An analysis of Reusable Packaging in automobile manufacturing facilities, as well as a comparison to other industries, shows that returnable container systems are not being fully utilized.
In this study, methods to return and track packaging materials for reuse are examined. Issues identified through surveys and interviews are summarized, and a recommendation to more fully utilize systems currently in place is proposed. An evaluation based on utilizing the current system will enable us to assign a cost to current operations, and may support an investment in improved systems and technologies.
Most of the companies surveyed gauge functionality based on whether or not there are shortages severe enough to stop production. This fact is determined through Gap Analysis, Benchmarking, and Case Studies. A process by which to track losses, costs, turnaround time, etc. of container return systems is currently not seen as a critical function of production, consequently no justification exists for investing in upgrading these systems.
A Closed Loop Packaging System refers to a well-defined circuit of shipping and delivery points. This closed circuit is essential to ensure that containers flowing through the system do not get lost (www.returnables.com). Locating and rerouting stray or replacing lost containers can be a significant, unplanned cost related to packaging returns. The automotive industry estimates a minimum of seven percent (7.00%) of automotive company budgets are spent replacing non-disposable containers and racks (page 5 - AIAG 2008), therefore improvements to this part of the process could result in significant cost savings, and ultimately affect a company's bottom line.
Department, Program, or Center
Packaging Science (CAST)
Jalonne L. White-Newsome
Chism, Camille, "Optimizing and Benchmarking Returnable Container Processes within an Automotive Distribution System" (2010). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus