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CHEP Launches Sustainability Web Site

July 1, 2008
Check the environmentally sound choices available in pallets.

CHEP, a global provider of pallet and container pooling systems, has unveiled a new Web site that shows the impact of shipping platform choices on the environment and supply chain.

Located at, the site allows companies to calculate how much solid waste is eliminated as well as the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption lowered by using the CHEP pallet pool as compared to other shipping platforms. The site also shows how shipping platform selection affects transportation and procurement costs, product damage and product-handling productivity.

“We believe it is important to help companies validate their environmental sustainability claims, and that’s why we developed the new site. The numbers presented clearly show the benefits of the CHEP program over other pallet management solutions,” says Michael Lamb, president, CHEP USA.

The calculations on the new site are based on a report released last fall that validated the positive environmental impact of the CHEP equipment pooling solution as compared with one-way pallets, pallet exchange and slipsheets. Prepared by Franklin Associates, a leading consulting company specializing in lifecycle analysis and solid-waste management issues, the study revealed that CHEP pooled pallets produce much less solid waste, require less total energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2007, the CHEP pallet pool program eliminated 2.5 billion pounds of solid waste, saved 8 trillion BTUs of energy and removed 1.4 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. The energy savings alone, when compared to one-way disposable pallets, is enough to power every household in Tampa and Orlando, Fla., combined, for an entire year. The solid-waste savings is equivalent to more than 100,000 garbagefilled trucks, and the gas emissions reduction is equal to the exhaust of more than 110,000 cars in a year.

RFID Tracking Manages Medical Records

3M has completed the development and installation of an RFID Smart Shelf system to track and manage the more than 150,000 medical files of U.S. Army personnel and their family members at Fort Hood, Texas. Under the terms of a three-year, $3.76-million contract, 3M Track and Trace Solutions will provide training and maintenance services over the next year.

Fort Hood, situated about 60 miles north of Austin, the state capital, is the nation’s largest active-duty domestic armed forces facility. It occupies 340 square miles.

The custom-designed 3M RFID Smart Shelf system is the centerpiece of a pilot program that may be extended to other military installations after a period of evaluation. The system is intended to reduce errors and inefficiencies associated with manual tracking, retrieval, filing and file-merging methods of medical records management at Fort Hood, where thousands of files may be in use at the base’s six clinics during any given month. In turn, such improvement would make a positive impact on operational efficiencies in healthcare delivery, the troop deployment process and the management of medical data collection. One of the top priorities of the system is to provide virtually instant accessibility to complete medical records for soldiers and their family members requiring intensive and complex healthcare services.

“The cost-efficiency and far-reaching versatility of RFID is prompting an expanding range of innovative applications in almost all facets of society,” observes Lem Amen, vice president, 3M Track and Trace Solutions. “As a leader in this emerging technology, 3M is very proud to help introduce this powerful tool to the Army.”

The program to track and manage Army medical records utilizing RFID technology is being led by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), a unit of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC).

The Army becomes the first branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to deploy this RFID system from 3M for medical records management. Three other federal government entities are using RFID systems from 3M Track and Trace Solutions for applications not requiring Smart Shelf technology.

David Erickson, 3M program manager for the Fort Hood project, said approximately 300 cabinets have been installed with “smart shelves” to accommodate the more than 150,000 medical files, whose movements are continuously monitored.

Transport Packaging News

New Plastic Pallets Pass Test
ORLANDO, Fla.—Intelligent Global Pooling Systems (iGPS Company LLC) announced that Dole Fresh Vegetables has successfully completed testing and will begin expanding its use of iGPS pallets. Dole has also successfully completed testing of iGPS plastic pallets in combination with plastic RPCs.

“The iGPS plastic pallets performed flawlessly from the field all the way to the end user. The RPCs rode well with no slippage or shifting of any kind,” says Robert Engle, vice president of supply chain at Dole.

Dole has developed a system that ties the unique iGPS pallet ID with Dole’s products UPC to aid in tracking the product movement throughout the supply chain.

UHF RFID Label for Returnable Plastic Containers
FINLAND—Confidex announced the introduction of Confidex Carrier, the company’s new, UHF RFID label for returnable plastic containers. Confidex Carrier is a special label designed to adhere to plastic surfaces. Millions of plastic transit items, such as totes, crates, and trays, are used in various applications that require durability under heavy use and challenging environments.

Accurately and reliably tracking these plastic items requires an RFID tag solution that is equal to the task. Confidex Carrier, with its high-performance acrylic adhesive and proven EPC Class 1 Generation 2-compliant reliability, was specifically developed to meet these demands by providing an RFID tag solution that will consistently withstand the daily use of plastic transit items for several years.

In addition to tracking returnable plastic transit items in the supply chain, Confidex Carrier, with its wide-band antenna design, is also suited for a wide range of other applications.

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