Excellence (SCOPE) programme, our freight team in Memphis wanted to find a way to reduce dimensions in international shipping to optimise shipping rates, reduce freight costs and minimise environmental impact.

The team realised that packaging could be reduced if the box was flexible enough to support different packing configurations. We needed a box that could be tightly packed with minimal empty space, to develop a short-term solution that could be implemented quickly with low capital costs, and which could deliver immediate savings.

First, we changed the size of the boxes we use internally. We then worked with our vendor to transform the box top into a telescoping lid that scales to the height of the filled box, reducing the gap between the contents and the top.

To date, this solution has resulted in nearly $250,000 savings in international Orthopaedic shipment costs. We are now looking to expand this solution to our Sports Medicine and other manufacturing sites. “I saw a problem and believed that if we worked together, we could develop a simple solution for it, says James Bulloch, Memphis Logistics Manager. “It worked out even better than I imagined. I encourage everyone – don’t be afraid to suggest a creative idea to fix a problem – it may lead to a great solution!”

Sustainability report 2018