UPACKS, Fold It, Tape It, Ship It

It seems a box is always too big or small so designer Patrick Sung came up with flat sheets of recyclable corrugated cardboard called the Universal Packaging System or UPACKS. The patterns make it easy to fold and conform to almost any shape while maintaining structural rigidity and protecting the contents. Love the idea of saving on packaging but will this actually work? I suspect each sheet would have to be sufficiently padded; not too thick, not too thin, but just right said Goldilocks.


Designer: Patrick Sung

UPS - Universal Packaging System, Recyclable Corrugated Cardboard Sheet by Patrick Sung

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173 Comments

  • Kyle says:

    woah there blatant copyright infringement.

    • mif991 says:

      Kyle could you elaborate?

      • Dahlia says:

        Indeed, copyright infringement on a major mail carrier brand such as UPS could have serious repercussion.

        I suggest the designer should opt for another name and logo to avoid confusion. It would be a great suggestion for UPS, but it should not be marketed with that name.

        Great idea though.

        • Patrick Sung says:

          Hi there, I’m the designer of this project. Thanks for you guys’ great suggestion. My intention of the name “UPS” is hoping to put the design in a context. But you guys are right. I will watch out for copyright issue and name/logo confusion problem.

          Thanks

          • Kyle says:

            Hey Patrick,

            first let me say, way cool concept.

            I’m a graphic designer by trade (not industrial), and you 100% definitely can’t use that logo. You can more than likely keep the name, though probably not in the abbreviated form.

            First solution off the top of my head is to lose the “system” and just call it Universal Packaging (where’s the system anyways?).

            random idea: Might be fun to play marketing off of the whole “this side up” thing, since there doesn’t have to be an up-side with this type of packaging…

            good luck with it.

          • ccc* says:

            I really dont think you need to worry about it as long as its only a concept. There is an endless amount of branded concepts out there from apple to nike. Dont worry about it.

          • Yael Miller says:

            Great idea, Patrick!

            I like the premise. I’m curious how this concept would test in weight/load testing for structural integrity. For example, if you drop a box on its corner, would it buckle due to a possible weak point at the extra scores?

            About using UPS, this is a cute way to tie into ‘universal packaging system’. But, I believe there is also a hidden benefit. I’ve seen conceptual packaging ideas from designers using big-name brands as the example (Coca Cola and Pepsi). These got huge interest and even the attention of upper management at these companies. So, the designers in each of those cases got a lot of attention for that. I think it’s not a bad idea. If UPS would have a problem, they’d ask you to remove their logo at most. But, you’re already on their radar, which is a great thing if you potentially could patent and/or license this concept to someone like them.

          • Patrick Sung says:

            Appreciate the commons on the names. I think I feel better now πŸ˜€
            To Yael Miller’s common regarding weight/load testing, although I haven’t done formal testing yet, I did spend a major amount of time on how to reach a good balance between fold-ability and structural integrity. After all, it is one of the major conflicts to this design problem. Thanks for bringing up the point.

          • Ramon Infante says:

            Hi Patrick,
            Congratulations on your invention. Hope it works outright well for you. I’m from Manila,Philippines.
            Will you manufacture these cardboard sheets? What are the possibilities of getting a dealership here for those sheets?
            Best regards,

            Ramon

          • Amanda says:

            Maybe “UPAKS” πŸ˜‰

          • Juan Gomez says:

            Patrick.
            I’m Juan Gomez, from El Empaque, the Latin-american magazine for the Packaging industry. Email me. We should talk.
            Great idea!

        • mike says:

          In this case it’d be trademark infringement, not copyright infringement and I doubt they will sue right away for something as small as this, only send a cease and desist letter.

      • jackie says:

        my name is kyle

    • Dummy says:

      No need to worry about copyright issues if this is only a concept. Unless it is put into production and available for sale it wont be a problem

  • Looks totaly funky ,I’d love to try it out

  • Rob says:

    but how much harder to scan and move a pile of uniquely wrapped packages than a stack of uniform boxes?

    • arvash says:

      These are composed of polygons and not curved shapes, one could pass it through a scanner, and a computer could organize the most efficient package arrangement. This would allow a LOT more packages per truck than is currently possible with “boxes”. Just saying.

  • Parcels says:

    As someone with close ties to the packing and shipping industry, I would love to see this put into practice. Is there a way to contact the designer?

    • Patrick Sung says:

      Hi there, my name is Patrick Sung. I’m the designer of UPS. Thanks for your interest in the project. If you would like to contact me regarding UPS feel free to email me at
      [email protected]

      Thanks

  • nh says:

    cool thing. unfortunately you couldn’t use it, at least, in Germany since it hasn’t got squared shaped dimension. But it would be so great!

  • CoolCow says:

    so… nothing will stack in a shipping freight/truck… and… you will get the closet effect:

    mom: clean your damn room
    kid: ok (stuffs everything in closet and forces the door closed)

    mom: go get dressed
    kid: ok (opens closet and everything comes crashing out)

    theres a reason for standard sizes… easier for the carrier to deal with a millions parcels… good start though… but integrate it into the system and you’ll soon see the problem.

