A new generation reusable plastic crate from CHEP Australia was recently developed in consultation with retailer ALDI Australia to deliver supply chain efficiencies from the farm to the store.
ALDI Queensland Managing Director, Viktor Jakupec and CHEP Australia and New Zealand President, Phillip Austin jointly launched the new reusable plastic crate ‘Gen 3’ for the fresh produce industry at ALDI’s Salisbury store in Brisbane.
ALDI Australia is the first to use CHEP’s Gen 3 crate family, which is positioned to become the industry standard fresh produce solution, delivering unprecedented efficiencies along the supply chain, from farm through to the retail store.
Mr Jakupec explains that the Gen 3 crate is a one touch solution that will create efficiencies within the ALDI fresh produce supply chain, and in the future will streamline processes and systems for their suppliers with its capacity to be a whole-of-industry solution.
According to Mr Jakupec, the new crate allows products to be packed directly at the farm before being delivered to ALDI’s warehouses and subsequently to stores, reducing the amount of repacking, and speeding up the process. The crate is designed to fit directly into ALDI’s new fresh produce display on the shop floor, resulting in less product handling and a higher level of product quality.
The new reusable plastic crates also eliminate the need for store staff to pack products on tables within the produce area as the majority of products will remain displayed within the crates, assisting with better product rotation and minimising damage to the products through less handling.
With an existing pool of more than four million crates, and a 10-year history supplying HACCP certified reusable plastic crates to the Australian fresh produce supply chain, CHEP is confident this new innovation will deliver ALDI and the industry increased value, efficiency and sustainability.
The new crate features globally best-in-class latching technology and is fully compatible with the previous generation crate and existing infrastructure.
CHEP Australia and New Zealand President, Phillip Austin describes the Gen 3 crate family as a game changer as it is not only an industry-wide solution, but also offers world leading return logistics; with a folded height of 25mm, the Gen 3 outperforms all other crates on the market by up to 29%. Both growers and retailers will benefit from the reduced fold down height with up to 29% more crates fitting into a truckload than previous generation crates, meaning fewer trucks will be required to transport an equivalent number of crates when empty.
The Gen 3 crate family also offers sustainability benefits, equivalent to that of the previous generation crate. An independent lifecycle analysis of CHEP’s reusable plastic crate system conducted by RMIT in 2010 showed that compared with a single-use corrugated cardboard system, CHEP crates produced 70% less greenhouse gas emissions, used 85% less water and produced 95% less solid waste to landfill even if the cardboard was recycled.