Transport packaging as intelligent units

Transport packaging is getting smarter, creating an ideal basis for Logistics 4.0

at least, that is the claim made in a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), commissioned by the German corrugated board industry association VDW. Transport packaging made of corrugated board is ideally suited to use with a wide range of the latest technologies and those yet to come.

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It is clear to see why logistics is a key driver of digital transformation, and stands to profit significantly from its progress.

Regardless of the direction in which Logistics 4.0 takes us in the next few years, and which technologies ultimately prevail, corrugated board will remain the material of choice because it offers the most scope for adapting to technological change. “Digitalisation and Industry 4.0 are currently the leading themes in logistics,” notes the VDW’s CEO Dr Oliver Wolfrum.

Packages that can navigate their own way through the bewildering complexity of goods flows, and supply reliable data about their condition in the process, are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Intelligent systems for transport monitoring and automated identification have already proven their worth. It is conceivable that transport packaging may eventually be able to find its way along the entire supply chain all the way to the customer almost autonomously, by filtering and analysing the vast data flows it encounters in order to make key decisions all by itself.

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