Less air in the box: Otto Group reduces annual transport volume by more than 500 truckloads

11.02.2013 | Hamburg

The Otto Group processes over 125 million deliveries annually for its customers through the Group’s own logistics service provider, Hermes. About 40 per cent of this is delivered as parcels. Now, the internationally active retail and service group has optimised the size of its boxes: this reduces the transport volume in the delivery of goods ordered from companies in the Otto Group by more than 500 truckloads per year. The benefit for the environment and efficiency means that some 170 tonnes of CO2 emissions can be eliminated.

For this project, the records from approximately 20 million parcel deliveries were evaluated. The interplay of box size, air volume and article volume was analysed with the help of specialised software. This data was made available by Hermes Fulfilment GmbH, which provides warehousing, order picking and packing as well as further fulfilment services, both for the companies in the Otto Group as well as for external clients.

The result was that the optimisation of packaging sizes achieved an average saving of 1.5 litres of air per box. This reduces the transport volume by 500 truckloads per year, which in a cargo volume of 40 cubic metres per vehicle is the equivalent of saving about 170 tonnes of CO2 every year. The lower transport and packaging costs benefit Group companies such as OTTO, Baur, bonprix and Heine on the one hand – but also the recipients, who have less packaging material to dispose of.

“Green logistics is more than a buzzword for Hermes and the whole Otto Group”, emphasizes Dr Philip Nölling, CFO of the Hermes Logistik Gruppe Deutschland and leader of the working group on Climate and the Environment at the Otto Group. “As an internationally active logistics company, we meet our responsibility every day to substantially develop and implement sustainable solutions in the transportation sector. We are convinced that an ambitious project such as the optimisation of the box portfolio represents an important stimulus for the whole sector.”

As early as 1986, climate and environmental protection were anchored firmly in the Otto Group’s corporate strategy. The medium-term goal is to reduce the Group's CO2 emissions by 50 per cent in time for the 2020/21 financial year, compared to 2006/7. At Hermes, the WE DO! initiative, introduced in 2010, stands for the logistics service provider’s sustainability programme. This includes amongst other things the increased utilisation of alternative vehicle engines, such as electronic or natural gas transporters, as well as the continuous expansion of the Hermes ParcelShop network, which makes a significant contribution towards the reduction of CO2 emissions from dispatch by bundling traffic, especially in city centres.

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