Schoeller Allibert is launching a new folding reusable transit packaging system to help retailers improve logistics efficiency and reduce cost in the food and grocery supply chain. The new Interfold tray is specifically designed to transport and protect produce from Europe, while at the same time integrating with the nesting trays used as standard in the UK.
Developed for trans-European shipments, the design of the Interfold tray enables it to fit more products in each container. Yet when empty, a unique catch system releases the sides allowing it to fold flatter than any other product in the marketplace, saving valuable space and cost on the return journey. In fact, around 10,000 of the new Interfold trays can be carried on the return trip, compared to around 6,000 nesting trays. The specially designed release catch also helps to prevent the repetitive strain injuries that can be associated with knocking down traditional folding containers.
Simon Knights, commercial director at Schoeller Allibert, explains: "A large proportion of products that grocery retailers import from Europe are still arriving in the UK in cardboard containers. This means that retailers either have to decant the products into nesting trays, adding time and cost in double handling, or merchandise from the cardboard boxes. However, they still then have to pay for the disposal of the cardboard which is becoming increasingly expensive.
"We know that grocery retailers have been considering the use of returnable folding boxes to improve this process but they need a system that is compatible with the nesting trays already used in the UK. That’s why we have developed Interfold with bale arms to allow it to stack seamlessly with our bestselling Maxinest tray, so retailers don’t need to use the two types of tray separately. When fully loaded, the Interfold trays can stack twelve high carrying a 15kg unit load. When not in use, the trays can be quickly folded to just 16% of their original height, saving valuable space on return logistics and reducing vehicle trips. Weighing only 1.75kg each, they also help to save on fuel costs."
The new Interfold folding tray is designed to protect, maintain quality and promote hygiene for fresh and frozen fruit, vegetables, pre-packaged meats, fish, prepared meals and other grocery items. The ventilated sides aid air flow, speeding cooling and helping to maintain a constant temperature. Ideal for use in fridges and freezers, Interfold can be passed through tray washers in temperatures up to 70°C. The trays fit standard distribution and display equipment and work perfectly with the latest filling, weighing and handling technology.
Simon Knights adds: "There is increasing demand for returnable transit packaging in the food and grocery sector because of its ability to deliver both cost and carbon savings, In fact, Schoeller Allibert folding trays have proved to have a lower carbon footprint than cardboard after just twenty trips."