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Frustration Free Packaging unboxing

Amazon’s amazing journey to “Frustration Free Packaging”!

Ten years ago, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos announced in a customer letter that he was ready to wage war on “wrap rage” by launching a sustainable packaging initiative for vendors using the famous “everything store”.

Frustration Free Packaging - Origin and philosophy

Amazon have long known that taking the pain out of packaging is a key driver for customers’ satisfaction. Frustration Free Packaging (FFP) was the result of extensive data analysis. Three key issues were identified:

  • Damaged products
  • Oversized packaging
  • Packages too hard to open

As an e-commerce leader, Amazon knew that they had “the responsibility to reinvent the unboxing experience that delights customers, reduces packaging waste and minimizes cost”. So, together with brand owners and manufacturers, they set about creating a program to develop sustainable packaging that offered superior “fit-for-purpose” technical design, decrease carbon footprint and optimise supply chain costs.

The Durable Goods, Consumables and Soft Goods sectors were selected as a starting point for Frustration Free Packaging.

Sustainable Packaging: How to develop a solution?

FFP – a question of guidelines

Each vendor has to respect the tenants, test methods and certification process described in the Amazon packaging guidelines. The program is based on three tiers:

  • Tier 1 – Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP)
  • Tier 2 - Ships in its Own Container (SIOC)
  • Tier 3 - Prep-Free Packaging

As it states in the guidelines “Certified packaging must protect the product from damage throughout the supply chain to the customer’s doorstep without the need for additional packaging or preparation by Amazon”, aiming at decreasing overall packaging waste.

Frustration Free Packaging - 3 tiers of the program
Frustration Free Packaging tiers

Reducing packaging waste – a main concern for the Blue Box Partners’ alliance

Support for vendors is widely available. You can find a partner in the FFP APASS (Amazon Packaging Supplier Network) referral list.

Every organisation on the list has been trained to create sustainable packaging that is ready to ship within any Amazon Fulfillment Centre. This new Amazon approach comes in full accordance with Blue Box Partners’ vision to create and support all initiatives around sustainability; contributing to reduce the environmental impact of each single element of the supply chain.

Our Packaging alliance has been certified and one representative from each member (Cart-One; VPK Packaging Group; Hinojosa Packaging Solution and Klingele Papierwerke) has been trained to address the challenges set out in the Frustration Free Packaging program.

Frustration Free Packaging Training - Blue Box Partners’ attendees
Frustration Free Packaging Blu Bo Partners Attendees

Frustration Free Packaging attendees - From left to right:

Daniele PLAZZI, LinkedIn, Cart-One
Arnaud BETELLI, LinkedIn, VPK
Daphné DELEDICQ, LinkedIn, Blue Box Partners
Paul LARSON, LinkedIn, Amazon
Juan-Carlos BALLESTER, LinkedIn, Hinojosa Packaging Solutions
(In the name of Daniel PEREA, LinkedIn)
Cristian HÖSSLE, LinkedIn, Klingele Papierwerke

Frustration Free Packaging: examples and key figures

Remarkable results of packaging waste reduction have already been achieved

Frustration Free Packaging has been already developed in the automotive and pet food industries.

In the car parts sector, the switch to a sustainable packaging policy involving the re-orientation of products, has led to a 94% air shipped reduction.

Frustration Free Packaging - Ship In Own Container’s example
Frustration Free Packaging sioc example

In the on-line dog food sector, Hills Premium developed a packaging that has reduced waste by 34%, enhancing transport efficiency.

Frustration Free Packaging - Dogfood’s example
Frustration Free Packaging Dog example

Importantly, every order using Frustration Free Packaging will be integrated in the Amazon algorithm to improve its ranking and, therefore, its conversation rate.

Key figures of the Amazon’s sustainable packaging initiative

If you look at the figures, the evolution of the last two years is impressive: In 2017 alone, Amazon reduced its total packaging waste by 16%, the equivalent of 305 million shipping boxes.

Frustration Free Packaging’s results
Frustration Free Packaging’s results

And in 2018, it improved to 21%, the equivalent of 516 million boxes avoided.

FFP - what will happen in 2019?

A move to a stricter, fee-driven sustainable packaging program

It started a decade ago as an incentive program but Amazon are poised to formalise and strengthen their approach in less than five months’ time, so be prepared!

Frustration Free Packaging will evolve significantly.

From 1st October 2019, every article (ASIN – Amazon Single Identification Number) that is:

  • Larger than 45.5 x 34 x 26.5 cm or
  • heavier than 12.3kg
  • will have to be certified – either Tier 2 SIOC or Tier 1 FFP.

If the packaging is not certified, a fee of 1.70€ will be invoiced per ASIN.

To sum up, the Frustration Free Packaging program will impact your entire industry, your profitability as well as the packaging stakeholders within your organisation:

  • E-commerce Manager
  • Packaging Manager
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Sustainability Manager

#Frustration Free Packaging is as well #Sustainable Packaging #FFP #Packaging waste reduction