The Best Practices in Warehouse Cartonization


If you are looking to upgrade your WMS or if you’re getting a new WMS or switching to another WMS or if this is your first time WMS, here’s the another feature to consider. This feature is called cartonization.

  1. Cartonization is done among the different carton box sizes that you have for your order, whatever items that are being shipped in that order, you find the smallest box that will hold these items of the order in a pretty tight fashion with enough dunnage.
  2. Cartonization helps you to reduce your transportation costs significantly and especially if you do a lot of parcels. If you do rate shopping between FedEx, UPS and USPS you could get even more savings.
  3. Cartonization has a lot of other capabilities such as nesting logic and there are a lot of things that come with that you could take advantage of. We had an interesting problem with one of our clients. Their WMS will figure out the fit of all the items in a small box but sometimes the operators would struggle to put it together. That was a very fascinating issue to see and then we’ll teach them and they will get it right eventually.


But it will take some time and that’s how smart the system was in terms of getting the right box. To come down to a smaller size box it would start with the largest box and try to fit all the items, and then it’ll go to the next lower size box and it will try to do the same thing and if it fits then it’ll go to the next lower size box and then if it’s still fits then it will keep going down and down to the most smaller size box. After doing the nesting algorithm which includes 3D cubing and everything else then it would go back and tell the previous box where everything fit nicely.

That’s how the logic works and when you make the box as small as possible you save in transportation costs, whether it’s a parcel or LTL whatever it takes right box and you can see that trend even in computers and also in smartphones making them smaller and smaller and thinner and thinner, so that that makes a huge difference in the logistics costs of all those products. That’s something to think about seriously when you are looking at your cartonization processes and in reducing your shipping costs. Please share your thoughts on Cartonization in the comments section below.

Originally published at on May 29 , 2019.

Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. SG LoadProof is a patent pending Centralized Enterprise Photo/Video Document System on Cloud for Supply Chain. SG LP is built on the fact that photos & videos are vital docs as important as POs/SOs/Legal Contracts/Fulfillment Orders that reside in ERP/WMS/TMS systems, that serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal proof of crucial, critical, vital operations executed in Supply Chain within/across orgs when fulfilling customer orders as well as meeting contractual obligations between orgs as merchandise is transferred between different parties that partake in Supply Chain functions & operations. And these photos/videos data should not be stored in someone’s Smartphone or Email Inbox or in their personal/work Computer, but should be stored in a Centralized Enterprise system, where such data can be pushed into super-fast, stored securely, accessible to all stake holders (CFO/Sales Reps/Customer Support/AR/AP) in an org, as well as facilitates super-fast retrieval/sharing. LP is an Enterprise System of record for Photo/Video docs & is as important as an ERP which is an enterprise system of record for POs, SOs, Legal Contracts between parties etc. that have huge legal ramifications, also as important as a WMS (Warehouse Management System) that hold indispensable shipment & fulfillment data on orders. Like how Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc. have evolved into social media platforms/systems that enable individuals to showcase their beauty/pretty clothes/lovely cosmetics/hep coolness etc., LoadProof is an Enterprise system that holds similar photos/videos, but for a different reason, not for show off, but to serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal & indisputable system of record and proof that can be presented even in the court of law, when there is a dispute between parties while they execute many facets of the Supply Chain functions & operations. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 25 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit the company at Also follow him at

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