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Marco Packhouse Profitability Solutions bring significant airfreight savings and increased productivity

Marco’s Pack-house Profitability Solutions are bringing significant improvements to fruit packhouses world wide. Direct benefits include: drastic reductions in giveaway, improved yield control, increased productivity and enhanced brand protection through optimised line control and labelling.

However it has recently come to light that Marco’s systems are also bringing dramatic reductions in airfreight costs for growers and packers by ensuring target pack weights are consistently achieved within fractions of a gram. Evidence shows that these savings actually bring greater benefits than the reductions in labour costs and produce wastage afforded by Marco’s systems.

As consumers we have come to expect to be able to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables all year round. This ‘appetite for freshness’ has led to significant growth in the import of produce from regions such as Kenya, Chile, the USA and southern Europe. All this produce is air-freighted, ensuring food arrives in the supermarkets typically within 24-36 hours of being picked.

Pack-houses are charged for airfreight by actual weight shipped. Therefore if a 200 g pack of strawberries or runner beans actually contains 210 g, although the supplier is paid for 200 g by the supermarket, they are charged for 210 g by the freight company, an increase of 5%. When this is multiplied up by the millions of packs sent each month, the cost implications become very significant. For example, with airfreight costs from Kenya to the UK running at approximately $1.50 per kilo, it is clear that a 5% saving is very important. Companies such as Vegpro in Kenya typically spend around $1 million a month on freight. By operating Marco Pack-house Systems, they are now reducing this cost and therefore increasing profitability.

As Marco’s MD Murray Hilborne concludes: "We know our systems bring important savings in terms of pack giveaway but this latest revelation on freight savings is excellent news for packers and growers. Pack-houses are seeing a rapid return on investment and there is of course another spin off in terms of carbon footprint reduction."

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