Reusable Plastic Totes Improve E-commerce Warehouse Efficiencies for ASOS

Asos, a British online fashion store, was looking for a more efficient reusable packaging solution for their E-commerce warehouses. When a new high-bay racking was installed, Asos decided to look into DS Smith Plastics’ Injected Moulded reusable totes as an alternative to replace their existing single use packaging.

The Challenge

For the storage and picking of smaller items, the previously used packaging was not strong enough to meet their new required specifications. That is, the material was not ideally suited for handling in the high bay-racking warehouse. Furthermore, the unpacking, order filling and repacking operations were labor intensive. Ideally, the totes needed to be used as a drawer in the racking system and as returnable transit packaging totes.

Our Approach

DS Smith Plastics, Injection Moulded Products designed a special reusable tote with a handling lip on the bale arms of the crate so the new totes could be used as drawers in the racking system. For this solution, a new bale arm mould was developed. In addition, to make the reusable totes fit for return transport, the ‘stack & nest’ principle was applied.

The Result

Handling costs were reduced drastically. By replacing the boxes with drawers, warehouse employees now have both hands free to quickly take the required product out of the drawer.

One of the most important benefits of the Injection Moulding technique is the possibility to produce strong fit-to-purpose solutions; the enhancement to the bale arm enabled us to design the perfect solution — Peter Swinnen, Sales Manager for this project

One of the advantages of the ‘stack & nest’ principle consists of a 70% reduction on space taken up by empty containers and overall logistic costs, as empty boxes can now be rotated 180° horizontally and nested inside each other. Furthermore the totes are easy to clean and 100% recyclable at the end of their useful life.

About ASOS

ASOS is a British online fashion store, selling over 80.000 branded and own-brand clothing and accessories. Their cutting-edge fashion makes the hub of a thriving fashion community. It ships to over 140 countries from fulfilment centers in the UK, US, Europe and China. The European central warehouse in Barnsley (UK) fulfils orders for customers all over the world.