Luxembourg-based logistics provider Logwin has introduced a prototype single-use packaging for gearboxes based on a corrugated cardboard and wood combination that it said provides a 15% higher packing density.

“The dimensions of the cardboard boxes or wooden cases are such that we can fully utilise the volume of the air or sea freight container,” said Joachim Schiller, branch manager at Logwin Solutions Deutschland. “If the cases can be fully packed without any gaps we will need less overall space in the hold. And on top of that we can reduce the weight of the packaging [which] saves fuel and benefits air freight transportation specifically.”

The packaging has been tested by the Hamburg-based BFSV Institute, an official body that provides consulting, research, system planning, packaging development and testing. Tests included those measuring the effects of climate, vibration and compression before the packaging was put through a series of practical trials.

Asked whether single-use or reusable packages make the most sense, Schiller said that single-use is the clear winner in overseas transport as it can be adapted to the often-changing dimensions of engineered products. He also made the contentious point that paperboard or wood is more environmentally friendly because it can be recycled after use.

"There is a shortage of paper in China, in particular, and therefore a great demand for wood and recovered paper," said Schiller.

Logwin also makes the point that, contrary to reusable packaging, no space needs to be provided and paid for in order to store containers, and fuel and freight costs are reduced because there is no need to return empty reusable containers.