Project overview

Box in a Box is reducing the amount of time required to deliver urgent aid by pioneering a unique nesting storage system.

The 'Box in a Box' innovation project, led by the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot Lab (UNHRD) with support from the WFP Innovation Accelerator, is developing a nesting box system to effectively transport selected non-food items and pandemic relief supplies. It aims to shave up to 20% off the delivery time of goods by saving (un)loading time and preparation of kits through a nesting box system that is adaptable, yet standardized across multiple configurations. Once this adaptability is achieved, standards and guidelines will be applied to optimize the processes of transport; handling, and distribution to families in need - along the entire supply chain.

The impact will be on all beneficiaries in crises areas. The involvement of UNHRD partners is secured and interviews conducted with active stakeholders among private sector and humanitarian actors. The private sector is engaged through companies, which develop different packaging and supply chain solutions. The impact of the project is on service, stock, cost-efficiency and waste in the relief response during first months of operation.

The shipping container is one of the most significant innovations for moving goods in recent times. Its development resulted in massive cost savings for global transportation of goods, and enabled the global trade boom. Currently, there is no standard container for humanitarian supplies. During the Ebola response in 2014, pandemic relief supplies arrived from partners in different palletized forms, with no packaging standards for size, quality, or packaging of individual items. This hindered the ability of the humanitarian response and the supply chain to provide the right supplies on time. Inefficiencies in cargo handling and transit, as well as concerns for cargo safety emerged as pain points during the Ebola response.

For more information, contact UNHRD Lab at

Last updated: 21/04/2020