How Right Size Technology can save you thousands on fuel and energy costs

In 2020 1.27 billion tonnes of goods were carried by trucks and HGVs across the UK, covering 16.2 billion road miles.

Due recent socioeconomic and political factors the cost to fuel these HGVs has risen by £173 per week. Diesel has hit a record high of £1.70 per litre, while petrol now costs an average of £1.61 per litre.

With fuel and energy costs soaring; Inflation is at its highest level for over 30 years, with much of these rises passed onto the consumer as firms simply cannot absorb such significant increases (Elizabeth de Jong, Logistics UK).

 

What’s Happening Now?

Fuel accounts for a third of an HGV’s annual operating cost.”  So ‘The Road Haulage Association’ wants the Government to freeze fuel duty for two years. It also wants an “essential user” rebate for lorry and coach firms of 15p per litre introduced.

Rising fuel prices are putting further pressure on retail supply chains. This adds to cost pressures from labour shortages, commodity price increases and rising energy prices in consequence, until some pressures ease, it’s likely prices will continue to rise.

Meanwhile, analysis shows the annual average cost of running a typical family car, including fuel, has shot up by nearly £300. Many consumers are having to choose between purchasing food, heating their homes or putting petrol in their cars.

 

How Ribble Right Size Can Help?

Many people overlook the importance of packaging when it comes to shipping goods, but an efficient and effective packaging supply is essential to keeping the product safe and most importantly keeping customers happy.

Ribble Right Size solutions improve vehicle utilisation by 25%. This means companies who have implemented Right Size can fit 25% more product in each vehicle drastically decreasing fuel consumption.

By Right Sizing your packaging supply you will gain the ability to create the perfect size box for all your products on-site, on-demand, eliminating any wasted space in your packages and therefore any wasted space in your transport vehicle.

With Right Size there is no need for additional protective packaging materials such as bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts as your boxes will now fit your products perfectly, increasing product protection, decreasing the weight of your packages, and making your packaging process fully sustainable.

There are also many other benefits of using our Right Size solutions. These include up to a 30% reduction in packaging costs, savings on labour costs through increased automation, increased warehouse space and more.

Every cubic inch of your packaging that doesn’t contain your product is costing you money. By introducing Right Size Technology, you can get more boxes in each vehicle, meaning fewer journeys and less money spent on fuel and diesel.

 

How to eliminate plastic packaging from your business

Now that the plastic packaging tax has come into effect, many businesses should be thinking about ways to reduce or eliminate plastic packaging. Getting rid of plastics from your business’ everyday practices can make a huge impact, and it’s easy to do with a few small changes.

Many businesses find that amending their policies is a powerful way to reduce single-use plastics. This might include asking suppliers to pack without plastic and requesting reusable, returnable, or sustainable packaging such as recycled cardboard boxes or ‘jackets’ to replace plastic wrap on pallets.

If that’s not possible, you might want to look beyond your current suppliers and see if there are others out there offering more sustainable packaging and solutions.

When it comes to doing business, you can make a difference by offering reused packaging to your customers. For example, some retailers keep cardboard boxes on hand for customers who forget their bags instead of throwing them away. Some companies that ship orders use shredded paper to protect products instead of bubble wrap.

 

The alternatives to plastic packaging

There are also many alternatives to plastic packaging. Anything that a business does to become more sustainable is ultimately helpful. This is particularly true with bubble wrap, as there are many alternatives that your business can use. Some alternatives include:

  • Compostable mailers
  • Corrugated packaging
  • Biodegradable packing peanuts
  • Mushroom packaging
  • Seaweed packaging
  • GreenWrap

There are more than these, and many of them can be reused or recycled, so they are kept in use for longer and help reduce waste.

 

Ribble’s solution to plastic packaging

Ribble also has ways to eliminate or at least reduce plastic packaging. Our Right Size packaging is an easy way to reduce the amount of packaging you use, and therefore reduce the amount of waste. Right Size solutions combine Ribble’s industry leading Fanfold material and state of the art technology to create the perfect size box for all your products.

We have a simple 4-step process for our Right Size solutions.

  1. Enter your box style and dimensions.
  2. Select how many you require.
  3. The box is produced within seconds.
  4. Your products are packaged in the perfect sized box.

There are also various benefits of using our Right Size solutions. These include up to 30% reduction in packaging costs, labour saving, increased warehouse space, elimination of void fillers, and more.

 

To find out more about how Ribble’s Right Size solutions can help your business reduce or eliminate its plastic packaging usage, contact us today.

