Shipping and fulfillment optimization platform Paccurate announced Tuesday it closed a $2.2 million seed funding round to advance its capabilities to reduce costs and carbon emissions in supply chains.
Almost every online shopper has gone to his or her door and found a box an air fryer could fit into when what was ordered was the size of a phone case. Larger than necessary boxes require excess packing materials and take up more space in delivery vehicles and consumers’ recycling bins.
Paccurate aims to pack boxes and trucks as efficiently as possible.
The funding round was led by Springtime Ventures and First Mile Ventures, with Grand Ventures as the other major participant.
“The Paccurate team has built a solution that drives a real monetary and sustainability return on investment for their customers. The customer feedback we heard during our diligence process was simply some of the most glowing and enthusiastic that we’ve ever received,” Matt Blomstedt, managing partner at Springtime Ventures, said in a release.
Paccurate’s cartonization solution
The idea for Paccurate came about after hearing shippers complain about the “half-baked cartonization solutions available,” James Malley, Paccurate CEO and co-founder, told FreightWaves.
Optimizing box sizes to minimize excess space can reduce the need for more packaging, minimize damages and make it easier to consolidate loads.
“Filler material is often necessary but should be used only after the right box or boxes are selected. An abundance of fill material is a poor — and wasteful — Band-Aid for a too-big box,” Malley said.
Once the most efficient packing sizes and materials have been determined, the platform provides humans or robots in the warehouse with optimal packing instructions for each carton. Malley described cartonization as “3D Tetris.”
Paccurate optimized 2.7 million shipments in March with retailers such as Hunter Douglas, Crate & Barrel and Dillard’s.
Read: Data, optimization key to eco-friendly supply chain, experts say
Savings and sustainability
Paccurate measures the cost and waste of materials, labor and shipper-specific transportation services before making a packing decision and providing visual packing instructions, Malley said. The platform accounts for the ways that different carriers incentivize packing based on their rate tables.
“Your costs and your carbon footprint are inextricably linked. When you do deeper optimization here and measure a dollar saved, you know at a minimum you are lowering your scope 3 emissions a commensurate amount. It’s like getting paid to be more sustainable,” Malley said.
Scope 3, or supply chain-related emissions, are reduced by at least 14% using Paccurate, according to the release.
Malley said the company’s retail and 3PL customers save an average of 1 square foot of cardboard per carton, which covers the cost of Paccurate’s services. He said customers also save an average of 15% on their shipping costs, which could help companies that are struggling to stay competitive with rising shipping costs.
“The return on investment is around 100X, and while I’ll give a ton of credit for that to the effectiveness of our technology, there are simply massive ripple effect gains when you do any kind of optimization at the packing step,” Malley said.
In addition to saving money, the company’s optimal packaging solutions are designed to keep products safe. Proper packaging can help eliminate damages and lower the carbon footprint of each package, according to United Parcel Service.
“It makes sense when you think about it — fragile items don’t fare too well when they ping-pong around in a box,” Malley said.
What will the funds be used for?
Paccurate will use its raised funds to build a modeling and analytics platform around its application programming interface.
The API will allow customers to easily see how many pallets and trucks they will need based on Paccurate’s assessment of efficient box size and packing techniques. Malley said the company’s customers are reducing the number of floor-loaded trailers they need from distribution centers by about 14%.
“That’s taking a significant number of trucks off the road just by making tweaks at the box level,” Malley said.
Customers will also be able to run simulations to inform them about which cartons to keep in stock at various distribution centers.
The seed round was oversubscribed and indicated that “everyone is tired of ordering small things online like a pen or pencil and having it show up on their doorstep in a box the size of a microwave,” Malley said.
Blomstedt said, “Right now global supply chain challenges are multiplying, and we strongly believe that only novel technology like Paccurate can rise to address them.”
Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.
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