We are running two businesses with big problems: our online shop Vireo-Store as well as our shipping service Mailbox Germany need to send packages. Sounds like it is not that big of a problem but think about it: How often did you struggle when packing something?
Secretly, the team was working on a solution to a big problem and I sat down with Johannes and asked him about the problem and their solution.
Efficient packing: Big problems come in little packages
The packing industry is confronted with many problems that all evolve around one question: How can I pack my bins most efficiently? That is a problem even in academia where, no kidding, countless papers and journal articles are written every year revolving around this problem!
One of the bigger problems we face in the packing industry is: How can we most efficiently pack a finite number of bins into a big one? That’s when we face the so-called bin packing problem.
Mailbox Germany’s Bin Calculator, (kinda) a solution to the packing problem
We didn’t reinvent the wheel here but we combined some solutions of the 3-dimensional bin packing problem. As a note: No algorithm exists that can give an optimal solution to the problem in a reasonable amount of time. However, many algorithms have been developed that give approximate solutions.
This will be a quick overview so we don’t dive into too many details but we used a gap approach and included practical considerations like rotations, weight limits, fragility of packages, and multiple bin sizes.
This is some serious math we put into our 17-step process but it boils down to:
- getting information about the packages,
- determine package borders like weight or size,
- rotate the packages to determine their volume, longest side etc.
- choose the right bin
- place the packages
- determine gaps while rotating the packages with an integer between 0 and 5
- minimize gaps with re-arranging the packages until the best solution is there
- The bin packing problem is one of many, however a very important one. We are very proud to give to you the Mailbox Germany Bin Calculator to let us pack more efficiently for you.
What’s your benefit out of the Mailbox Germany Bin Calculator?
At Mailbox Germany we process numerous packages for our customers all over the world. We help you shop in Germany, we even shop for you, and we ship your packages to you. The biggest win is to maximize our efficiency and thus, save you money!
Say, you have 3 items in your Mailbox Germany storage and want them shipped. You want them shipped cost-efficiently. We want them shipped cost-efficiently as well. You save money and we save money as well.
The Bin Calculator is part of our Mailbox Germany service. Just register right now for a free account and get started.
I have a neverending curiosity how things work. I'm involved with Mailbox Germany since 2014. Let us explore this world and its logistics!
Since 2011, I work as Schrift-Architekt, a freelance consultant for social media and for some time now I am an avid German podcaster with #Onlinegeister, radio about internet culture, social media, and PR.
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