|Used reusable packaging sounds strange yet it is precisely how many CFO’s are improving the bottom-line. David Madden, President of ContainerExchanger.com, acknowledged that, “Initial investment in returnable packaging may cost more that one-time use packaging. However, savings are often quickly realized with returnable packaging because bulk containers, metal bins, and totes are used repeatedly and there are reduced labor costs with reduced or eliminated box assembly.” Additional cost-saving are realized through used reusable packaging including reduced material handling achieved with fewer moves from stackable containers, increased efficiency in floor space usage since plastic and metal containers can stack very high, and enhanced quality since there are fewer rejects due to damaged packaging.
Used Plastic Reusable containers provide the most cost-efficient shipping approach possible; corrugated one-way packaging is the least effective and most costly. The quasi-e-Bay model of ContainerExchanger positively impacts both the buyer and seller of packaging. According to Madden, “When a company is finished using a returnable packaging fleet, we represent the seller and find a buyer for the used bulk packaging. Sellers enjoy a high sales price for a better return on investment. Buyers save significantly in comparison to new packaging prices.” The average price per trip for a corrugated one-way package is 54 cents versus a used plastic reusable container at 2 cents.
The per piece packaging costs for used bulk containers and totes can be as low as 5% of the costs for a comparable expendable solution, depending on shipping volumes. Returnable containers provide a way to reduce costs and increase productivity in handling and distribution because the containers can go from processors to distributors to retailers efficiently.
Used pallets can take many different forms. Each pallet may be made from different materials and have different structural properties. There are plastic Export Pallets that are specifically made for the export market. These pallets are made from plastic, and therefore, they meet international shipping guidelines (while wood pallets must be heat treated before they are shipped internationally). Plastic pallets are often more durable than wood pallets, because they are generally all molded in one piece, while wood pallets require nails to hold all the pieces together.
Product handling is reduced with some of these returnable containers because produce is often packed directly into containers where it remains until purchased by the general public. Reduced handling eliminates product damage possibilities.
Increasingly manufacturers and distributors are changing entire storage and packaging components to returnable containers. Beyond the public relations benefit of being environmentally conscientious companies, genuine corporate citizenship is frequently sincere and demonstrated through practice. Madden insists, “Since used returnable containers enhance safety and quality issues, and are most cost efficient, it is not a difficult choice for many CFO’s to shift their packaging and storage approach.”
If you’re ready to see some a positive impact on your bottom line result and can look at changing how you look at packaging, contact us today. We’ll work with you to buy or sell any new or used packaging, such as used pallets, used bulk containers, handheld totes, and carts. Visit us at http://www.containerexchanger.com today.
Used Bulk Containers
|This video details the features and specifications when choosing a Used Gaylord Box for your application.
If you’re wondering how to choose the right gaylord box for your application, view this video to get some insight into the matter.
Container Exchanger buys and sell Used Gaylord Boxes throughout North America, please visit our section to view Gaylord Boxes available now.
When a new plant manager at TRW Automotive started his job, he quickly mandated the move to returnable containers. The inspired move promised “significant cost savings going forward”. As the workforce mobilized to fill their immediate need for returnable containers, they quickly discovered Container Exchanger.
|Lighting recycling specialist Lumicom, lighting maintenance company David Webster (DW) and waste management specialist Sims Group recently launched a series of pilot trials in the United Kingdom to explore ways of improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of recycling waste street lanterns. A key element of the scheme has been to eliminate the double handling of waste lanterns by using reusable containers for storage as well as for transport of new lanterns, thus recycling packaging as well as lanterns.
This idea is hardly new in the United States. According to the Package Design Magazine, since as early as 1959, a company in Wisconsin has been using reusable containers to reduce costs and enhance efficiency in distribution packaging. The idea is simple: because containers such as plastic bulk containers, plastic pallets, metal bulk containers, and wood crates are highly reusable, companies using them can avoid spending time and money on purchasing new containers and discarding old ones. As these containers are designed for many years of use, they are sturdy and capable of protecting the valuables inside in rough shipping environments. Most importantly, by using reusable containers and helping conserve energy and natural resources, businesses can considerably boost their green credentials.
