Axes Software » PMS – Returnable Packaging Management Software
xTrack PMS

PMS – Returnable Packaging Management Software

It has happened to our customers:

  • No more pallets forgotten at customers or carriers
  • Tracking the validity periods of vouchers issued for pallets
  • Automatic invoicing of lost pallets
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What are the benefits of a PMS solution?

xTrack PMS (Packaging Management System) – Returnable Packaging Management System

Control of returnable packaging circuit


Reduction of stolen or lost packaging

– 99%

Lower packaging replacement costs


Quicker delivery by changing ownership

Optimization of pallet repair process management
Reduction of human errors


Traceability of packaging & vouchers


Packaging identification by RFID technology

Choose the type of business you need PMS for

PMS for 3PL

PMS for 3PL

With xTrack PMS, 3PL companies efficiently manage the returnable packaging they use to store and transport goods.

PMS for Distribution

PMS for Distribution

The efficiency of distribution activities is also based on returnable packaging management that minimizes losses.

PMS for Production

PMS for Production

xTrack PMS makes life easy for manufacturers managing returnable packaging in which raw materials, WIP or finished products are placed.

 PMS for Retail

PMS for Retail

The xTrack PMS solution allows retailers to manage the return of packaging to the warehouses that supply them.

What activities does the xTrack PMS system cover?

Physical packaging returns management

After being used during freight transport, returnable packaging may remain in various locations:
– at the carrier,
– in another warehouse in the network controlled by the company managing them,
– in a warehouse to which the goods have been delivered and which is not managed by the company managing them, or they may be damaged or lost for various reasons.

The basic rule in managing returnable packaging is to recover from the transport company the same number and types of packaging that it has picked up loaded with goods for deliveries. The return is made to one of the warehouses of the company managing the packaging, usually the warehouse from which the goods were loaded.

The physical return of the packaging is recorded in the application as soon as it is returned. If the physical return cannot be done for a limited period of time, the remaining packaging at other locations is accounted for by vouchers.

Returns management through vouchers

Vouchers are documents that temporarily replace physical packaging remaining in warehouses other than those of the company managing them. They are issued by the managers of the warehouses where the returnable packaging in which the carriers have delivered the goods remains. Carriers present these documents when they return to the warehouses from which they took the goods to justify the unreturned packaging. The warehouse managers then take care of recovering the packaging for which carriers have presented vouchers.

The vouchers are valid for a certain period of time. For this reason, warehouse managers must organise a timely recovery shipment or take action to extend the validity of the vouchers before they expire. As a rule, if a voucher expires, the packaging in question can no longer be retrieved. In these circumstances, keeping a clear record of vouchers and their expiry dates is essential to eliminate the loss of returnable packaging due to expiry.

Compensation for returnable packaging

Some packaging deteriorates, becoming unusable, or it may be lost for various reasons such as: theft, non-recovery within the validity period of vouchers issued, and even loss or destruction of vouchers.  

In such cases, businesses must purchase some returnable packaging to replace the missing or damaged ones. 

If the firms managing the packaging are 3PL service providers, they must also make up for lost packaging belonging to their customers in order to physically return it to them.

To carry out the compensation operation, users use the application to see, by packaging type, how many packaging products (boxes, pallets, crates etc.) need to be replaced and how many are available in reserve stock. xTrack PMS automatically displays the number of packaging products available in stock from its database and allocates it to compensate for packaging that has become unavailable. 

Users benefit from the advantages of the automatic clearing operation and can intervene manually if they disagree with the results. Once the automatic clearing has been completed, they can see whether or not there was enough returnable packaging available and how many more products need to be purchased if the stock has proved insufficient.

Change of returnable packaging ownership

There are situations where the returnable packaging available in a warehouse at a given time is not sufficient. In order to avoid transporting some packaging from one warehouse to another, and thus incurring additional costs, companies can operate changes of ownership so that the shortage of packaging in one warehouse is covered by another customer’s available packaging. This creates a ‘exchange’ of ownership – the customer from whom the packaging has been transferred receives the same number and types of packaging in another warehouse from the other beneficiary of the mutual ‘transfer of ownership’. 

A user working for a 3PL service provider, for example, can make such changes to the database to avoid cross-transport of physical packaging, within the limit of the quantities and types of returnable packaging available from each customer. 

The ownership exchange is a form of compensation that achieves two objectives: it quickly meets customers’ needs for returnable packaging, and it saves the transport costs of recovering the packaging.

xTrack PMS modules and functionalities

Packaging return per transport order

Recording returns in the system for each transport order executed involves selecting the applicable options in the situations below: 

– physical return of packaging,

– presentation of vouchers issued to justify the temporary location of the packaging,

– declaration of packaging as lost or damaged.

The user selects the warehouse and transport order for which the packaging is returned. Selecting the transport order automatically displays all the details related to it, and the editable fields are filled in by the person taking back the packaging with the data valid on the date of return.

The automatic processing of the newly entered data and subsequent information updating in the application for each transport order ensure the accuracy of the record of packaging returns. 