    • Patrick Sung says:

      Good thoughts. Current shipping system might need some change to adapt organic shape box. But one good thing about UPS is that user can also make rectangular box with custom dimensions. (as illustarated in the image) This way user can still reduce void space and unnecessary filling material during shipping.

      Thanks

      • I agree with both of you. I most often I have to ship very odd shapes in odd sizes and end up paying a lot more in the mailing charges. Hope it comes to production soon enough.
        Also I have a suggestion: In this design you have used 45 degree intersections. How about trying with 60degree intersection? It gives triangles all over and completely uniform grid. That gives more versatility to packing efficiently. With a 60 degree grid one can fold hexagonal and triangular boxes and the area that goes into folds, for a given packing volume can be reduced, for a hexagon that is. (I am an origami artist and that’s where the idea came from)
        I would like to hear your thoughts about that.

    • Gerry says:

      There aren’t standard sizes for shipping. I ship 50-100 boxes a week, using recycled boxes. I won’t say no two are the same size, but there are an awful lot of sizes in common use. Your argument applies to common shapes, not sizes.
      I’d love to try this system; if it works it would vastly reduce one of my biggest shipping problems: sorting through many boxes to find one the right size for the order.

      • CoolCow says:

        you are the user (only a small part of the system), not the carrier, this would be a nightmare for logistics companies (i.e. UPS). i did not say there are standard sizes in the world of boxes, i meant that the carrier supplies standard sizes to you, their customers, for reasons of simplified logistics, obviously deciding to use those standard sizes is completely up to your discretion.

        My thoughts are about designing for the entire system, not just one part/person in that system. This would include the people who ultimately take your packages, sort them and load them into containers and trucks, and then unload them to deliver them… thats what designers do… we’re thoughtful like that.

        • MikeyStanks says:

          Yeah, as someone that works at a UPS Store, I know that UPS charges an extra $10-$15 on what is considered non-rectangular (excluding small bags and tubes).

          And customizable rectangular boxes already exist. We use sizable boxes that let you cut down the box to a proper height. Granted it’s only one dimension, but we stock all kinds of sizable boxes.

  • Patrick Sung says:

    Thanks a lot Kyle! πŸ˜€

  • Confucius says:

    Hey good work! I hope there are no repercussions from UPS.
    IMHO you’ve obviously copied it on purpose to garner attention.

  • bud says:

    Well, I didn’t read many of these comments, but from the first few, it seems pretty obvious that a few people are thinking the TAPE, which DOES come from United Parcel Services, the Big Brown Truck Guys, is the Logo for the guys cardboard system. It isn’t. He is using Big Browns Tape.

    The cardboard itself is just called UPS, in a nondescrpit typeface. WHich also stands for Uninteruptable Power Supply and many other things around the households and businesses of America.

    • Vilija says:

      @bud – if you look more closely at the pictures, the tape actually reads ‘Universal Packaging System.’

  • I love the idea, but there’s this particular problem though. I agree with CoolCow; because of all the odd shapes, wouldn’t it be more of a hassle to stack them together when it comes to shipping? In standard rectangular boxes, its a lot like building a brick wall, but with this, packing will be a little like playing tetris.

    Still, awesome idea anyhow!

  • David says:

    I love it when I come across such innovative designs, great job!

    I don’t see it catching on for irregular shapes, but in terms of folding it into custom rectangular boxes which have no voids this is right on. Major companies can definitely benefit from even a 10% increase in volume space available per load.

  • Hi Patrick Sung,
    I am a reporter and writing for a paper with 95.000 examples. I would like to write about your invention “Universal Packaging System” in our next publication. Therefore I need pictures like you posted above in high-resolution, can you please send them to me?
    Greetings from Germany!
    Sebastian

  • Henry says:

    Interesting idea.

    Why not contact UPS and see if there’s a co-marketing or supplier/buyer interest?

  • Kevin says:

    great idea, although one thing, it makes it harder for stacking of parcels compared to conventional box. may reduce the efficiency of packing.

  • annajon says:

    I would love to try it out for sculpting. I love sculpting with cardboard boxes and this allows for more rounded displays.

    Not on topic, I know. But I recycle… πŸ™‚

  • Morndan says:

    I have a Dell Latitude Laptop using Windows XP. I took it to Geek Squad because it was skipping and the freezing up when I played DVDs or any kind of audio. When it freezes I have to turn it off witut shutting it down. It also wouldn’t freeze right away..it freezes into about 10 minutes of playing the DVD. It was also making weird noises when it froze. Best Buy informed me that the noise wasn’t any hardware issue, but the kind of noise the computer makes when it’s frozen. They said nothing was wrong hardware wise, and that I had 6 viruses on the laptop. Well now, all those viruses are removed, and my laptop is still skipping and freezing when I play DVDs..to the point where I have to turn off the computer without shutting it down. Also, now it freezes and makes a weird noises when I’m not playing any audio. If it’s not viruses, and geek squad said everything is fine with the computer physically, then what is it?

