nestable containers

Farm Unions Cuts Costs and Storage Space by Transitioning to Nestable Containers

The basis for success in any industry is using the right tools in all the processes, and today’s case study demonstrates the importance of nestable containers as long term reliable packaging solution. This client case also demonstrates the importance of communicating with any potential client and trying to understand their needs in order to provide them with an adequate and cost efficient solution.

The Customer May Not Always Be Right

When we were first approached by a unionized group of farms distributing fresh fruit and vegetable to local marketplaces, they had already decided on a specific product they wanted to order. This product was a stackable crate with large perforations which they intended to use for the storage and distribution of cabbage.

However, the cabbage harvesting season is a short, and for the rest of the year the crates would have been unusable for other type of produce (cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, etc.) because of the large perforations. Also, these were not nestable containers, but only stackable, meaning that they would take up a lot of storage space in the clients’ warehouse.

Since the customer intended to purchase a large quantity of crates (over 15,000 pieces), our packaging experts decided to study the client’s logistic operations to find out if the products were a good fit for them.

It turned out they were not.

What Our Packaging Specialists Found Out

When the team of packaging experts arrived at the client’s main warehouse, they found out that the farms had a wide variety of fresh produce to ship to the marketplaces, both fruit and vegetables. It made no sense to order a large batch of packaging materials which would be suitable for one type of product only.

Once the logistic specialists entered the warehouses, they identified a second issue with the client’s choice of packaging materials: the crates they wanted to purchase were too high to fit the shelf system. In any stacking configurations, the customers wouldn’t have been able to use the storage space efficiently. At this moment, our packaging specialists knew that they had to come up with a different recommendation for this client – a range of stackable-nestable crates.

Why Nestable Containers Made Sense as the Ideal Packaging Solution

The three critical points which our packaging experts kept in mind in making their recommendation were:

  • The crate had to be perforated, to keep agricultural produce fresh during transport;
  • The crate needed to fit in the client’s shelf system for product pooling;
  • When the harvesting season was over, the empty crates needed to be stored in a space saving manner.

With these restrictions in mind, the nestable containers with perforations were the obvious recommendation for the union of farms. These containers are designed for intense use and feature specific characteristics, such as closed handles on the short sides and smooth inner walls, which facilitate loading and unloading and offer optimal protection to fresh agricultural produce.

The model we recommended was a perfect fit in height for the shelf system and their small perforations are ideal for the transportation of all kinds of fruit and vegetables, even small sized ones.

Also, nestable containers are easily stackable by applying a lid on top of them, thus helping the farms optimize their transportation costs by maximizing the use of trailer space. After the products are delivered, the nestable crates are place one inside the other, reducing their volume by 75%. This represents supplementary saving on transportation costs, and a more efficient use of storage space in the warehouse.

A Complete Logistic Success

The customer was happy to accept our specialists’ recommendation and soon realized that it was indeed the right choice for their business. The nestable containers with perforations will soon realize the full return on investment and will continue to serve the customer for a long time.