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Reducing Damages and Increasing Sustainability

Are your returns racking up environmental costs? Perhaps a packaging re-design by Premier is the answer! In this case study learn how we helped one of our customers reduce damages, become more sustainable and save money with their packaging.

This customer manufactures brake products, air suspension systems, and other items to enhance safety for heavy commercial vehicles. The products are manufactured and packaged in Mexico and then shipped to a Distribution Center in the United States to facilitate to customers.

The Problem

Of 2,000 shipments a month, their process resulted in an 80% return rate of some items because of damaged products and packaging. That adds up to 1,600 unnecessary shipments a month. This also caused additional shipping costs and 960,000 unnecessary product miles (an average 600 miles per customer).  

For every damaged return, 1.7 gallons of fuel was consumed, 40 lbs. of CO2 were emitted, 10 lbs. of solid waste ended up in a landfill, and 0.13 sq. ft. of natural habitat was lost.

Additional costs ($150 to $650 per product) and carbon emissions were incurred in manufacturing replacements for the damaged products. Below are the MTCO2e (Metric Tons of CO2 equivalent) emissions caused by the damaged goods:

Original Shipment










Initially, the customer turned to the shipper for help in preventing damages, which only resulted in a rise in shipping costs.

The Solution

Premier offered a solution of beefing up the packaging with an overpack designed to handle parcel shipping. This would reduce damages, shipping costs and emissions, and make the packaging more sustainable.

Printed blue corrugated box; Premier Packaging box solutions

Premier’s in-house Design team worked on designing the overpack. The packaging needed to handle compressors, small rotors, and large rotors ranging from 40 to 70 lbs. each and also prevent them from being damaged. Additionally, this overpack would allow the customer to switch from the freight shipper back to parcel shipping to save money.

These items are very heavy and hard to handle, and the master packaging sits on a retail shelf. To combat this, we designed and fitted a corrugate overpack with a perforation for easy tear-away. This allows the customer to take the overpack off with ease without damaging the master packaging.

Sustainability Savings

Premier Packaging Corrugated boxes on warehouse shelfBy switching to Premier’s overpack to prevent damages, the customer reduced annual carbon emissions by the equivalent of four cars driven for a year or 13 cross-country drives across America.

The savings from replacing damaged goods—as well as reducing shipping costs from the switch from a freight company to parcel shipping—were considerable too.

If you would like more information on making your own packaging more sustainable, contact us!