Safeway expands usage of reusable shipping containers for produce

Food retailer switches to reusable product containers and removes more than 17 million pounds of corrugated from supply chain.

By ·

Safeway has furthered its commitment to sustainability and the environment by announcing that it has transitioned to using reusable product containers (RPCs), rather than corrugated boxes, to ship many types of produce from the farm fields, through the distribution channel and to final store destination. This transition eliminated the use of over 17 million pounds of corrugated boxes.
             
Safeway, which has introduced a broad range of successful sustainability practices across its operations, has used RPCs for decades on many of its consumer brand categories, including bread, milk and soda. The company began testing RPCs in its distribution system for fresh wet-pack produce — fruits and vegetables kept on ice until they reach the store — in early 2010.
             
Making the transition for produce was a more complicated process than for other products because, to make it effective and decrease cardboard usage, Safeway’s distributors and grower partners also had to commit to the switch. The transition continued throughout 2011.
             
Today, many types of produce travel from the field, to the distributor, to Safeway’s product distribution centers and to the final store location in RPCs. The company’s major supplier of RPCs, IFCO Systems, says Safeway’s implementation of RPC usage to decrease waste was the fastest and most aggressive program roll-out to date. Safeway Vice President of Transportation Tom Nartker said employing environmentally friendly methods of product distribution is part of Safeway’s overall commitment to sustainable business practices.
             
“This expansion into produce is a natural extension of best practices in logistics,” said Mr. Nartker. “Safeway will continue to look for opportunities to expand the usage of RPCs into additional categories to have an even greater positive environmental impact.”       

The use of reusable, sustainable containers not only keeps non-recyclable shipping containers out of the supply chain, but it also has an even greater positive environmental impact. RPCs can be stacked higher and more densely than traditional boxes, allowing for more efficient shipping and requiring fewer trips to transport the same amount of product. This, in turn, decreases trucking emissions and traffic volume. To date, the positive environmental impacts are as follows:
               
—Eliminated the use of over 17 million pounds of corrugated boxes
—Avoided the harvesting of approximately 114,000 trees
—Reduced emissions of 37,518 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2E) from the environment, equivalent to removing 6,872 passenger cars off the road


Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Private Fleet vs. Dedicated: Which one is right for you?
Having the right fleet for your business can give you an advantage over the competition and lower transportation costs.
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
While adoption rates have remained relatively flat, yard management systems (YMS) are helping logistics operations turn that important space between the loading dock and the gate into a vital link in the supply chain.
Information Management: Wearables come in for a refit
2017 Air Cargo Roundtable: Positive Outlook Driven by New Demand
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Maximize Your LTL Driver Adherence with Real-time Feedback
This webinar shows how companies are using real-time performance data to optimize the scheduling of their city fleets, as well as the routing of their standard, accelerated and time-critical shipments.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...

ASEAN Logistics: Building Collectively
While most of the world withdraws inward, Southeast Asia is practicing effective cooperation between...
2017 Rate Outlook: Will the pieces fall into place?
Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as...