The Box Hopes to Disrupt Shipping, Save Landfill Space
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, figuring out what to do with all of the boxes that come to our homes on a regular basis is a challenge. Disassembling them is a pain, and recycling bins fill up quickly – assuming your community recycles.
The box from a startup called LivingPackets has the idea to change that. The bigger question is, will anyone listen?
The Box is essentially a shipping container. But like most things at CES, it’s a smart thing to do. Loaded with sensors and built after four years of research and development, the packaging is a reusable container that is said to be able to withstand 1,000 trips before being replaced.
It works like this: You receive the ordered item in The Box and send it back to the sender (free of charge for you). It can then be reused for future shipments.
That could mean a lot less cardboard in landfills. The box also eliminates shipping labels and uses an e-ink display to show where it’s going. Inside there is a mechanism to secure products so that no bubble wrap is required, which in turn reduces the environmental footprint.
Do you want more features? How about an electronic lock that only the recipient can open? The box also has internal sensors that notify the sender / sender if something goes wrong during shipment. There is also a built-in tracking mechanism that can be useful if UPS or FedEx have misplaced the package.
LivingPackets is promoting businesses with The Box by playing up the savings. Anyone can save a company between 2,000 and 5,000 euros. That’s not insignificant, but it requires companies to radically change the way they think – and companies don’t have a long history.
However, some in Europe are ready to at least experiment with The Box. Orange, France’s largest telecommunications company, and Cdiscount, a French e-commerce company, have signed up as partners.