In addition, there are restrictions on filling in the editable fields that eliminate the possibility of errors, as they block the processing of data that does not meet certain criteria. 

The difference between packaging used for deliveries by a carrier and packaging returned (or declared as lost/damaged etc.) by the same carrier is the number of packaging products remaining in its custody either to be returned or charged to it at a later date, if the loss or destruction of some of them is its fault).

Wholesale packaging return

Carriers do not always return the packaging they have taken with the goods after each delivery. That’s why the wholesale return option is available in the application. With the xTrack PMS application, the user also has the possibility to keep track of the returns for each carrier. This means that when a carrier returns packaging used on several trips in one batch, it can be recorded in the system simply, quickly and without errors. 

The user can view in the application the list of deliveries recorded in the system as made by the carrier in question and enter the data relating to the packaging physically returned in bulk for all applicable options, and the application automatically processes the information and updates the database. 

The difference between the packaging a carrier has taken for one or more trips and the packaging it has returned is the number of packaging products it has to return (or cover the cost of, if it is responsible for the loss or destruction of some of them).

Voucher circuit management

Vouchers are documents issued by the company receiving the goods delivered by the carrier, which temporarily replace the physical returnable packaging. Carriers hand the vouchers over to the warehouses from which they took the goods to justify non-returns. Then, the warehouse managers take the necessary steps to recover the unreturned packaging before the expiry of the vouchers so that it will not be lost.

While in smaller firms a single employee can manage the physical return of packaging temporarily replaced by vouchers without approval from a superior, in a 3PL company there may be several stages of approval (or rejection) of these documents until the final recovery of the packaging, as the hierarchy is determined by the number of warehouses and the way their network is managed.

In both cases, in addition to the main voucher data, the documents themselves can be saved in the PMS database in digital format by scanning. However, the complex version of the application also allows for the approval or rejection of documents, for reasons identified and specified in PMS, by one or two other hierarchical superiors who have different access rights. Depending on the data in the application and in the TMS system, for example, they can identify, propose, reject or approve carriers who will eventually recover the physical packaging before the vouchers expire.

Compensation for losses

Some returnable packaging deteriorates over time, is accidentally destroyed or lost for various reasons such as non-recovery before the voucher expiry date, damage or loss of the voucher, or theft, resulting in shortages that need to be covered to prevent bottlenecks in the loading process and therefore in transport or delivery.

In such situations, the 3PL service provider must purchase packaging to compensate (replace) the missing or damaged packaging in order to be able to physically return them to the customers from whom they originated (in the case of 3PL companies) or to use them for their own needs (in the case of companies managing their own packages).

The clearing operation is carried out according to the type of packaging required. The system automatically displays the packaging of the selected type available in the company’s reserve stock and allocates them to compensate for lost, damaged or expired packaging of the same type, taking into account the chronological order in which they have been recorded in the system. The user has the possibility to approve the way the application has done the compensation or to make changes if they do not agree with it. In addition, if the available packaging was not sufficient to cover the losses, the user can see, after the automatic clearing is completed, how much packaging of the selected type needs to be purchased later.

In addition, in the automatic loss compensation process, the application also uses information from contracts with carriers, and in the case of 3PL service providers, also from contracts with customers whose goods they handle. 

The management of returnable packaging makes it easy to identify which companies (3PL company/company managing the returnable packaging, carrier or recipient of the goods accompanied by packaging) generate losses, and to calculate the amount to be charged when the losses exceed the agreed limits.

Compensation through change of ownership

3PL service providers are the first to benefit from this functionality, as cross-transfer of ownership of the same number and type of packaging leads to reductions in transport costs. The reduction in these costs can be significant especially if the company serves an extensive network of warehouses and the distances between them are considerable.

Users are able to view the number and type of packaging available in the warehouses with which the company collaborates. They can easily make the decision to change the ownership of some packaging in one warehouse to cover the shortage in another warehouse. 

The exchange is done quickly, at database level, and in the event that one owner’s packaging does not reach the warehouse where they are needed on time, this operation has the advantage of solving the problem on the spot, without any losses or additional costs for any of the parties involved.

Over 250 successful software deployments

We wanted a complete automation of the flows in the warehouse and, together with Axes Software, we managed to achieve our goal. Using xTrack WMS, we have reduced the time required to process orders and have developed the ability to make an impressive number of items available to our customers. We started using the application when we delivered 300 orders a day, and today we can even honor 12,000 orders. Black Friday has nothing to scare us, we can deliver the ordered products quickly and efficiently!

The biggest benefit of implementing xTrack WMS was that we were able to process more than twice the number of customer orders per day. We increased from 3,000 lines before implementation to 7,000 lines after implementation, using the same resources as people and storage space. This major benefit did not come alone. Inventory in the warehouse is much faster now and delivery errors have been reduced to an imperceptible level, which has allowed us to focus on other essential aspects of our business. Also, with the implementation of xTrack WMS, the professionalization process of the employees directly involved became a necessity that led in a short time to a much higher accuracy of the final result of the daily activity – productivity.

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Alexandru Vîrban
Sales Manager
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