The Universal Packaging System
Has an end come to buying in thousands of boxes in different sizes? Possibly, according to Patrick Sung, inventor of the universal packaging system.
He has come up with this unique concept; a sheet of recycled cardboard with a grid of fold lines, so you can effectively "wrap-up" your item in cardboard.
This is an industry changing product in many ways; firstly it addresses the problems we face with the environmental impact of packaging- Using on sheet of the Universal Packaging System uses on the essential ammount of cardboard, as opposed to an oversized box, where most of the content may be purely filled with air. Secondly the packaging allows ease when wrapping objects which are not shaped conventionally, and may therefore need extra packaging to stop the product rolling around inside a box for example.
However, when we see innovation, businesses can get overly excited and not notice the disadvantages of new products. What worries me about the Universal Packaging System is the fact it cannot be stacked. Businesses spend a lot of money on distrobution centers, where packages need to be stored in a way that is easily accessable, so products can be quickly and efficiently found and shipped to their destination; if a package is oddly shaped, it may need to be stored in a container, giving it the chance to get lost among others.
Another problem is that the UPS leaves little accomodation for fragile products, or products with many components. When packaging a delicate item in a box there is plenty of space for bubble wrap, packaging peanuts, and more cardboard to protect the item, this is not as possible with sheets of cardboard, and in terms of if your product comes with multiple components, they would just have to be bundled together, whereas in a box, they could be sectioned with slotted cardboard and moulded plastic.
You can read Dave Freeman's article at TechCrunch on the disadvantages of the UPS here.