There are several keys for transportation companies in reverse logistics with reusable boxes. They are return, loop, ownership, standardization and tracing.

To begin with, the transportation corporation such as Maersk (, conducts surveys on cardboard boxes in the shipping operations. In many cases, box relevant stakeholders might paly big roles in the surveys. The required information covers from sizes, quantities, to products contained, purposes, routes, destinies and ownership etc. 

               Example #1:  Given that the survey reveals repetitive one way transportations of a few sizes of cardboard boxes in quantity, carrying goods from Point A to Destiny B all year round.  Cardboard boxes meet the end of life at destiny B, through pressing and bailing to recycle. Even worse, some end in dumps and become solid wastes in landfill.

               The example above presents a great opportunity for reusable boxes, for reusable boxes carrying goods to transit from Point A to Destiny B. At destiny B, people perform disassembly, then flatten and stack flat panels on pallets.  After trucks deliver the next batches of goods, the trucks will backhaul reusable boxes in empty space to Point A for reuse. What a perfect and efficient circularity!

               Example #2: Given that the survey reveals that multiple suppliers X,Y and Z transfer goods in cardboard boxes printed with distinct logos to warehouse Point A. Then wholesaler further distributes to Destiny B, C and D.  Reusable boxes are either returned against the deliver stream back to warehouse Point A. At Point A they are sorted and then returned to producers X, Y and Z. Alternatively completing the loop by sorting the reusable boxes with logos at Destiny B, C and D and directly backhauling to X, Y and Z in reverse logistics.

             Ownership and New Revenue

Owners of reusable boxes will be either one out of the producers, transportation corporations or customers.  Provided that owners care the most about the costs, the locations and whether they are handled properly. An innovative business model is that the transportation corporations establish return shops in major locations for reusable boxes.  By sorting, renting and sharing boxes to customers and suppliers, The return shop services obviously take places of the single use cardboard boxes. And meanwhile reusable box pooling and redistribution generate values and save money for transportations at existing facilities and in the business channels.

            Advantages of international transits of reusable boxes

In any case, custom offices would not impose duties on the reusable boxes containing products in shipment.

As long as reusable boxes finish the first usage trip, they become used products, the same as those reused dozens of times. The basic values to claim duties on are getting quite low accordingly.  The transit costs on flat stacked reuse box panels from one country to another foreign destiny are minimal as well.

Tracing Reusable Boxes

Reusable boxes are green assets in circulations. Logging and recording are indeed important routine procedures to locate positions and monitor proper handling in each route.  Inspections to identify and remove damaged reusable boxes at treatment centers are also essential.  Certain industries might require periodical cleaning and sanitizing reusable boxes.  Under all circumstances, branding logos or QR codes will help identify the ownership, sizes and routes, locations during the reuse circulations.

Reusable Box Standardization

Regarding standardization, owners of reusable boxes are in better positions if they only adopt only one or a few reusable box designs. As a result it allows systematic operations smoother and efficient. Reusable boxes in single design improve simplicity in handling, cost reduction, automation, washing, inspections and maintenance.

            For instance, with standardized thickness, the stacked and flat reusable box panels can be counted by measuring stack height instead of visual and manual counting.

            Standard box sizes allow standard symbolling systems, which help simple and efficient sorting.

            Standard sizes will furthermore accommodate the metric and English units by compromising on some dimensions.

Eco Credits in Reverse Logistics with Reusable Boxes

The transportation corporations claim sustainability credits on return and circulations of reusable boxes. Meanwhile, customers and suppliers can also claim Eco credits by collaborating with the corporations on reuse boxes they commonly handle.