Lightweight and durable plastic pallet delivers on sanitation, ergonomics and
hygiene; superior load stability eliminates damage and promotes safe handling
Polymer Logistics has completed a highly successful trial of its Cleanpal plastic pallet in the challenging fresh produce supply chain. Participating in the project were D.E. Brand, the family-owned Lincolnshire-based supplier of quality Brassica vegetables, as well as leading retailer ASDA. Cleanpal pallets were utilised for field palletisation and shipment to ASDA CDCs (central distribution centres) in Skelmersdale and Lutterworth. Products involved in the operation were broccoli and cabbage, with an average tray weight of 9kg.
As the fresh produce supply chain continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly sensitive to inefficiencies stemming from the use of wood pallets. Negatives such as water absorption, inconsistent weight, frequent damage, splinters and exposed nails underscore some of the nagging ergonomic, hygiene and handling issues associated with their use.
The trial was undertaken to demonstrate the efficacy of Cleanpal for the palletisation and seamless shipment of fresh produce. Several factors were evaluated, including
ease of forklift handling during loading and unloading, load stability in conjunction with plastic crates, as well as suitability for manual handling. The project allowed material handlers to experience how the plastic pallets, weighing just 15kg each, can be easily lifted and stacked manually as well as nested when empty to optimise space utilisation.
The Cleanpal trial proved to be a success in all regards. Harvest workers enjoyed the ease of pallet handling in the field, with no change required for pallet strapping requirements. There was absolutely no shifting or loss of palletised product in transit as load stability was enhanced by the use of interlocking trays. Forklift handling and pump truck manoeuvring was easily accomplished. Operators appreciated the easy fork entry, with the free underdeck providing a larger opening than found in wood pallets. From a health and safety perspective, ASDA remarked positively that trays of product could be easily slid from the pallet as per established best practice. This recommended approach is often not feasible with wood pallets, given their inconsistent surfaces and likelihood of exposed nail heads.
Adrian Dale, Managing Director at Polymer Logistics (UK): “In today’s supply chain, speed, safety and reliable quality have become essential. Problems related to the use of wood pallets are increasingly coming under the microscope as retailers look to take their operations to the next level. This trial demonstrates how Cleanpal delivers in every category to improve the fresh produce experience”.
Profitable growth with eco-friendly innovations from Polymer Logistics
With an increasing number of FMCG manufacturers viewing packaging as an expensive investment, the packaging industry is under pressure to introduce solutions, which are able to deliver more for less. At the Packaging and Converting Executive Forum (PACE) in Brussels (10-12 February 2015) brand owners will have the chance to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their supply chains as well as to identify possible solutions. As a leading provider of retail ready packaging (RRP) solutions, Polymer Logistics will bring to the event a breadth of product innovations, which aim to drive cost out of customer’s supply chain and also to reduce the carbon impact for all stakeholders.
Innovation, profitable growth and environment
It is well documented that the recent economic climate has created a major shift in consumer demand. The need for retailer and supplier to work in collaboration to deliver real end to end supply chain solutions, has never been greater. With this in mind, selecting the best and most innovative packaging solutions is vital to remain competitive.
Under pinning its commitment to innovation, Polymer Logistics will present at PACE Europe its extensive range of solutions within the field of retail ready packaging (RRP). Working closely with manufacturers, suppliers and retailers has allowed the company to develop a portfolio of products, which are able to answer challenges and limitations across the complete retail supply chain. Compared to cardboard alternatives, Polymer Logistics’ RRP solutions offer better product protection which results in reduced product damage, transport efficiencies and greater weight loading capacity. RRP delivers true one touch replenishment with the ability to be cross-docked as DC as well as act as a Merchandising Unit rolled out onto the shop floor. As retail pack is touched less the risk of damage is reduced and the labour replenishment costs are reduced.
Although companies are striving for profit growth, they are also concerned about the environment and are aware of the fact that growth may have a negative impact on it. In line with a circular economy model, Polymer Logistics offers solutions which are able to reduce carbon footprint by a minimum of 50%. During its life a RRP unit completes many return trips, indisputably showing the environmental benefit.
“Most manufacturers use far too much packaging. This has a negative impact on the environment as well as on the profitable growth of their businesses. It is time to change that through innovation” states Adrian Dale, Managing Director at Polymer Logistics, UK “Events such as PACE Europe are a good opportunity to discuss how innovations can make those changes happen in the industry. We have already initiated this dialogue with one of the worlds leading FMCG manufacturers last year at a similar event, and hope to develop it further with many more at the PACE forum in Brussels”.
In the spotlight
Among the not-to-be-missed product innovations that Polymer Logistics will be showcasing at PACE Europe will be the Crystal Clear line. Manufactured from fully transparent material, these stackable and foldable crates are ideal for in-store promotions as their clean look offers complete product visibility and can be personalised.
Also on show will be a number of ‘one-touch’ solutions that combine two functions – transport and retail displays – in one eco-friendly product. These include the 1/4 Dolly and the 1/4 Pallet both offering simplicity in use, storage, and maintenance as well as optional components for various requirements for retail display.
The PACE Forum, will take place in Brussels, 10 – 12 February 2015.
Throughout history various methods have been used to transport and protect valuable products as they move through the supply chain. Frequently this has involved creating a transport media that the products are contained within or placed upon such as boxes or pallets.
Dependant on the length of the supply chain the decision as to whether the transport media is made from durable materials that can be re used or disposable materials have been based on the costs of return versus the costs of disposal.
In this in depth white paper we contrast and compare disposable freestanding display units with the re usable plastic “Crystal Clear Eco” system manufactured by Polymer.
This comparison will look at the full operating life cycle of each system specifically in terms of: