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The Challenge of Eco Logistics

Greenman office

A printer is a bit like a child. When it’s crying out for toner, you can’t just say “Shh! Just wait till the day after tomorrow.” So says the CEO of Greenman, Jörgen Wonisch. The company sells eco-toner in recyclable cartridges.

Greenman sells eco-toner to office supply retailers in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Baltic States. The product range comprises toner for all major brands and models of printers and photocopiers.

A returns system for empty cartridges is an extremely important component of the business. Customers receive a returns box that can hold 25 cartridges. When the box is full, the customer calls the PostNord number printed on the box to request pick-up. Alternatively, if the customer has his/her mail collected by Posten, then the box will be picked up at the same time as the rest of the mail. The boxes are then transported to PostNord’s TPL (Third-Party Logistics) warehouse in Helsinki, where they are packed onto pallets.

“It doesn’t cost the customer anything. We pay for both the boxes and the carriage,” says Jörgen Wonisch.

When the boxes have filled 33 pallets, the pallets are picked up by one of Greenman’s suppliers in Europe. For Greenman, it is important that vehicles are loaded to capacity; an 18-metre-long trailer holds precisely 33 pallets.

“Sending out half-full trailers makes no sense, environmentally or economically,” says Jörgen Wonisch.

At the suppliers’ premises, all the cartridges are sorted and cleaned, certain small components are replaced and cartridges refilled with fresh toner. Each cartridge is quality tested and can then be resold.

The company’s medium-sized and large customers order approximately once a week and have orders delivered to their shops and warehouses. But as much as 67% goes directly from Greenman to the retailers’ end-customers. 

“Many of our retailers never even see the products, and that’s how it should be. They’re good at sales, we look after the logistics.”

But not even the large retailers can or want to warehouse the entire range of toner cartridges. So sometimes there is a need for speedy deliveries of unusual products.

“You can compare a printer to a hungry child. When it’s crying out for toner, you can’t just say “Shh! Just wait till the day after tomorrow.” The company’s productivity would suffer. But we don’t have to order special express delivery, PostNord’s DPD Business Parcels service handles all kinds of situations. With that service we can send a parcel in the afternoon and get it delivered all the way up to Umeå in northern Sweden the following day,” says Jörgen Wonisch.

Buying environmentally-friendly or ecological products can be expensive but the fact is eco-toner is cheaper than the original version. However, not many people know it even exists. And printer manufacturers put intensive effort into getting customers to buy their original toner cartridges.

“We don’t have the same amount of money to put into marketing as the major printer manufacturers do, into making people aware that this is a superior product. But our toner cartridges are good for both the environment and your wallet,” says Jörgen Wonisch.

​About Greenman​​​

Based in: Norrköping
​Turnover in 2012: SEK 46.5 million
Owner: Jörgen Wonisch
​Employees: 18
Markets: Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Baltic States. Embarking on sales to Norway soon.

Uses the following PostNord services:

Greenman also has a support warehouse with PostNord TPL in Helsinki which manages the registration and storage of empty cartridges. Here, the boxes are packed onto pallets which are then collected by Greenman’s suppliers located around Europe.

​About Greenman’s logistics flow

1Greenman’s warehouse is located in Norrköping and staffed by PostNord TPL.
2From here products are sent to retailers in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and the Baltic States via PostNord Sweden’s services: DPD Business Parcels 16:00, Pallet service and DPD Export.
3Around 67% of these products are sent directly to end-customers. This eliminates the need for temporary storage at the retailer’s warehouse. The services used here are: DPD, Pallet and MyPack Collect.
4The customer puts the used toner cartridge in the returns box. When it is full, it is picked up by PostNord.
5​Some customers send entire pallets of empty toner cartridges to Helsinki using the PostNord ​Pallet service.