Ground-breaking packaging optimisation technology is helping some of the world’s biggest retailers transform their global supply chains by reducing shipping costs and their impact on the environment.

The Packaging Compliance module, pioneered by global supply chain management specialists EV Cargo Technology, also cuts wastage, and promotes sustainability by improving transit packaging compliance, minimising damage, and increasing the amount of product which can be shipped.

Since implementing the system, a year ago, Marks & Spencer have been able to rationalise 3,800 carton types to just 10 – a 99% reduction in under eight weeks. As a result, they have increased shipping container fill levels for clothing garments by more than 15% to a market-leading 95%.

The module has also helped condense lead times for approval of transit packaging and shipping of goods from 72 hours to just a few minutes.

This helped M&S exceed its planned benefit of 15% cost savings, part of a three-year initiative to increase efficiency within its international supply chain through packaging optimisation.

Stephen Jarman, vendor performance and compliance for M&S, said: “Underpinning this success has been the migration from a clunky packaging approval tool to EV Cargo Technology’s streamlined Packaging Compliance module, which has provided the data to help us track cartons, establish what was in them and dramatically improve container fill levels.

“It reduced complexity and cut out the need for lots of extra solutions from a supplier perspective. Significantly, it has also reduced the lead time required from approving transit packaging to raising a packing list, giving us more flexibility with time in case any issues were to arise.”

The cloud-based module requires suppliers to confirm transit packaging sizes and construction against agreed standards set by the retailer or brand owner; any requests that are outside of tolerances are flagged, reviewed and, if appropriate, rejected either manually or through automation built into the system.

Duncan Grewcock, EV Cargo Technology’s chief commercial officer, said: “EV Cargo Technology is renowned for intelligently applying supply chain technology to deliver operational, cost and sustainability improvements for its customers. The positive results with M&S are encouraging and very typical of what can be achieved.

“Our data-led approach and application of best practise through our range of global supply chain modules continue to deliver unrivalled benefits to manufacturers and retailers with complex international supply chain needs.”

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