Flexibility is Key With Right Size Solutions

Having worked at Ribble for two years in the marketing department, about six months ago I had the wonderful opportunity to move into a new role as Business Development Manager. A very exciting change, and I couldn’t wait to take a crack at selling Right Size automated packaging solutions – something I had been marketing for the last two years.

Right Size solutions is a packaging process which allows the customer to create the perfect size box, on demand, in house. One thing I have found when talking to prospective customers, is the versatility and flexibility of the machines is often one of the most attractive aspects of the solution and probably the most underestimated. They are surprised to hear how this machine can offer 40 different styles of box, in any size required, in addition to the option for bespoke designs. Not to mention the fact you can create any box whenever you need it, whether it is 1 box or 1000. Just imagine, an urgent/unexpected order comes through and there’s no need to wait for supplier lead times, no adhering to MOQs – just pop your requirements into the Panotec machine and out comes exactly what you need, when you need it. The power of flexibility cannot be understated. When combined with all the other benefits of Right Sizing, the solution becomes a no brainer in my opinion.

  • Reduces your annual corrugated spend (generally by 20-30%)
  • Eliminates the need to stockpile boxes which are the wrong size for your product
  • Improves vehicle utilization by up to 25%
  • Saves huge labour costs
  • Hugely reduces the requirement for void fillers and other plastic packaging
  • Creates an environmentally sustainable packaging process

It is fair to say that over the past year, every business will have seen huge changes in the way they operate. We have all had to adapt to the everchanging situation whether that is supply chain issues, unexpected peaks and troughs in demand, or labour concerns. Having a packaging solution which has the versatility to adapt in unprecedented conditions has been key for so many of our customers. It has given them the control they need to navigate these tricky times.

At risk of repeating myself, the importance of flexibility should not be understated. I am sure every salesperson has their go to spiel they use to impress clients, and this is quickly becoming mine! It has been incredibly exciting working in my new role, and what a time to be in the corrugated packaging industry. The pandemic has catapulted sustainable, corrugated packaging to the forefront with a huge boost in demand from Ecommerce. Since I have been part of the company, Ribble has made some huge changes to keep up with this demand, including a £6 million investment to our Oldham site throughout 2020/21. Not to mention, further investment projects which are lined up over the coming years – and one biggie in particular to keep your eyes peeled for going forward… Watch this space!

Protective & sustainable packaging

Have you ever thought about how much excess packaging comes with new furniture?

The truth is that sometimes we get more than we need, and it’s understandable because the manufacturer only includes the extra foam, bubble wrap or tissue paper to protect the items whilst in transit to their destination. However, Right Size solutions offer a more effective and sustainable alternative to furniture packaging.

What are the Ribble Right Size solutions?

Right Size solutions enable the customisation and creation of the correct sized box for pieces of furniture.

Create protective and sustainable furniture packaging.

At Ribble Packaging, not only is our priority creating packaging that is kind to the environment, we also create packaging that protects the products inside. With custom made, recycled fittings that are placed around the product inside, customers can rest assured that their product will arrive to them safely.

The secure and protective fittings mean that products arrive at their destination, undamaged while still reducing excess fillings and saving space.

Perfect-sized boxes are created within minutes using Ribble’s fanfold corrugated board and Panotec machine technology.

The box on-demand service can be installed on-site and gives manufacturers a choice to input the size of the product manually or automatically through a barcode or a 3D scanner system.

Additionally, manufacturers can enter the works order to ensure the correct number of boxes is made for the particular piece of furniture.

What are the benefits of using Right Size?

No more excess packaging 

Right Size packaging will protect assembled or flat-pack furniture, which removes the need to add unnecessary and excessive protective fillers, including plastic cushioning material, ultimately creating a 100% recyclable packaging process for all your furniture products.

Savings on packaging costs 

Right Size solutions can create a 30% saving on packaging costs and remove the need to fill minimum order quantities from suppliers. Furthermore, the box on-demand creates the perfect-size box every time, so there is no longer the need to stock-pile wrong sized boxes.

Customer satisfaction 

Presenting customers with the perfect-sized, 100% recyclable packaging for their furniture is sure to put a smile on their faces, in addition to showing that you are taking steps to fulfil your corporate social responsibilities.

If you’d like more information on how you could save up to 30% on your packaging costs, get in touch with us today.

Packaging in 2022 – The key solutions for the New Year

Since the beginning of the pandemic, retail has seen a significant shift to ecommerce shopping methods. With that brings increased need for additional packaging when transporting and shipping goods.

