Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Putting reduced packaging into a bigger supply chain perspective

I'm not ashamed to be an Apple fanatic. I have five old original Macintosh Classics back in the US and the original iPod. So I was of course tuned in to Macworld last week waiting for the latest and greatest. Skipping over all of the announcements and neat new products, yes, I am ordering a Macbook Air, Apple also announced that its new laptop will be shipped using less packaging material.

Now an initial reaction could be very ho-hum, but if you look at it from a logistics view, it has major implications. Apple announced that it reduced Apple's packaging volume for the MacBook Air by 50 percent versus the previous MacBook, which can be viewed in this online gallery.

The Macbook Air's box contains no foam. Just a tray deep enough to hold the laptop and a paper pull tab that contains all of the accessories and software. Besides reducing waste in landfills, I do my part by saving all of my Apple product boxes, the smaller and lighter box, also means more product can fit on planes and trucks, meaning less fuel consumption. Less trucks on the road, also means, less traffic, less congestion and less CO2. So what may seem insignificant, such as reducing a box to 3 inches from 5 inches, actually has radical environmental significance.

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