Totes and containers can yield 7 magnificent gains

Although not new to the materials handling market, reusable plastic totes and containers are growing in use throughout many industries by addressing seven key challenges for users.
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While food items have long been distributed to stores in returnable plastic bins, more growers are capitalizing on the “eat local” trend, with fresh produce put on floor displays in a container delivered straight from the field.

By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large
December 15, 2010 - MMH Editorial

Reusable plastic bins, totes and container use is on the rise. Reusables have long been an accepted option for supporting lean manufacturing processes, notably in the automotive industry. Now, due to the operational gains and cost savings they can bring, these products are seeing increased use for the processing, handling and distribution of consumables such as food and consumer packaged goods.

Growth in these industries is expected to continue, according to several suppliers Modern talked to about this trend. We’ve whittled down what we’ve learned to seven key areas where this equipment is bringing benefits to the supply chain today.

Long before it was trendy, reusable plastic tote and container vendors touted the environmentally friendly benefits of their products. When used as a replacement for one-way, disposable packaging, durable plastic containers (and associated dunnage to secure sensitive contents) eliminate waste as well as the costs of continually repurchasing expendable items.

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Totes and Containers: Solving the puzzle
Don’t take totes and containers for granted. These seemingly simple products are key components in the materials handling process, ensuring a smooth, efficient and safe flow of goods through the entire supply chain.

 



About the Author

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Sara Pearson Specter
Editor at Large

Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Logistics Management as an Editor at Large since 2001. Based in Cincinnati, Specter has worked in the fields of journalism, graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for 15 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky., with a bachelor’s degree in French and history.


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