OfficeMax Reusable Shipping Bins Deliver Less Waste

OfficeMax Reusable Shipping Bins Deliver Less Waste

Boxes - http://www.flickr.com/photos/whoisstan/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

OfficeMax is offering a new reusable shipping bin program to help businesses that make frequent orders reduce packaging waste.

Customers in the program will receive their shipments in reusable plastic bins, and when their next order comes, the OfficeMax delivery person will pick up the empty bins.

The program is open to contract business customers in metropolitan areas that place multiple orders in a week.

The polypropylene bins, which come in two sizes and are made by Technology Container Corporation, are marked with bar codes that are used to track where and when they are dropped off and picked up, and each bin is labeled with the OfficeMax logo.

"Recently, we received more requests from customers on identifying ways we can help them implement more sustainable business practices. We immediately examined the private fleet delivery process and developed a solution that would reduce costs and cut waste at the same time," said Reuben Slone, OfficeMax's executive vice president of supply chain. "Our private fleet customers embraced the idea, so we quickly launched a pilot program to test the concept to see how well the idea would work in practice."

{related_content}The pilot lasted six months before the program opened nationally, and helped OfficeMax understand how to ease customers into the new system. "We also learned that the customer must be responsible for returning or replacing the reusable shipping bin," Slone said. "Lastly, we determined several operational criteria such as the durability of the bin and the most effective way to pack and seal the bin for delivery."

Not only does the program cut down on cardboard boxes and waste for customers to deal with, but it also likely lowers OfficeMax's costs by using the plastic bins over and over in place of one-time-use cardboard boxes, a type of system that has provided savings for other companies.

Boxes -http://www.flickr.com/photos/whoisstan/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

[Editor's Note: This article was updated with additional information provided by OfficeMax.]

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