egg trays

A Delicate Business: Using Plastic Pallets for the Safe Shipment of Fresh Eggs

Eggs are some of the most fragile food products. We even have a saying – he’s walking on eggshells – to describe someone taking a very cautious approach to a situation. From the logistic point of view, handling the transportation of eggs from the farm to the store shelf is one of the most risky tasks, fraught with losses. And yet, there is a simple solution for this apparently impossible problem: plastic pallets.

A Long History of Shipping Problems

This case study starts with an email received by the team of packaging experts at Logistic Packaging. The logistic manager of a large poultry farm needed a solution to mitigate the ongoing losses caused by the inadequate packaging solutions for eggs.

The company used the standard cardboard egg trays. The stacked forms were wrapped in shrink foil and placed on a wooden pallet. Without exception, each shipment resulted in dozens of broken eggs. These damaged eggs also rendered the cardboard forms unusable – thus, the client had to manually replace the intact eggs into new cardboard trays.

Handling a Challenging Packaging Issue

The Logistic Packaging team understood that this was a serious problem for the client. Apart from the losses, the farm was losing its good reputation with the clients – indeed, it had already lost one of its clients.

The main challenge in this logistic issue is the nature of the product. Eggs must be handled with great care. They must be protected from shocks, vibrations and – in general – any kind of sudden movements. The cardboard one-way egg trays offer a degree of protection, but not for long distance transportation in the trailer.

Plastic Pallets and Egg Trays – a Simple and Logical Option

The Logistic Packaging consultants realized that the key to solving the client’s problem was providing a solid and stable base for the stack of forms with eggs. Wooden pallets are notoriously unreliable. They can chip and crack, thus their surface becomes uneven and the stack of products can wobble or even topple during transportation. The same is true for traditional egg trays.

At the same time, a heavy-duty packaging solution, like a plastic container, would have increased the total weight of each shipment, adding to the client’s logistic costs. As a result, the only logical option was the replacement of the unreliable wooden pallets with open deck plastic pallets and anti-slip mats. Also, instead of the cardboard forms, the Logistic Packaging team recommended the use of a customized packaging solution: returnable egg trays.

Answering the Client’s Questions

The logistic manager of the farm was not fully convinced that simply replacing the type of pallets would solve the problem. Thus, the Logistic Packaging came forward with several pertinent arguments for their choice.

The first one refers to the reliability of plastic pallets. They are made from polypropylene and designed to withstand intensive use. By contrast to wooden pallets, plastic pallets do not chip and break under normal conditions of use.

Open deck pallets, the model our experts selected for the client, have a low own weight and are created specifically for order picking and local distribution. However, they are sturdy and reliable and, once the stack of products is wrapped in foil on them and topped with a pallet lid, they create a solid packing unit which can be safely handled and loaded into a truck.

Anti-slip mats are an extra precaution taken by our logistic experts, given the nature of the products. This packaging accessory adds more stability to a stack of palletized products, especially when the goods are lifted by forklift and loaded into trucks at an angle.

The returnable egg packaging solution replacing traditional trays offers more protection to these fragile products. The egg trays are made of plastic, easy to clean and have a long useful life, compared to the unreliable cardboard forms.

A Happy Outcome for the Client

The client accepted the solution offered by the Logistic Packaging team. During the implementation and post-sale assistance period, we received many positive signals from the logistic manager of the farm. First of all, the new egg trays help employees handle the eggs faster when loading the plastic pallet, without the risk of breaking products.

The plastic pallets with anti-slip mats also helped the farm reduce the number of broken eggs during shipping by a significant percentage. Their clients – local stores and supermarkets – found the new packaging materials easier to handle, unload and send back to their supplier. In just a few months, the client reported a satisfactory phasing of the return on investment for the new batch of returnable egg packaging, plastic pallets and anti-slip mats.

No matter how complex your logistic problems may be, Logistic Packaging will find the right solution for you. Send us an email or schedule a live Skype video call and let us turn your issue into a success story!