Donuts, baguettes, rye bread, rolls, croissants … Lantmännen Unibake’s products come in many shapes and sizes. But they all need to fit into a square cardboard box before the products are loaded onto trucks and distributed to supermarkets, restaurants and such.
Because of the products’ many sizes and the quadratic shape of a cardboard box it’s a bit of a puzzle to optimize the fill up of the boxes.
Air is a costly commodity
In 2018 a project in Lantmännen Unibake Sweden’s bakery in Huddinge just south of Stockholm was conducted. By analysing how each product was stacked in the cardboard boxes the bakery was able to improve the fill rate for a number of boxes resulting in less air being packed and distributed.
The less air you load onto trucks, the less transport is needed, and the better it is for the environment.
“By packing more products into the cardboard boxes, we managed to cut the total number of pallets loaded from the Huddinge bakery onto trucks by 6,500. That translated into more effective routing, fewer kilometres inbound and outbound and reduced material consumption, all good for the environment,” says Frank L. Breitenstein, Group Supply Chain Director in Lantmännen Unibake.
Optimization across the full value chain
Lantmännen Unibake is running a logistics programme – LogEx – to optimize, among other, packaging, road transportation, warehousing and routing.
The packaging optimization project from Huddinge is a good example on how initiatives can emerge from local parts of the global business and serve as inspiration for others.
“Our journey with packing more pieces in each cardboard box has just begun and it will definitely continue in other countries. When we include more of our customers in the process the potential becomes even higher,” says Frank L. Breitenstein.