As a result, this will continue to increase the need for more sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

We have been exploring the key packaging solutions that we believe will become increasingly popular in the new year.

Packaging Automation

With COVID 19 continuing to be a threat across the globe, the automation of packaging will continue to be important for many manufacturers and distributors. This will reduce the amount of workers needed within one space and overall costs to the business too.

Not only that, automating your process will allow the business to increase their targets, which will continue to improve efficiency.

Ecommerce Packaging

The shift in consumer behaviour since the beginning of the pandemic is highly unlikely to ever return to pre-COVID levels. As a result, consumers will continue to expect a smooth and flawless experience – from browsing their purchase to placing their order and its delivery.

This means every detail, right down to the packaging must impress. Consumers are aware of the environmental issues facing the planet and with that they expect to see changes to the ways in which their goods are packaged and delivered to them. Reducing unnecessary and excess packaging is a crucial step in that process.

Reusable Packaging

Reusable packaging has become very popular in recent years and can be seen in more and more shapes and forms. Whether that is reusable plastic for cleaning products or paper bags that can also be used as wrapping paper.

When packaging isn’t necessarily reusable, it is important for consumers that it is made from recycled materials or can be recycled once used.

Ribble Right Size

At Ribble our Right Size Packaging solutions allows you to reduce excess packaging and create a sustainable alternative that reduces costs by creating custom packaging solutions to meet your needs. We use 100% recycled cardboard that is 100% recyclable, meaning it is the perfect sustainable solution.

The benefits for choosing Right Size can be seen in the reduced need for void fillers within your boxes due to the packaging being custom created for whatever you are distributing; you can improve your vehicle utilisation by up to 25% and the creation of a more environmentally sustainable packaging process.

Get in touch today to discuss how Right Size can improve your business packaging solutions.

How I discovered the Right Size solution for returns management

I joined Ribble Packaging in April 2021 as a Business Development Manager with a primary objective to sell Panotec automated box making machines and Fanfold corrugated board.

The moment I investigated the type of machinery I would be offering, I was sold. A machine, that produces the perfect size box, within a matter of seconds, on site, on demand? Where can I buy one of these for my garage?! I could instantly see the benefit and asked myself ‘why have I never heard of this before, its genius!’

After my induction and training, I was allocated a handful of accounts to manage, including a number of high-profile retailers. I was surprised, shocked, and intrigued when I heard some used their Panotec box maker solely to package returned product, ready for re-sale. My mind started to wander. I visited one of their sites to see their operation firsthand and was very impressed. They use the Panotec bar code scanning system. This means they input the dimensions and sizes of the box they require and marry that up with the product bar code. They now have a database of hundreds of products which, with the scan of a bar code, can replicate the same box style almost immediately.

This got me thinking, what normally happens to these returns? Well, after a small amount of research, the options became very clear. Either: order new packaging, send back to be re-boxed, send to landfill or palletize with other products and sell on to someone who will try and a make a pound or two (often making a YouTube video titled: I bought this pallet full of returns & made £££££) either way, companies are loosing a vast amount money.

Ribble also work with a manufacturer who also use their machine solely for returns. This company have saved over £250,000 in their first few months of using their Panotec machine.

Now, when I speak with prospective clients, returns are always something I’ll discuss. Not only can Right Size revolutionize the way you handle returns, it also:

  • Reduces your annual corrugated spend (generally by 20-30%).
  • Eliminates the need to stockpile boxes which are the wrong size for your product.
  • Improves vehicle utilization by up to 25%.
  • Saves huge labour costs.
  • Hugely reduces the requirement for void fillers and other plastic packaging
  • Creates an environmentally sustainable packaging process.

Often, the return on investment for one of our machines is only a couple of years. Ribble will work with you to optimize the way you package. We can also offer several payment options to suit your businesses individual requirements.

For the company I mentioned earlier, they have generated an additional £250,000 in only a couple of months. This means their machine has paid for itself twice over, they have reduced the amount of product going to landfill and taken full control over their packaging.

Does this all sound too good to be true?!?!  Well, I can assure you it’s not, and that’s the exact reason I took the job back in April. Ribble are a hugely credible company, with oodles of experience and a history of manufacturing cardboard since 1938. I am now pleased to be a part of their heritage.

Frequently Asked Questions about Right Size Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions about Right Size Solutions

 

As experts in Right Size Packaging, we get lots of questions from people who are interested in switching. So, we thought we’d cover the basics here and let you find out for yourself if Right Size Packaging is right for you…

 

How much does Right Size Packaging cost?

