Sustainability through efficient logistics
Former logistics chains have been replaced by n-dimensional logistics landscapes where all the restrictions or disadvantages we are struggling with today have been overcome. Empty trips or dead freight, excess or underproduction are things of the past, the same applies to wrong deliveries or losses due to expiry or spoiling of goods. Material and information flows are constantly adapted to changing requirements. Broader networking makes it possible to reintegrate already delivered, but (currently) unused goods or materials in the logistics landscape to make it available again. Multi-sensory packages eliminate typical risks and dangers due to quality losses caused by improper local storage conditions. Information about the quality and usability of packed goods is available at any time. Logistics concepts no longer serve the commercial interests of single groups or individuals, but society as a whole, and are geared towards ecological sustainability. The tasks of primary and secondary packaging, storage and transport conditions and secondary use of all materials and energies involved are comprehensively optimised for each product. The balancing act between optimizing the package size and type, material use and product protection and fulfilling all user demands and expectations is achieved for every age group and lifestyle philosophy.
Premises for 2050
- Households, manufacturing and all other parts of the supply chain are linked in networks for need-driven production and distribution.
Innovative materials enable ultralight transport containers, robust refillable and foldable containers reduce volume
- Product/brand-specific use of multisensory packages (appearance, feel, fragrance, acoustics).
- Modular and functional packages with extra (SMART) functions like freshness sensors and indicators, antibacterial surface finishes, cooling effects or RFID tracing functions.
- Socio-demographic trends have made convenience a key quality criterion in packaging.
Ideas directly related to paper until 2030
- Packages indicating the condition and quality of packed goods: minimise risks and permit optimum use of materials and goods: spoilage and insufficient raw material or converting quality are immediately visible, package contents may be used after best-before dates in suitable conditions if the informed end user agrees.
- Load protection: customized, cost-efficient transport solutions are widely available also for shipments from little or undeveloped regions.
- Paper cans: easy to open, unbreakable, low risk of injury also to people with impairments; lightweight, easy to stack or fold flat when empty.
Electrically conductive packages: no electrostatic charging or damage to sensitive electronic components or devices, no health impairments by contact electricity.
- Drawability: round food packages with complex shapes can be manufactured without material allowance – large variety of shapes can be realized with little material and energy.
- Reminder function: pharmaceutical packages send optical/acoustic signals or messages via mobile phone/Internet to tell people when they have to take their medicine, check how much has been taken from the package, warn of unauthorized access e.g. by children, remind patients/doctors when they are running out of supplies.
- Multimedia-based presentation areas: keep customers better informed; avoid loss of time, bad buys and mistakes; customized presentations for specific target groups and needs.
- 3D printing: enables cost-efficient production of single or unit packages for special applications, customized packaging solutions or small lots; resource-saving, optimised solutions for each distribution channel.
- Reuse: fuel production instead of incineration when material recycling makes no sense; decentralized processing of used packages and reuse directly on site offers economic and ecological advantages and avoids transport, centralized storage and distribution.
Ideas indirectly related to paper
- Individualised shopping logistics: opening hours or complicated price and quality comparisons are no longer necessary – centralized, resource-saving, optimally organized; prevents bad buys, transport damage or storage problems; meets actual demands and permits delivery to any desired address and return or re-consignment at short notice and any desired time.
- Internet of things: linking of objects and persons with the Internet leads to new products, business models and use options – packages inform about changes in the condition of packed goods (spoilage, leakage) to accordingly modify the destination, check and clean transport routes travelled, initiate the delivery of replacements and eliminate the sources of faults or trouble.