Packaging and the Supply Chain: A Look at Transportation

  • Rachel Simon
  • Yifen Chen


In the interest of sustainability, many manufacturers have taken steps to analyze the key components of their products and processes across the span of their supply chain. Product packaging—which is an especially pervasive component, spanning across the supply chain of nearly all products—has garnered particular interest in discussions of sustainability. Packaging is not only associated with its own sourcing impacts but also influences the impacts of the product, especially in terms of the shipping impacts of the product. Several organizations have developed tools and guidelines to help manufacturers make greener packaging choices in terms of packaging. Pallet utilization is one practice for improving packaging that has been put forth in these publications and is one of the few practices that consider the impacts of packaging, not only in the context of its own supply chain but also as a component of a product. This study discusses the practice of pallet utilization and identifies the cases in which it would serve as potentially beneficial. These considerations are currently lacking in the recommendations for the adoption of pallet utilization. In addition, an overview of the current methodologies used to evaluate the environmental impacts of transportation and to optimize the distribution of the product is provided.


Supply Chain Shipping Container Packaging System Weight Constraint Freight Transportation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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