Scalability: The Secret To Building Efficiency Into The Final Mile

PackIt Fresh Cart

Grocers across the globe stretched to manage a 5X year-over-year increase in online orders in 2020. Part of this growth was fueled by customers’ need to navigate store closures during the global pandemic. Fast forward to the end of 2021 and the continued growth we are seeing in online orders is increasingly about convenience. Tens of millions of U.S. households now know first-hand that ordering their groceries online for pickup or delivery can free up several hours in their busy weeks! Retail experts universally view online grocery shopping as a growing lifestyle phenomenon. 

– Melissa Kieling, President & Founder 

PackIt Fresh Freezable EcoFreeze Totes

The explosive growth in online grocery orders had grocers scrambling. Acquiring the customer and meeting customer demand quickly became a top priority.  Finding a way to do it in a profitable way had to come later. Grocers deferred to what they knew: building out new, refrigerated staging areas and acquiring fleets of refrigerated delivery trucks. These efforts required major capital investments for retailers large and small and have resulted in unforeseen inefficiencies.

PackIt Fresh Delivery

We designed the patented PackIt Fresh EcoFreeze™ refrigeration system with an understanding that the grocery industry needs to continue to be nimble and responsive given the pace at which online ordering is growing and changing. Grocers must be able to modify their various order fulfillment strategies, often times requiring a plug-in to their existing strategies. This calls for customization and scalability. PackIt Fresh EcoFreeze™ totes can be implemented quickly and at a low cost to retailers. Lower cost fulfillment means better margins on every order. Plus because PackIt Fresh EcoFreeze™ totes are, reusable, and collapsible, retailers can scale their refrigerated storage and order fulfillment capacity in a measured, strategic way.

PackIt Fresh Fareway Sioux City

Image: Jesse Brothers, Sioux City Journal

In 2021, we saw our PackIt Fresh EcoFreeze™ totes in daily use at national and regional retailers and even local bodegas. It didn’t take long for a retailer to asses all of the efficiencies created with the use of our products. Prior to using PackIt Fresh EcoFreeze™ totes, our customers shuffled picked orders around in the back of their stores to get items into multiple, temperature-controlled locations. This proved to be completely inefficient. In addition, the risk of storing an order in more than one location often resulted in handing over an incomplete order to the customer. Picking orders directly into our temperature-safe totes and staging the entire order together means order items are touched once, reducing order staging and de-staging time by as much as 40% and greatly improving order accuracy to the customer. Simply said, we are helping retailers get more orders out every hour. With our major retail partners fulfilling online orders at a rate of 50 to 500 per day, that’s significant labor cost savings.

Across the board, our partners are reporting a reduction in overall online order fulfillment costs, an increase in revenue from online orders and improved customer satisfaction. We are thrilled to report that after initial tests, our national and regional chain store partners have been expanding their PackIt Fresh EcoFreeze™ tote use to all retail locations, as well as multiple of their order fulfillment strategies. PackIt Fresh is helping stores meet at-home delivery order needs, as well as the increasing number of online orders for customer pick-up at the store.  

While the initial boom in online grocery orders may have taken retailers by surprise, PackIt Fresh has now delivered a scalable refrigeration system to support its continued growth. Retailers are now equipped to build much needed efficiencies into the final mile of online grocery orders. Good news for online grocery shoppers and retailers alike!

Stay tuned for PackIt Fresh Vice President of Sales Todd Tingley’s update on the PackIt Fresh commitment to FOOD SAFETY and SUSTAINABILITY.