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Crate Rental & Tray Rental
Crate rental & tray rental has become very popular within the food industry over the past few years as businesses become increasingly aware of the need to move to re-usable and re-cyclable packaging.
This move has not always been easy to implement, even when it was obvious or logical to do so – there will always be resistance to change, especially from the cardboard lobby who oppose the use of plastic crates, boxes and trays.
In many cases however, change is inevitable and the food industry has gradually moved to plastic crates for the movement and storage of a range of produce. One-way packaging does have one major advantage – it doesn’t have to be returned, whereas plastic returnable crates only become viable cost-wise if they can be used repeatedly. As a rough rule of thumb a similarly sized (in terms of volume carried) plastic crate will cost up to 10 times more than a simple cardboard box. So, the plastic crate must be used for more than 10 trips to pay for itself (versus a cardboard box).
If we then assume the decision has been made to use plastic crates, it is clear that it is easy to send them out to customers, but the burning issue then is how to retrieve them? One food crate standard is a nestable crate measuring 600 x 400 x 200mm, weighing about 1.6 kgs. Each crate costs around £4, and its loss or non-return diminishes the suppliers profit by the same value. If the commodity being carried is of high value, then the provider will accept the non-return of the crate. However, in general terms most high-volume food products are sold at quite low margins, where a £4 reduction in profit (on the sale of the crate contents) could well be of major significance.
Plastic Crate Rental in the food sector
In the food sector a large number of processors have decided to use plastic crates, but elected to hire them rather than purchase them.
PPS Equipment Management is a company specializing in the rental of crates & trays, renting out crates and other returnable transit equipment (RTE), including plastic pallets and a range of plastic boxes and trays. PPS will either simply provide an agreed number of crates for a fixed time period – it is then the responsibility of that customer to take care of the food crates and return them to PPS at the end of the term contract.
A more sophisticated method of crate rental and pallet pooling is offered by PPS with its “full option” service where PPS supplies the agreed number of crates to the client, who in turn after dispatching full crates enters despatch and destination details on “Enable” the PPS’ own online asset tracking system. PPS then arranges collection of used crates from third parties and they are returned to a PPS site for inspection, washing and sterilization where required. This form of rental which forms part of the full option service ensures PPS’ customers need not devote funds to capital expenditure for the purchase of what may be large volumes of crates (many of which will be “lost”). Furthermore, should any third party customer lose crates, it is PPS who will pursue them for the loss, rather than the supplier, thus avoiding any potential embarrassment.
Crate Hire Contracts
Crate hire, tray rental and plastic pallets are offered by PPS either on long medium or short-term contracts. PPS has clients who have been using their full option hire service for many years, as well as clients who only wish to hire a number of plastic crates to cater for seasonal demands or unexpected production spikes.