Food packaging containers come in all shapes and sizes and while many food packaging designs are preferred for marketing purposes the main reason few food containers are perfect cubes is the need to stack empty containers during transportation from packaging production of the packaging site.
In the USA food travels on average more than 1,500 miles from farmer to plate while food is the most transported commodity representing more than 20% of all goods lifted by heavy goods vehicles in the UK. Although carbon emission from “food-miles” is relatively small in the overall food system there is tremendous potential for improvement.
Slower means of transportation such as shipping contributes to a smaller carbon footprint and cost compared to land and air transportation, however, the rapidly growing demand for fresh products and –produce results in more carbon intensive transportation due to low lead time requirements.
Complex supply chains account for significant cost for product producers, product owners, retailers etc. Generally, as a low margin high volume industry, increasing logistical costs will hit margins unless the cost is transferred to the consumer. Also, transportation is in certain regions such as North America becoming a constraint due to lack of drivers.