Study by Perkins Logistics and Haworth Inc Shows Companies Can Reduce Carbon Emissions from Truck Shipments by 20 Percent With Green Packing Methods

Released on: September 15, 2008, 12:05 pm

Press Release Author: Matthew Gryczan

Industry: Transportation & Logistics

Press Release Summary: The world's third largest office furniture manufacturer and a
trucking company have discovered they can reduce carbon dioxide emissions
approximately 20 percent by shipping products protected by reusable wrappings and
equipment instead of cardboard boxes.

Press Release Body: INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. September 15, 2008 Working with one of the
worlds largest office furniture manufacturers, a Midwest trucking company has
discovered it can reduce carbon dioxide emissions approximately 20 percent by
shipping products protected by reusable wrappings and equipment instead of cardboard

If the practice became widespread, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the
United States could be staggering, said Andy Card, president and CEO of Perkins
Logistics L.L.C., based in the Indianapolis suburb of Noblesville.

We were amazed at how shipping chairs and tables wrapped in protective blankets
instead of cardboard containers could translate into such a sizable reduction in
carbon dioxide emissions, Card said. An independent study conducted by an
Indianapolis research company showed that Perkins Logistics was able to reduce
carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent per pound shipped during a two-month test
period, using specialized wrapping methods to ship some orders of products from the
Bruce, Miss. plant of Haworth Inc. to customers in 16 states.

Taken over a years time, the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would be more
than 283 metric tons the equivalent of removing 52 passenger cars from the road
for a year or emissions from heating 99 homes with natural gas, according to the
study by Allegiant Global Services in Indianapolis.

Card said that Perkins method of using blankets, straps, bars and plywood tiers
allowed the company to fit an average of about 65 percent more products into its
trailers, reducing the number of loads needed and eliminating cardboard waste.

A Haworth official said he was pleased with the results from the two-month test, and
the company is assessing its more widespread use. Packaging methods play a
significant role in shipping efficiencies, but only after conducting a thorough
investigation did we determine that a few fundamental changes in this area could
also help reduce one element of the total carbon footprint of our products, taken
over their useful lives, Haworth's Global Transportation Manager Henry Oosterhouse
said. He said Haworth agreed to participate in the study because the corporation
supports initiatives that seek to reduce the carbon footprints of products at all
points along their supply chains, which help to promote climate neutral operations.
And while it took some added effort on our end, our customers said they appreciated
avoiding the labor of unpacking boxes and disposing of cardboard waste, Oosterhouse

Gregory Maiers, chief operating officer of Perkins Logistics, said the specialized
packing method adds about 15 percent to the cost of a shipment due to the need for
additional labor and reusable equipment, but the premium is more than offset by an
average 65 percent increase in the number of items shipped per load and savings by
the manufacturers from the elimination of cardboard boxes and other packing
materials and the labor used to containerize products.

Established in 1913, privately held Perkins Logistics employs about 80 full-time
people in providing long haul and regional truckload distribution in North America
through its network of 350 independent trucking contractors. With sales exceeding
$50 million last year, Perkins Logistics has experienced a compounded annual growth
rate in excess of 20 percent over the last seven years. Haworth, headquartered in
Holland, Mich., is the worlds third largest office furniture manufacturer with
sales of about $1.66 billion last year. Founded in 2002, Allegiant Global is a
consulting firm that studies byproduct management for clients and offers creative
solutions to reduce their waste.

Maria Swift, author of the Perkins Logistics study and director program management
and sustainability at Allegiant Global, said her group scrutinized data from the
bills of lading of 100 shipments from September and October last year that were
transported from Haworths factory in Bruce to customers in 23 states. The products
in one-third of the loads were shipped using the Perkins method, and products in the
remaining shipments were boxed with cardboard. Perkins Logistics paid for the study
and shared its results with Haworth.

Because it was able to pack more pieces per truckload using the Perkins method, the
company eliminated the need to make 11 truckload shipments during the study that
would have emitted more than 27 metric tons of carbon dioxide from burnt diesel fuel

Manufacturers can see further reductions in carbon dioxide emissions by eliminating
the cardboard itself in shipping, Swift said. Perkins got reduction credits for
not using cardboard because nobody had to make those boxes, she said. Using
calculations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that state box
manufacturers emit 1.52 metric tons of carbon dioxide for every 2,000 pounds of
containers they produce, Swift estimated that Perkins saved an additional 7.8 metric
tons by using reusable blankets.

Maiers said interest in the Perkins method of packing is high in several industries
for companies that want to reduce their carbon footprints. Haworth and other
customers that were aware of our preliminary findings are very excited about the
systems potential, he said. The Perkins method obviously isnt suited for every
type of product, but it works well for customers that are shipping larger, bulkier
pieces where aesthetics are of primary importance. Other industries that can use
Perkins shipping method include manufacturers of store fixtures, school furniture,
telecommunications gear, office equipment such as large copiers, tradeshow exhibits,
medical equipment, and home cabinetry.

Given the number of shipments of these types of products made in North America,
specialized blanket wrapping could easily reduce thousands of tons of carbon dioxide
emissions annually, Maiers said. He said Perkins Logistics is examining other ways
to reduce its carbon footprint, such as improving its fuel efficiencies over the
next three years as a SmartWay Transport Partner certified by U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency.

For more information on the study, contact Matthew Gryczan at Alexander Marketing
Services by calling (616) 957-2000 or writing For
more general information on Perkins Logistics, visit the companys website at

Web Site:

Contact Details: Matthew Gryczan, VP-Public Relations, Alexander Marketing Services
Inc., 277 Crahen Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49516-0601, (616) 957-2000, fax (616)

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