This February, a raft of new amendments were added to EU Health and Safety Regulations for logistics companies.  This included the European Round Box Directive 2016/04/EC – stating that ‘All square or rectangular cardboard boxes weighing over 15kg will be banned, effective as of 01.04.16’.

All boxes over 15kg will now need to be spherical in order to prevent injury from sharp sides and edges. Companies will only be exempt if they are equipped with machines or robots to allow boxes to be handled without human contact.

It’s been said that handling heavy boxes with edges poses extreme danger to staff, and as a result, the fine for each box would cost £83 ex VAT. Yes, you heard us right. We are not sure what you think about this but we thought this was way over the top. At LOVESPACE, we’ve handled well over 100,000 boxes and never had a single issue with box edges.

Due to these repressive and unnecessary rules, leaving the EU has now become quite a heated topic amongst the LOVESPACE team. Our Office Manager Flora Pilo conducted a vote of everyone in the company to decide where LOVESPACE sits on Brexit following these ridiculous regulations. It turned out that the majority of our team (73% to be precise) are now backing the campaign to leave.

Dave Best quote on round cardboard boxes

Despite our reluctance, we don’t want you to think that we haven’t made an effort to follow the rules.  As soon as we learned of the regulations, we decided to be cooperative and abide by the two-month notice period given. We’ve trialled it for three weeks now with new round boxes, but things are not going that well.

Our Warehouse Manager, Dave Best, has shown his frustration saying “It’s been a nightmare dealing with those boxes. That part of the warehouse is chaotic and boxes are rolling around the shelves and won’t stay put. One even rolled off the shelf and squashed a team member on duty. Plus, you can’t stack them on top of each other. It is such a terrible use of space. This is just absurd!”

Not only is this an inefficient use of space and rather difficult to manage, it is also going to cost us three times more to customise and print these round LOVESPACE boxes.  We will continue to look for alternative solutions in order to make sure that this ridiculous regulation doesn’t have a negative impact on our customers. But as for now, our warehouse looks like a giant cardboard ball pool!

1 APRIL 2016