Multipack packaging: Fewer boxes means less waste, less work

What do servers have in common with beverage bottles? A six-pack is a smarter way to package each of them when customers buy a half dozen. In fact, this was the inspiration for Dell’s Multipack packaging, our solution that eliminates the challenges typically related to receiving multiple units at once: numerous boxes, wasted materials and the extra time it takes to unpack it all.

The Multipack premise is remarkably simple, but the impact is extraordinary. When customers order quantities of the same product, upon request, we can bundle them together for greater efficiency using our innovative approach. Instead of ordering six notebooks and getting six boxes, you get six notebooks in one box.

Dell’s sturdy Multipack packaging, available for most servers, OptiPlex desktops and Latitude laptops, protects sensitive technology yet is far simpler to handle, faster to unpack and easier to dispose of than quantities of individual boxes. And by eliminating the excess, the system also saves time in getting equipment up and running. Beyond this added convenience, Multipack is a far more environmentally sustainable solution that uses less raw material, reduces solid waste and even results in less air pollution.

Challenge  Solution  Benefits 
Challenge: Solution: Benefits:
For customers who order
multiple items, individually
packaged products waste
natural resources, energy,
time and space.
Safely package multiple
units in a single, sturdy box
specially designed to
minimize packaging material
waste.
Deploy new IT in half the
time while reducing clutter,
waste, disposal costs and
emissions from shipping.

Our sustainable packaging strategy

Multipack joins Dell’s other revolutionary green packaging innovations, including bamboo cushioning and mushroom packaging. These breakthrough approaches were developed as part of our Three Cs sustainable packaging strategy. Focused on the key areas of Cube, Content and Curb, we are creating packages that are smaller, made of materials that have less environmental impact and are designed for easy recycling.

Dell Multipack packaging achieves all three of these principles, cutting waste in each step of the process, from design and content to handling and disposal. Here is how:

Cube: Reduce packaging size

On average, Multipack packaging can hold twice the number of components in the same space as individually packaged products, just as six-packs efficiently bundle beverage bottles. This reduces the number of boxes required and the amount of raw materials consumed in manufacturing the packaging. Because there are fewer boxes, shipments are more compact, reducing the number of trucks needed for transporting the products. Keeping trucks off the road cuts air pollution from diesel emissions.

We’ve reduced the need for pallets, too. Pallets create waste, take up extra space and are rarely recycled. Instead of relying on this old system, Multipack packaging is designed with an integrated base made of corrugated cardboard. This alternative system can replace traditional pallets, allowing the large box to be moved with a hand-operated forklift and eliminating associated wood waste, too. This is just one of the ways we’re reducing the freight costs, carbon dioxide emissions and other environmental impacts of wood pallets. We detail our efforts around Dell's Logistics Teams Green Initiatives, including finding alternatives to wood pallets, on our Transportation and Logistics page.

With fewer boxes, our customers can deploy new IT equipment faster. Multipack enables customers to unload their delivery, open the packages, and get their products up and running in about half the time it takes for individually packaged units. They also spend less time breaking down and handling empty packaging. And, there are far fewer bulky boxes, pallets and other debris taking up valuable storage space.

Content: Use recycled or sustainable materials

The corrugated cardboard used to make Multipack boxes is easily recyclable in many places and often contains a percentage of recycled-content source material. This reduces reliance on virgin wood fiber (a 100 percent recycled content box would lack the structural integrity to support Multipack). Additionally, Dell is experimenting with new materials for cushioning in the Multipack, including bio-based solutions like mushroom cushioning.
Multipack Infographic
Curbside: Make packaging easy to recycle

While Multipack boxes are durable enough to be used repeatedly, they eventually need to be recycled. Our boxes can be readily broken down and bundled with corrugated cardboard from other sources for more compact storage until they are able to be recycled. Most recyclers readily accept corrugated, and both our mushroom and bamboo cushions can even be composted. The ease with which the materials may be recycled helps customers achieve their own waste reduction goals.