Posts Tagged “RPC’s”
The food and pharmaceutical industries are rapidly moving towards returnable transport items (RTIs) and reusable plastic containers (RPCs) for shipping goods through the supply chain. Why? They’re lighter, more durable and now can be made intelligent. By adding temperature monitoring capabilities directly into the RTIs and RPCs, growers, manufacturers, shippers and retailers can both track and monitor the quality of their products as they move through the cold chain to improve quality and operational efficiency while lowering costs.
Press Release: Intelleflex
(Editor’s Note: This also can provide protection from claims for owner operators and transporters)
If you haul produce for the supermarket chain Safeway, you may have noticed fresh fruits and vegetable being hauled are loaded into your refrigerated trailer using reusable product containers (RPCs). The chain’s press release states it allows more product to be loaded into the trailer. It does not address the question of whether this adds more weight to the load, and if so, whether the truck is paid more for that additional weight (yeah, right!). Regardless RPCs are good for the envirnoment. Here’s the Safeway press release and you can decide for yourself.
Safeway Inc. announced that it has transitioned to using reusable product containers rather than corrugated boxes to ship many types of produce from the farm fields, through the distribution channel and to final store destination. This transition eliminated the use of over 17 million pounds of corrugated boxes.
RPCs can be stacked higher and more densely than traditional boxes, allowing for more efficient shipping and requiring fewer trips to transport the same amount of product. This, in turn, decreases trucking emissions and traffic volume.
Safeway, which has introduced a broad range of successful sustainability practices across its operations, has used RPCs for decades on many of its consumer brand categories, including bread, milk and soda. The company began testing RPCs in its distribution system for fresh wet-pack produce — fruits and vegetables kept on ice until they reach the store — in early 2010.
Making the transition for produce was a more complicated process than for other products because, to make it effective and decrease cardboard usage, Safeway’s distributors and grower partners also had to commit to the switch. The transition continued throughout 2011.
Today, many types of produce travel from the field to the distributor to Safeway’s product distribution centers and to the final store location in RPCs. The company’s major supplier of RPCs, IFCO Systems, said that Safeway’s implementation of RPC usage to decrease waste was the fastest and most aggressive program rollout to date.
Safeway’s vice president of transportation, Tom Nartker, said that employing environmentally friendly methods of product distribution is part of Safeway’s overall commitment to sustainable business practices.
“This expansion into produce is a natural extension of best practices in logistics,” Mr. Nartker said in a press release. “Safeway will continue to look for opportunities to expand the usage of RPCs into additional categories to have an even greater positive environmental impact.”
The use of reusable, sustainable containers not only keeps non-recyclable shipping containers out of the supply chain, but it also has an even greater positive environmental impact.
According to Safeway, the positive environmental effects include eliminating the use of over 17 million pounds of corrugated boxes, avoiding the harvesting of approximately 114,000 trees and reduced emissions of 37,518 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the environment, equivalent to removing 6,872 passenger cars off the road.
Equipment Modifications Announced by TransFRESH Now Make Tectrol Available to Strawberry Shippers Who Employ Reusable Plastic Containers
SALINAS, CA May 16, 2012 ‒ TransFRESH Corporation has announced that palletized Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) used by a select number of growers and shippers in the berry industry now work seamlessly with the company’s proprietary Tectrol® Modified Atmosphere system due to innovative equipment modifications made by the TransFRESH team.
TransFresh squeeze completes the cycle of inserting the bottom seal on a pallet that is now ready for the Tectrol bag and seal.
“We’ve implemented certain adjustments that make our equipment ‘RPC Capable’ for shippers who use RPCs as part of their box or carton mix,” according to Rich Macleod, vice president, TransFRESH Pallet Division North America. “This makes it possible for berry growers, shippers and retailers to take advantage of the benefits of Tectrol® regardless of the package method.”
Previously, growers and shippers using RPCs experienced a more complicated process that involved placing the bottom seal on the pallet in the field. However, with the new modifications, it’s now possible to run RPC pallet units on the company’s automated equipment provided at the coolers, ensuring the ease and integrity of the sealing process.
“The goal of our Tectrol Service Network is to remain ahead of the curve in terms of marketplace and customer demands,” said Macleod. “We realized that with some adjustments and retooling, we would be able to ensure a viable seal on all sides of the RPCs, making it possible for shippers who provide Tectrol® to readily apply our technologies with RPC palletization.”
Studies have shown that Tectrol’s high CO2 (carbon dioxide) modified atmosphere may reduce decay and thereby protect the quality of fresh strawberries throughout the distribution process. Berries shipped using the Tectrol Modified Atmosphere Packaging System are shown in university, USDA and private studies to deliver strawberries with less decay.
About TransFRESH® TransFRESH Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB), is a pioneering and established global company, with nearly 50 years of experience in perishables transport. Tectrol ® is the trademarked brand name for the TransFRESH® family of proprietary modified and controlled atmosphere systems and processes developed and owned by TransFRESH®. The Tectrol® Service Network™ services, markets and supports the Tectrol Pallet Systems operations and technologies. Since inception, TransFRESH’s innovations in packaging, equipment and sealing processes have established Tectrol® as the industry standard.