by Clyde E. Witt, editor
Not that long ago, one plastic returnable container looked like any other. Then brand differentiation began to separate the companies. Soon customers were ordering containers to match company logo colors.
Evolution continued as manufacturers offered sizes and colors for specific products. You could buy (and still can) containers that offered one color scheme when stacked with product, and another color scheme when stacked empty.
Wire containers, considered by some to be the most flexible in terms of size for returnable applications, continue to expand its offerings. Wire container products with casters are increasing in popularity as ergonomics continue to occupy the minds of managers.
Currently, creating containers for specific products —especially in the food distribution industry — is creating all the buzz. Here’s a sampling of some of the newer specialized containers:
Orbis has designed an integrated system of Stack-N-Nest containers, pallets and top caps, standardized on the 40” x 48” industry-accepted footprint. These containers are available in FDA-approved material with solid or ventilated sides and bottoms. The contoured design of these 100 percent recyclable containers reduces product damage and allows for easy cleaning. The container design allows for stacking when filled and nesting when empty.
Buckhorn says its Bi-Color totes improve efficiency and reduce costs in manufacturing. The dual colors of these totes make for quick identification. Stacked containers are all the same color, while nested, or empty containers are alternate colors. The containers come in solid or ventilated styles.
All sizes are modular to the 48” x 45” pallet. Comfortable handles provide better ergonomics.
Apparently size does matter when it comes to containers. Several manufacturers are now offering extended length bulk boxes suitable for long, bulky products from automotive components to furniture. ADF
For more information on containers, visit the directory of mhmanagement.com, or any of the following sources:
Arca Systems, arcausa.com;
AWP Industries Inc, awpind.com;
Carico Systems, caricosystems.com;
Cookson Plastic Molding, cooksonpm.com;
Grief Brothers, grief.com;
Hampel Corp., hampelcorp.com;
Jarke Corp., jarke.com;
IPL Products Ltd., ipl-plastics.com;
Linpac Materials Handling, linpacmh.com;
Nashville Wire Products, nashvillewire.com;
National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, nwpca.com;
Nucon Corp., nuconnet.com;
PolyOne Corp., geonpallets.com;
Port Erie Plastics, skidmarx.com;
Reusable Plastic Container and Pallet Association, mhia.org/rcpa;
Schaefer Systems, ssi.schaefer-us.com;
Shuert Industries, shuert.com.