 

This is our number one question when we have a prospective customer, but the truth is – it’s not an easy one. There is no set answer as it is very dependable on what industry you work in, type of machine required and the way in which you acquire the machine. At Ribble Packaging, we offer various ways of acquiring the machine including (but not limited to) rentals, amortise and connect deals, in addition to purchasing the machines outright.

 

How many boxes can be produced per minute?

 

Right-sized boxes per minute will depend on the model of the Panotec machine you opt for. Please see below our latest estimations.

 

Nextpro – Approx. 10 boxes per minute

Evo – Approx. 4 boxes per minute

Midi – Approx. 4 boxes per minute

 

How many people are required in the warehouse to manage the system?

 

All of our Panotec machines can be run by just one operator. For a trainee operator, the process of loading a pallet, feeding the fanfold into the machine and producing a box, can be achieved in just a few minutes!

 

Depending on your business and if you choose to add on any additional automated extras such as the Scan table, E-Gluer, and Varypack, then more operators could make the process quicker and more efficient.

 

How much warehouse space will a Right Size Packaging system need?

 

Business Directors and Production Managers often worry that having a flexible packaging management system will require tonnes of space. But the truth is, you’ll actually save space by not having to store multiple shapes and sizes of packaging materials. Listed below are the approximate space requirements depending on which Panotec model you choose.

 

Nextpro operating width – 2.5m

Evo operating width – 2.5m

Midi operating width – 1.4m

 

Each machine will have different a different number of cassettes. These are essentially bays for the pallets to go in. Depending on your business requirements, this will be optimised for maximum production.

Right Size Packaging is perfect for businesses that sell products of all different shapes and sizes. By having customisable boxes on demand, companies can reduce the costs of storing packaging and benefit from having no additional filling material to purchase.

 

If you think Right Size Packaging could be for you or you have a question that we haven’t covered here, please get in touch.

Reduce Waste and Carbon Emissions With Right Size Solutions

Right Size: Helping businesses reduce waste and carbon emissions

Online retail sales have been soaring at an all-time high during the COVID-19 pandemic with the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index recording a growth of 36% in 2020. As a result, demand for recyclable and sustainable packaging solutions, such as corrugated board, has increased dramatically.

Stephen Rector, Managing Director of Ribble Packaging, explains, “In itself, corrugated board for boxes is a very sustainable and recyclable product. The recycling rates for paper and board in the UK are extremely high in comparison to other packaging products and they are increasing.”

However, the correct and responsible use of packaging solutions is necessary in order to be fully sustainable. Stephen explains “Boxes are often too large for their products and so they are filled with non-sustainable ‘void-fill’ materials like plastic, bubble wrap or polystyrene.  It is clearly a hugely wasteful and inefficient method of getting the product out.”

Reducing wastage with Right Size.

Ribble Packaging, a packaging solutions provider based in Oldham, manufacture corrugated board from recycled paper. Rector says, “In total, 100% of our corrugated board is 100% recyclable, while the paper we buy to manufacture our board is 100% recycled. So, our raw material is 100% recycled and our product is 100% recyclable.”

This product is flexible, cost-effective and can be converted into Fanfold packaging which is a long piece of corrugated board scored at regular intervals and folded neatly and compactly. Fanfold can then be used to pack single or multiple products by feeding it into fully automated packaging machines to create an exact size box and therefore, eliminate waste.

Ribble Packaging are the European market leader for the manufacture and supply of corrugated Fanfold, in addition to pioneering Right Size packaging solutions in the UK. “Right size packaging streamlines the entire process and mitigates or ideally eliminates void-fill and wastage by making the packaging perfectly sized to fit the product” Rector explains.

When using the correct size packaging, carbon emissions can also be reduced, as more products can be loaded onto vehicles ready for dispatch and thus increase vehicle utilisation by around 25%. According to The Road Transport Industry report in 2019, “78% of goods are moved by road”, and transportation costs can be a huge part of a company’s overall logistics spending. If it’s possible to reduce this through Right Size packaging, its arguably one of the most beneficial solutions a company can implement due to the ever-rising fuel costs and the impact this can then have on the price of goods to the end-user.

How can automation help?

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many retailers to rethink their entire business model and consider adopting an automated process for packaging. The Coronavirus pandemic will be a defining moment in history for years to come for many reasons, but if you are an online retailer you’re likely to have witnessed a considerable peak in sales during the lockdown. With more and more consumers left with no outlet for escape, it is no wonder those who had never shopped online before chose to switch to e-commerce. This was of course great news for online retailers who unlike other businesses could thrive in sales, but in reality, many e-fulfilment centres struggled to cope with demand.