Particularly in the past two decades, more companies have discovered the benefits of using reusable containers. A good example is the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company in San Leandro, California, which has been producing premium chocolate products since 1852. The company used to spend $520,000 per year on 580,000 cardboard boxes for internal distribution, with an additional $2,700 spent on their disposal. A study conducted by StopWaste.org found in 2005 that by using reusable containers, Ghirardelli would be able to achieve $1.95 million in net packaging reduction savings over five years and prevent 350 tons of soiled cardboard boxes each year. Its hundreds of workers would also be less likely to develop repetitive stress injuries from taping and opening cardboard boxes.
In 2007, the Grocery Manufacturers/Food Products Association (GMA/FPA) in Washington, D.C. published a �Case Studies in Sustainability� report that examines how manufacturers and retailers can maximize operational efficiencies and reduce the overall environmental footprint of their supply chains. The report found that by combining the use of reusable containers with advanced shipping methods such as the pallet pooling system, a typical business that ships 100,000 product unit loads per year can reduce solid waste by more than one million pounds, which is equivalent to 46 dump trucks filled with waste. Not only can this business save 3.3 billion BTUs of energy (equivalent to 86 homes powered by electricity for a year), but it can also avoid release of more than 250 tons of greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to 49 passenger cars taken off the road).
The advantages of using reusable containers in product transport and distribution are evident. To further explore how to reduce costs, enhance efficiency and protect environment, businesses can seek advice from professional agencies such as the Reusable Packaging Association and industry experts such as Container Exchanger.
by: David Madden
Founder, Container Exchanger
In today’s increasingly globalized and fiercely competitive world, the ultimate goal of businesses in all sectors is to maximize profits while reducing expenses in manufacturing and shipping their products. However, in recent years, an increasing number of enterprises in the United States have become aware of their corporate responsibilities in acting as models for environmental protection and energy conservation. They have recognized and are now actively promoting the benefits of using returnable packaging.
|In today’s increasingly globalized and fiercely competitive world, the ultimate goal of businesses in all sectors is to maximize profits while reducing expenses in manufacturing and shipping their products. However, in recent years, an increasing number of enterprises in the United States have become aware of their corporate responsibilities in acting as models for environmental protection and energy conservation. They have recognized and are now actively promoting the benefits of using returnable packaging.
Returnable packaging, utilizing materials such as metal, high-quality woods and plastic, can be reused repeatedly. These durable materials enable returnable packaging to last many years, so that it is not uncommon for one returnable container to replace up to 50 expendable packages. By avoiding the use of expendable packaging, businesses are able to save a considerable amount of money on purchasing new packages and disposing of old ones.
In the United States, most expendable packages, such as corrugated boxes, paper and disposable wooden pallets, end up in the landfills. According to statistics provided by the Clean Air Council, a Philadelphia-based non-profit environmental organization, almost one third of the waste generated in this country is packaging. Although American businesses use approximately 21 million tons of paper each year, only one-tenth of all solid waste in the nation gets recycled.
Worse, according to WorldChanging, American businesses send hundreds of millions of wooden pallets into landfills each year, spending approximately one billion dollars in the process. If reports by this Seattle-based non-profit media organization are accurate, then about 40 percent of all hardwood harvested in the United States is for pallets, about two-thirds of which are used only once before disposal. Up to 25 percent of all wood in landfills is from used pallets.
Much of this waste of paper and wood can be avoided if returnable packaging is used. Because a package reused is one less package that will end up in the landfills, the general cost, time and manpower required for packaging material disposal can be greatly reduced. Using high-quality wooden returnable packaging further reduces impact on the environment, as it is highly sustainable. Businesses are able to reap the benefits of promoting their policies to protect and preserve the environment.
Finally, although initial costs for switching to returnable packaging can be significant, the savings businesses are able to generate over time is more than sufficient to justify the expenses. Industry experts such as Container Exchanger have proved that pay-off time for investments on returnable packaging is generally less than one year. This means that companies large and small can easily rationalize their capital expense and receive a relatively short return-on-investment.
