DS Smith solves e-commerce supply chain challenges

DS Smith unveils industry first e-commerce testing technology, plus innovative right-size packaging solutions at #Deliver2

DS Smith, Europe’s leading packaging strategist, has revealed details of two major technological developments at one of Europe’s largest e-commerce events, #Deliver2 in Berlin.

  • DISCS

An industry first, DISCS tests whether packages can survive the bumps and scrapes of the average e-commerce supply chain. Online orders sometimes need to survive up to 50 touch points, so packaging must be durable but also sustainable.


Named after the different types of testing (Drop Impact Shock Crush Shake), the patented system consists of five pieces of equipment, each replicating a part of the product journey and therefore providing real world testing.

Isabel Rocher, Head of e-commerce solutions
Finding the balance between protecting packaging and limiting the amount of materials used is a constant source of concern for retailers. Likewise, shoppers do not want to receive broken goods or have to deal with excess packaging. Our new DISCS™ technology enables us to scientifically assess our customers’ requirements and get this balance right. — Isabel Rocher, Head of e-commerce solutions

DS Smith has been pioneering and refining DISCS confidentially over the last year in the UK. The engineers used insight from customers and the logistics industry to design tests which accurately replicate the stresses and strains of the ecommerce supply chain. 

There are three test levels for customers to choose from, depending on whether a package is delivered straight to customer first time, delivered and returned or delivered with three failed attempts and then returned. This final option can include up to 50 touchpoints, and replicates the most severe damage a pack can receive.

An initial three testing suites are planned, based in the UK, France and Germany.

  • Made2fit

DS Smith is also launching new technology called Made2fit, to enable the creation of right size packaging. This innovation has been developed to specifically tackle the e-commerce challenge of void space, as shipping air is a waste of resources. Creating a right size pack lowers costs for e-tailers by reducing both operational and shipping costs: saving storage space, cutting labour costs and order administration, and significantly cutting assembly and packing times. It also significantly reduces product movement, helping to reduce damage.

There is both a manual and an automated version:

  • The manual Made2fit solution, is designed to work for lower volume orders, creating 39 possible box size combinations from just three blank sizes of cardboard.
  • The automated version of Made2fit is for larger volume orders, with the capability to manufacture more than 10 million box size combinations, in a process that is omnichannel ready.
Our two new offerings should revolutionize the industry, giving our customers access to state-of-the-art technology that will meet all their e-commerce packaging needs.

Isabel comments: “The investment is great for our customers and great for us as a company as once again we are at the forefront, investing in world class technology and pushing the industry to embrace new standards. With e-commerce predicted to continue its dramatic growth over the coming years, this will be vital in helping retailers and manufacturers stay ahead and target growth.”

DS Smith launched both DISCS and the automated version of Made2fit at #Deliver2 in Berlin. Made2fit automated will then launch to the rest of Europe from October 2017 until early 2018. Made2fit manual is officially launching in September 2017 and will be rolled out across Europe in the months to follow.