What is Cartonization?
Cartonization is an algorithmic process which prepares orders for fulfillment by first determining the quantity, size, and type of container required to optimize packaging a customer order. Cartonization can intelligently group the lines of an order into subsets of work for outbound shipping package. The other prime function of cartonization is to select shipping package based on:
- Product Characteristics
- Packaging Materials Cost
- Packing Labor Cost
There are two types of needs for cartonization in your fulfillment operations. The first is a business need; reducing the cubic size of what the shipping package. The other is the customer’s needs; they need their items to be neat, orderly and packed in environmentally friendly packaging.
These expectations need to be met while maintaining productivity and efficiency while being environmentally conscious. Conveyco Order Management Software, with cartonization functionality, is a module of our Warehouse Execution Software (WES). This is a single system to optimize not only the packaging you ship products to your customers but the entire order fulfillment process.
How factors of the right size, type and quantity of containers can be determined:
- Cube and Orientation– Using the products actual dimensions and rotating its orientation provides more efficient space utilization and a smaller shipping container. This methodology is much more accurate than combining the total cube of the order and applying an efficiency factor (liquid fill) to make sure container selection is accurate. It yields a smaller shipping container and reduces the amount of dunnage and labor required in packing the order.
- Product Attributes– We apply a characteristic to each product such as fragility, leakage, compressible, along with many others. This allows us to choose the right packaging option based on the combination of products in each order.
- Durable goods, such as bagged apparel, can be directed to highly efficient and low-cost packaging such automatic baggers.
- Products that could leak in transit are sent to a station set up to secure caps and placed in a containment bag.
- Fragile products may need to be directed to a special handling station to use a specific type of dunnage.
- Some products within the same order may be required to be packed in separate shipping containers.
- Special Handling- Regardless of what products are in the order, special handling such as gift wrapping, additional checking or customer specific collateral may be required. Cartonization identifies these types of orders, then the WES uses the information to group like orders together for fulfillment.
- Material and Labor Costs– Cartonization can be configured to use the product attributes to select the lowest cost container based on material and packing labor costs.