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  • Smitty says:

    I also work in a design related field. But, in college, I worked at UPS packing the trucks that went out between cities. I would HATE to see these odd shaped packages coming down the conveyor. Boxes are rectangular for a reason!

  • brown worker says:

    As someone who works for UPS and has to go through the “Pack and Ship Promise” training, I have to say that this concept would never make it. While the design is interesting, the point of putting something in a box is to protect it. As such, UPS recommends for those who pack items on their own (and demands from UPS workers) no less than two inches of space around each side of the item, to be filled with loose fill. Each side of the box then has to be taped so that the box is air-tight, thus making it much harder to crush. A form fitting box like this would provide surface protection, but absolutely no crush protection.
    This design attacks an interesting problem, of custom fitting, but one that has already been solved. UPS locations stock a number of general box sizes and based on the minimum packing requirements, i.e. 2 inches around each side, we can usually find a box to fit, and custom fill around the space with crush proof, recycled, loose fill. In the event of an unusally odd sized object, we custom build boxes to spec.
    Unless you want to ship things and have them end up broken, battered, and beaten, the traditional box is still the best bet for shipping. Cool idea, it just can’t work for real world shipping.

  • horirium says:

    Hello Patrick Sung, I will inform you of it. This is not a quite new idea though it is regrettable.
    As for this idea, the patent has already been taken in Japan.

  • Todd says:

    I have a company that automatically prints and ships books one at a time, so each order has books that are a different size. The advantage I see with this design is that you can make the box exactly fit the order and this reduce damage from books shifting around during transit. In this case all of the boxes would be square.

    Question: In the picture you show square boxes. How did you get from a flat sheet to a square box? Do you cut along the dotted lines or can they be “torn” because they are perforated?

    How long does it take to make a “square” box?

  • Jared Schmale says:

    Yeah Patrick, you already know what I think of this project. Nice work.

  • Richard says:

    it seems single face has been doing the same job for 50 years!!!!

  • Kyle Michel Sullivan says:

    This is a cool idea and great for shipping block-like items, but as regardsd odd-shaped materials…I think it’s better suited for protecting those inside a regular box. If you can mold it this easily, how will it stand up against the normal wear and tear of being shipped? Plus don’t many carriers charge extra for odd shaped packages?

  • Cenk says:

    hi patrick!is it possible to buy this or get one sample?I would love to try it out!thanks!!

  • Cenk says:

    hi patrick!is it possible to buy this or get one sample?I would love to try it out!thanks!!

  • Wonderful idea – saves on packaging material too! Should be excellent for smaller, lighter items.

  • Wonderful idea – saves on packaging material too! Should be excellent for smaller, lighter items.

  • Alix56 says:

    When will it be available, and how much will it cost? I can see this as being very useful indeed!

  • Alix56 says:

    When will it be available, and how much will it cost? I can see this as being very useful indeed!

  • English says:

    Custom packaging is a nightmare, especially small runs. This idea does address some issues however looking at it i would still use bubble or foam wrap then use this product. However, it would cut down on man hours attmepting to make boxes for the smaller company, all ok stating get custom boxes made…try working with deadlines with packaging people on small runs…doesn't add up. This design rocks.

    Good luck mate and nice design.

  • English says:

    Custom packaging is a nightmare, especially small runs. This idea does address some issues however looking at it i would still use bubble or foam wrap then use this product. However, it would cut down on man hours attmepting to make boxes for the smaller company, all ok stating get custom boxes made…try working with deadlines with packaging people on small runs…doesn't add up. This design rocks.

    Good luck mate and nice design.

  • Harry Oldham says:

    The picture of the pristine cuboid box is how you send the parcel the crumpled up package is what it is like when the person you are sending it to receives it.

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  • surfaceprotection says:

    I also wonder how UPS would categorize this shipment as it would be harder to determine the surface protection that the package incorporates. Seems to be a good way to reduce extra cardboard waste. http://buildsitepro.com/home.asp

  • surfaceprotection says:

    I also wonder how UPS would categorize this shipment as it would be harder to determine the surface protection that the package incorporates. Seems to be a good way to reduce extra cardboard waste. http://buildsitepro.com/home.asp

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  • nick says:

    i would love more info. can you contact me?

  • andy lee says:

    please contac me Patrick.
    I have been searching for you for your thrilling idea

  • andy lee says:

    hi patrick I have been searching for you
    please contact me..

  • Andrew Murphy says:

    Im part of a young company which has a keen interest on how it packages and presents its product. Has this moved from concept stage and if so where can i obtain a sample?

  • Nemaslug says:

    I would have to agree with Kyle, thats definately a case for copyright infringement.

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  • Adam says:

    Patrick,

    Lets do business together. I have the connections to make this product something special.

    Adam

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  • Phil says:

    Do you have a patent on this UPS wraping idea?? If not why not.

  • Phil says:

    Do you have a patent on this UPS IDEA?

Comments are closed.