Amazon may start fining sellers for using ridiculously huge boxes - CNET

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The e-commerce giant wants to cut down on waste and shipping costs.

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July 31, 2019 3:23 PM PDT

Tech Industry

Amazon shipping box on a conveyor belt

Bulky boxes, your days may be numbered. NurPhoto/Getty Images

Amazon wants to make massive, hard-to-open boxes a thing of the past. Last fall, the e-commerce giant asked companies to make packaging for larger items more efficient and easier to open. If companies don't follow suit, they'll be charged a fine, according to a Tuesday report by The Wall Street Journal. Amazon said Wednesday that it extended the deadline from Aug. 1 to Sept. 3.

The changes Amazon hopes to roll out would make packages more environmentally friendly and cut back on shipping costs. Amazon wants all items to eventually meet similar standards. 

Companies that don't meet the guidelines of the so-called Frustration-Free Packaging Vendor Incentive Program would face a "chargeback" rather than a fine, Amazon said, though it didn't explain the difference.

Vendors told the Journal they reduced the volume of their packaging anywhere from 34% to 80%. Some also cut down on the number of components used to ship their products. 

As Amazon continues to grow and ship more products, it's pushing to be more efficient with packaging. Last year, the company said it asked manufacturers to cut extra space and materials in packaging to bring down shipping time and costs, according to the Journal. 

Amazon's sustainable packaging initiatives over the last decade have cut more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials, the company says, and it's been working with vendors to create more sustainable packaging.

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Originally published July 30.
Update, July 31: Adds comment from Amazon.

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