498: Taking the Air Out of Packaging with IQpack

Welcome to The New Warehouse Podcast! Today, we have Ken Rohleder, the President of IQpack, joining us. IQpack specializes in innovative packaging solutions to eliminate excess air in shipping boxes, improving efficiency and reducing costs. In this episode, Ken delves into his background, the inception of IQpack, and the critical issue of air in packaging. He also shares valuable insights on how addressing this issue can benefit your supply chain and overall business operations.

The Problem with Air in Packaging

Excess air in packaging is a significant issue in the e-commerce industry, leading to increased shipping costs and environmental waste. Ken highlights the extent of this problem: “Most e-commerce direct-to-consumer shippers are shipping 60 percent air.” This inefficient use of space means higher costs for shippers and a larger carbon footprint due to the need for more transportation vehicles.

Ken explains that the root of the problem often lies in inaccurate product dimensional data, which leads to poor packaging decisions. He notes, “The more cubic inches, the more you pay. They just pretend like the box is heavier than it really is.” This flawed approach results in unnecessary expenses for businesses and environmental strain.

Innovative Solutions by IQpack

IQpack offers innovative solutions to tackle the issue of air in packaging. Their strategy focuses on accurate dimensional data and optimized packaging processes. Ken describes their method: “We use a sandbox database to collect dimensional data. This allows us to scan an entire warehouse at lightning speed and ensure accurate measurements.”

By implementing these solutions, businesses can significantly reduce their shipping costs and environmental impact. Ken states, “Getting air out of the box will absolutely move the needle,” highlighting the profound impact these changes can have on a company’s bottom line.

The Broader Impact Air in Packaging Has on Supply Chain Efficiency

Addressing air in packaging reduces costs and enhances overall supply chain efficiency. Accurate data and optimized packaging improve space utilization in warehouses and transportation vehicles. Ken points out, “The savings from getting the box right can be as much as the total cost of operations.” This improvement can result in substantial operational cost savings and improved customer satisfaction due to more efficient and reliable shipping.

Additionally, Ken emphasizes the environmental benefits: “If UPS and FedEx are shipping more air than product, it means every two trucks going down the road should really be one truck.” Reducing the number of trucks required for shipping lowers carbon emissions and contributes to a more sustainable supply chain.

Key Takeaways

  • The top 7% of SKUs typically represent half of the cubic volume throughput in a warehouse.
  • Companies can save 15-20% on UPS costs by fixing their item master data and improving dimensional accuracy.
  • The industry is shifting to view cubic volume throughput as a more valuable key performance indicator. 

Listen to the episode and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Guest Information

For more information on IQpack, click here.

To connect with Ken on LinkedIn, click here.

For more information about packaging, check out the podcasts below. 

405: Sustainable Packaging Solutions with Cory Connors

446: Transforming River Waste into a Sustainable Pallet with Green Current Solutions

436: E-commerce Fulfillment with Brendan Heegan of Boxzooka

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© The New Warehouse. All rights reserved.
© The New Warehouse.
All rights reserved.