Understanding Dim Weight

Keeping costs low while still providing the best services and solutions to customers will always be the priority of any business. Sometimes, unfortunately, new policies can make cutting costs a lot more difficult.

In an effort to update their value analysis for the space on their trucks and prevent ‘cubing out’ (when a truck runs out of space before it reaches its weight capacity), FedEx and UPS have both made the switch to dimensional weight practices, or dim-weight. This means that all boxes, not just the ones above 3 cubic feet, will be charged for either the actual weight of the package, or the dimensional weight – whichever is greater. This means that all boxes leaving your warehouse have to be measured as well as weighed, adding a whole new element of labor to your shipping process.

Dimensional weight is easy to figure out. Take the length, width and height of a package and divide it by 166 if the package is being shipped domestically and 139 if it is being shipped internationally. The equations look like this:

dim weight domestic

Domestic

dim weight international

International

Although they seem simple enough, these equations can mean bad news for businesses that use UPS and FedEx to ship products to their customers. Unless you’re using a packaging method that actively works to reduce the size of packages without sacrificing the safety and value of your product, you can be sure that prices to ship your inventory will go up.

All companies need to make sure that their shipping departments are aware of this change and knowledgeable about how to help decrease the dimensional weight of packages exiting the warehouse. Another thing to be aware of is bulging. If a box bulges due to poor handling on the shipper’s part, new fees can be incurred due to the dimensional change. If you have had issues with either a disproportionately large dimensional weight or package bulging when you are shipping, a new packaging solution is essential for your company to keep costs down.

There are a number of solutions to the issues imposed by this new policy, and the main one is to use more efficient, low weight packaging. Alternative packaging methods like bags, Surface Guard cohesive packages, and smaller cartons with less air are just a few examples of necessary solutions that will reduce your headache.

Click here to see all of the different solutions from different industry leading packaging companies that R.V. Evans has to offer. You can also visit our contact us page, or schedule a site needs analysis with one of our professional representatives.

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Retail Distribution Center’s Pallet Loads are “All Wrapped Up” with Orion Stretch Wrapper Solution

Pre-Solution ApplicationOrion RTA Tandem Stretch Wrapper

The client, a distribution center for over 50 retail store locations, was previously manually applying hand grade stretch film to unitize their outgoing pallets of merchandise.  This method was time consuming, labor intensive, and provided inconsistent load containment.

The R.V. Evans’ Value Added Solution

After performing a Site Needs Analysis and thorough review of the application, an R.V. Evans’ Packaging Sales Specialist determined the appropriate value added solution.  The recommendation:  (2) Orion Flex™ Series RTA Deluxe Tandem Automatic Rotary Tower stretch wrappers with gantry frame fencing option and alarm package.  In addition, the client will utilize their previous & current method of material handling of the pallets: electric walkies and electric double pallet jacks with extended forks to carry (2) pallets at a time.

Key Benefits of the Orion Flex™ Series RTA Stretch Wrapping Solution

  • Secure up to 40 – 50 loads per hour (based on 80” tall load, 12 revolutions)
  • Runs 20” standard and 30” optional width stretch film with a standard prestretch ratio of 260% = (increased yields!)
  • Ultra low wrap to within 1.5” off floor
  • Automatic load height sensing photo eye and film force-to-load control
  • Second leg gantry style frame and zone protection fencing with photo eyes for enhanced wrap zone protection and/or high speed applications
  • Alarm package: audible/visual warning and light/horn to indicate start cycle
  • Boost end-of-line packaging efficiency – RTA automatically attaches the film tail to the load, then cuts and secures the film tail at the end of the cycle.  Operators pull a hanging lanyard to start the cycle and perform other duties while the pallet loads are securely wrapped for shipment.
  • Proudly made in the USA.  4 year warranty on all major components, 5 year warranty on structural frame, lifetime on InstaThread stretch rollers

Measurable Savings Realized

This stretch wrapping  solution has enabled the client to experience a number of improvements including increased throughput with the dual wrapper wrapping (2) pallets in tandem, reduced labor, improved load containment, as well as increased yields with the use of machine grade stretch film at a 260% prestretch ratio.  In addition, the automated solution vastly reduces the chance of injury associated with hand wrapping and increases the level of operator safety with the addition of the gantry frame fencing option and alarm package.

If you are interested in a stretch wrapping solution specific to your application, contact R.V. Evans Company by visiting www.rvevans.com.  Here is a link to view more stretch wrapping solutions on our website:  http://www.rvevans.com/Packaging-Solutions/Stretch-Wrapping.aspx  or if you would like to set up an on-site review of your packaging process, R.V. Evans can help.  Schedule a Site Needs analysis by clicking on this link: http://www.rvevans.com/Contact-Us/Schedule-Site-Needs-Analysis.aspx.

For a variety of videos featuring different stretch wrapping machines in action, check out the R.V. Evans’ Orion Stretch Wrapper Playlist on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC699644908B14C7B</a>

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3 Things You Should Know About Carton Closing

Carton Closing Stapler

Carton Closing Stapler

There are a variety of ways to close and seal a carton. The method that you choose to close the cartons in your packaging process can greatly affect the condition of the product when it arrives to your customer. If the product arrives in poor condition, it not only runs the risk of being returned with a complaint, but it hurts your company’s brand. Using the correct method to close and seal cartons can reduce material costs as well as increase shipping conditions.

There are a variety of methods for closing your cartons including staples, tape, and plastic strap. All are designed for different applications. Some of the most common use of staples and plastic strap is to keep cartons sealed that may contain heavier items that would normally rip tape, whereas tape may be used in applications where higher volume production is present.

These are very basic examples of applications where these carton closing methods would be used, in all truth, each application is unique. There are a variety of factors that must be taken into consideration in order to achieve the optimal carton closing method. 3 important factors are:

1)   Storage and Shipping

One factor that comes into play is; what is happening to the product after it is packaged and the carton is closed? If it is immediately going into ground shipment and it is a heavier item, then staples may be required to ensure that the product stays in the carton. If the product is going off of the packaging line and being placed on a skid to be stacked, you may be able to get away with tape to close the carton.

2)  Production Volume

Another factor is the volume of packaging that is occurring in the application. If you are operating with very low volume, using stick staples in a carton closing stapler may be adequate. As packaging volume increases, your method needs to change to meet the demand. Staples can also come in roll format; these are collated rolls of up to 5,000 on most Bostitch rolls. If volume increases even more, tape systems can meet the demand of higher throughput. Systems like the Wexxar BEL250 are designed to seal up to 25 cases per minute.

3)  Environmental Factors

Another factor to take into consideration is the environment in which the carton is being closed. Dirty and dusty environments can leave residue on the corrugated container making it more difficult for tape to seal, but does not affect carton closing staples. Also, if there is a void around the product, you may risk damaging the product with staples.

There are a plethora of factors that come into play when deciding whether to use tape or staples. Using the correct method will provide better results, reduce wasted material and cut down on costs. Take time to identify some of the factors that may affect your end product to ensure that you are using the correct carton closing method.

Happy Packaging!

For more information you can contact us at 1-800-252-5894 or by visiting our website at www.rvevans.com

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