Those already with fully automated systems in place were in a beneficial position as they could safely limit the number of staff in the warehouse and abide by social distancing during this unprecedented time. Over the past year many retailers have followed suit as they realised the benefits and resilience automation allows during unprecedented times.

Rector explains, “The majority of retailers rely on manual labour, especially for packing processes, but the pandemic has really brought home the benefits of automation. In the face of COVID-related staff absences and social distancing requirements, one of these fully automated machines operated by just two people can pack up to 1,000 units an hour and do the job of 10 efficient packers.”

Not only does automated packaging provide a sustainable option and encourage waste reduction, but packaging automation also provides reassurance for consumers. During a world-wide health crisis, consumers have understandably grown more concerned about where they source their products and having knowledge that their product and its packaging has been handled by as few people as possible is a new selling point for retailers.

“As one of the pioneers of right size packaging in the UK, we are not prepared to sit on our laurels,” says Rector. “We have earmarked £3.5million over the next two years to significantly increase capacity of fanfold manufacture and protect our hard-won position as the UK’s fanfold market leader. The business-to-consumer market is growing exponentially and our continuing investment is designed to maintain our market position in this rapidly growing sector.”

Futureproof with the new Super Deduction Tax Allowance

New super-deduction makes it the perfect time to invest in futureproofing your business.

The new Super Deduction Tax Allowance introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak is probably the single biggest tax incentive any UK government has given for business investment into assets and equipment.

 

Why is it such an attractive incentive?

From 1 April 21 until the end of March 23, companies can claim 130% capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments. This means businesses can significantly reduce the cost of a Right Size packaging solution. Plus all the savings a Right Size solution already offers in return for the investment.

To make it even more simple; for every pound spent on qualifying machinery and equipment, you will get 25 pence back. Businesses may also benefit from a 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate (inc. long life) assets. So, the 130% super-deduction and 50% first-year allowance could reduce your corporation tax bills until 2023.

 

In Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s own words, “It’s a direct way to help businesses invest” and “drive growth in the economy”

 

Why invest in Right Size Packaging?

Well, besides it being the perfect time to invest in your business, Right Size Packaging can save you money by reducing your overall costs in packaging as you won’t be using as many boxes or need to stock as many styles/sizes. You will also reduce vehicle usage considerably, spending less on petrol as packages will be able to fit in fewer deliveries; it’s a win, win.

If would like to learn more about the benefits of Ribble Right Size Packaging, click here.

It’s definitely a great time to analyse your business and determine the best investments you can make to take advantage of this tax incentive before 2023. If you would like any more information or if you have a question regarding our packaging solutions, please get in touch.

How to take back control of your packaging supply in 2021

Deemed the new ‘beige gold’, cardboard supply is still very much in high demand as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the dramatic increase in online shopping has led to this over the past 12 months.

According to The IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, the UK’s eCommerce sector achieved the highest online sales growth in 13 years. Total online retail sales growth was up 36% in 2020, so it’s not surprising the devastating effects this has had on businesses nationwide.

Struggling to cope with cardboard material supply, many online retailers have experienced a delay in their deliveries, which in turn has been impactful on their customer satisfaction. Even the big retailers, Asda, Lidl and the Co-op started to feel the pinch early on last year, as many consumers were asking why their egg packaging was replaced with plastic packaging. This was an early warning of what was to come for the world of packaging…

Before the pandemic, businesses were relatively responsible when it came to recycling. Packaging would be quickly returned into the recycling system, but now the industry tackles the problem of relying on individuals to recycle properly.

“What we’ve found is people tend to store product boxes in their garages or simply in their homes without realising the detrimental effects this is having on cardboard supply,” says Stephen Rector, Managing Director at Ribble Packaging.

Less recyclable cardboard is being returned into the system and paper manufacturers are struggling to create the supply to meet demand. Paper has become scarce, and some corrugated manufacturers are having to ration their supply and let customers down.

So how can you future-proof your packaging supply chain in a volatile market?

By implementing a Right Size packaging solution.

Fit-to-product boxes can help by considerably cutting the amount of cardboard you use. By only using the right size box, it means you only have to purchase one type of packaging material such as Fanfold, removing the need to order multiple styles and sizes.

This flexible on-demand right size packaging solution is guaranteed to save you up to 25% in packaging costs and is a much more sustainable solution, as it removes the need to purchase additional void fillers; a win, win.

To find out more about Ribble Right Size, please click here or get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss your options.

 

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