A new state-of-the-art crate washing facility to meet growing demand for Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) has been launched in Durham by PHS Teacrate, as part of the company’s ongoing expansion strategy.
This major £320,000 investment in plant and machinery, which doubles PHS Teacrate’s crate washing capacity and will generate up to 20 new jobs in the region, was officially opened on June 1 by Councillor Jan Blakey, the new Chair of Durham County Council. The ceremony attended by invited guests including the new PHS Group Chief Executive Justin Tydeman, heralds a new era for the innovative business.
PHS Teacrate, one of the largest crate rental companies in the UK, and part of the PHS Group, handles around 20 million crates every year in a variety of dimensions. The new hygienic crate washing facility in the North East will complement the existing wash plant in Birmingham for the company’s customers in the food, retail, facilities management, removals and logistics sectors.
In his welcoming address, PHS Teacrate’s Managing Director, Gordon Philip, explained that investing in the new site provides an additional crate washing service that will help customers cope better with peaks in demand who have historically had to transport their crates to Birmingham.
He said: “The launch of the new facility in Durham represents significant investment by PHS Teacrate. Along with our Birmingham site it means we can offer customers nationwide access to our washing services. It will also help the company grow its share of the market in the north of England and Scotland, as well as service the fishing industry in Hull and Grimsby more effectively.”
Following the official opening ceremony by the Chair of Durham County Council, guests were provided with lunch before being taken on a tour of the facility to see for themselves the strict washing and drying regime designed by PHS Teacrate for specific customers’ requirements to ensure they meet essential hygiene standards.
RTP is becoming more popular among retailers – independent research indicates that 30% of food producers are anticipating their RTP requirements to increase – which in turn will lead to a demand for more washing facilities.
Key to a successful migration to RTP will be having access to sufficient trays to meet peak demand and ensuring that they are properly washed to the highest hygiene standards.
PHS Teacrate believes outsourcing this service from specialist firms like itself can be more cost-effective, reduce the amount of administration leg-work and free up capital. PHS has the flexibility and capacity in key RTP products to meet peak demands, whether from very small retailers or at supermarket level, and offer support when the customer’s in-house washing equipment suffers mechanical breakdown.
With the growth in demand for RTP set to continue, PHS Teacrate is committed to ensuring a competitive market by continuing to invest in products and wash services, as proved by building the new plant in Durham, that meet the bespoke requirements of customers.
Parent company PHS Group is one of the UK’s leading workplace service providers. It has grown from a family run firm in 1963 to become a multi-divisional, multi-national company, servicing over 200,000 customers at over 450,000 locations. The Group employs more than 5,000 staff and has a wide network of over 140 regional service branches, strategically placed throughout the UK.