Cartonization software is a warehouse automation software solution that analyzes orders to ensure the most efficient and cost-effective packing choice to minimize shipping costs. It accelerates the process by eliminating the need for warehouse workers to manually measure order items and “guess” which shipping carton size is best.

Cartonization software applications typically use algorithms to calculate the most efficient carton size to minimize unused space, lower void fill costs, and ensure the order is packed to take advantage of the lowest possible shipping rates. Cartonization software analyzes factors such as the size and weight of the products, the size and capacity of the boxes, and the need to minimize empty space and protect the products during shipping.

Benefits of Cartonization

  • Increase productivity by automatically providing carton size decisions for workers.
  • Reduce tasks such as manual measurements and calculations.
  • Reduce operational costs by reducing the use of excess order packing materials.
  • Reduce costs by eliminating shipping orders in larger-than-necessary boxes shipped at higher carrier rates.

Advanced solutions such as Numina’s RDS™ Cartonization module can also incorporate various other factors into the analysis process, such as grouping certain products together or following specific packing instructions.

Cartonization Algorithms

When reviewing your software solutions, it is essential to determine which algorithms the software uses and how effectively the algorithms can be configured to accommodate the characteristics of your specific product and shipping profiles. Here are algorithm options to consider:

Type I: Liquid Fill or LxWxH

Some cartonization algorithms are based on a Length x Width x Height (LxWxH) algorithm. Many warehouse management systems (WMS) use the LxWxH algorithm for cartonization, but it is not ideal in all cases because it does not allow for additional factors such as extreme or oversized dimensions or the irregularity of items. As a result, when these orders come to the packing stations, they become exceptions that must be repacked, repacking, further adding to the time and labor costs.

Type II: Trapezoidal Algorithms

Advanced cartonization software such as Numina’s RDS Cartonization module uses trapezoidal algorithms that can be configured to consider more parameters such as nesting factors, the compressibility of items, specialty rules for packing fragile items, and more.

As a result, the software can accurately calculate the perfect-sized shipping carton for an order – for a much higher percentage of orders than LxWxH algorithms yield. When paired with advanced order release software, operators can pick items directly to shipping cartons rather than repacking them from totes for faster order processing.

Cartonization software is often used in conjunction with other warehouse automation technologies, such as automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and autonomous mobile warehouse robots (AMRs), and pack-and-ship automation to accelerate and streamline the order packing process. It is proven to reduce labor and shipping costs, improve warehouse efficiency, and improve product protection during shipping.

Numina Group’s cartonization software is a module of its RDS Warehouse Automation Software platform.

If you’re interested in learning about RDS cartonization and other warehouse automation solutions, we can help. As a leading warehouse automation design consultant, software developer and independent systems integrator, Numina Group has over 35 years of experience defining, designing, and implementing highly profitable automated warehouse systems.

Our automated warehouse solutions enable companies to increase productivity by 50% or more, reduce labor costs by 30% to 70%, and increase order accuracy to 99.9%.

We offer consultative warehouse design services to identify the right lean processes for your operations. We help you turn your design into reality by combining the power of RDS™ WCS-WES, our real-time warehouse control and execution software with cutting-edge material handling technologies.

Learn More

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