Enterprises of all sectors and sizes are urged to use returnable packaging, not only to reduce their operational costs and create savings in time and labor, but also to act as industry leaders in protecting the environment. Professional dealers such as Container Exchanger can help businesses analyze their manufacturing and shipping processes and select the kind of returnable packaging that best suits their needs.
If you’re ready to start reducing landfill waste by putting resuable packaging to work in your business, contact Container Exchanger, the only marketplace you’ll need for recycling and repurposing containers, baskets, bins, totes, and pallets.
ContainerExchanger.com is an online marketplace that helps manufacturing and distribution businesses buy or sell used reusable packaging. Offerings include bulk containers, metal storage bins, plastic industrial totes, plastic pallets, used gaylord boxes, plastic collapsible bulk boxes, metal containers and wire baskets.
|Green sustainable packaging solutions are as simple as reusing containers. Reusable Container & Pallet Association (RCPA) members are leading suppliers of the reusable/returnable industrial plastic containers, pallets, and packaging. They supply solutions worldwide and in virtually every major manufacturing and distribution sector.
RCPA notes that pallets and containers are the fundamental products for transporting, distributing, and storing almost all products and materials. Using containers and pallets made of plastic offers benefits for sustainable and efficient operations. Plastic pallets and containers are reusable and do not require treatment for pests. The benefits of plastic pallets and containers include hygiene, constant quality and dimension, no splintering or nails, and no water absorption. Plastic pallets and containers also are weather-resistant, stack and nest for excellent space utilization, can be easily repaired or replaced, and can be uniquely colored.
Used returnable packaging already is utilized extensively and many firms have incorporated this green initiative into their distribution system to some extent. Since almost all plastics businesses sell to other manufacturing companies, the returnable container portion of that equation provides a unit that is strong, stackable, and forklift-transportable. With the right returnable container (often a plastic pallet container), the products are protected from damage during transportation. The used pallet container works like a fortress; if anything hits, stabs, or bumps the container, the container is strong enough to protect whatever is being stored or transported inside.
The secondary portion of the equation is the dunnage. Dunnage refers to a network of soft sleeves or pigeon holes within the pallet container itself. Dunnage is custom-made based on part dimensions and is placed into the plastic pallet container. It functions to give each part its own protective environment and prevent the parts from scratching or damaging each other. The dunnage protects the parts from other parts and is often required to transport “Class A” surface components (anything that is visible to the end user of an assembled good).
According to David Madden, president of ContainerExchanger, “Plastic businesses which do not currently use returnable packaging should consider the use of returnables in an effort to reduce transport damage, such as crushed cardboard boxes or cardboard boxes stabbed by forklifts in transport. Returnables also help prevent part-on-part damage, by providing a protective housing for each individual part.”
Warehouse space also is at a premium and returnable containers help to greatly increase the storage capacity of any warehouse. Returnable containers can be stacked on top of each other and entire stacks can be moved about the warehouse to reshuffle and organize the products.
Madden noted, “Returnables almost always make sense. Plastics firms can maintain control of the bins, reuse them for multiple parts and projects, and when done, they can be resold.”
Logistics problems can create a challenge if there is a weak relationship with the customer, or if a solid return system is not in place. Containers can get lost and create an expensive problem.
In addition, transportation costs must be factored into the equation. If the cost of return shipping of the container (from the customer) is greater than the savings achieved through defect reduction, floor space savings, and expendable packaging costs, then returnable containers may not make financial sense.
If the project is short-lived, or has a potentially low volume, it may take too long to pay back the original investment of purchasing the used returnable container.
The floor space savings that can be achieved only make sense when there is an abundance of one type of product utilizing a significant amount of floor space. Warehouse racks can make more sense from a storage standpoint if there is a large variety of different parts or if the parts do not take up a large volume of space.
In general, the pros outweigh the cons in using returnable containers. The metrics are easily quantified and the financial calculation not difficult to assess. The typical costs of cardboard, including labor assembly, quality control issues, and reshipment costs, make reusable, returnable containers a wise option.
Original article can be found here.
Container Exchanger is your one stop source for Used Bulk Containers, Pallets, Carts, and Totes. Visit Container Exchanger today if you’re ready to start saving money on packaging today.
Buying used reusable packaging yields immediate cost savings and long term benefits.