Container Centralen Takes Legal Action on Counterfeits

As of Thursday, February 24, several flows with fake padlocks have been detected by Container Centralen, a leading supplier of reusable carts and containers to the floral industry. The fake padlocks are visual look-alikes to the “Operation Chip It” padlocks. They are red plastic padlocks without an RFID chip, and they were immediately found in the scanning processes at FloraHolland and Landgard.

The introduction of RFID on CC Containers has had a good start with very limited operational issues surfacing to date. Broad support now exists in the sector for this effort to improve the quality and management of the pool and in the period leading up to January 10, 2011, the pool has been expanded by more than two hundred thousand containers. In addition to the partners in the project, FloraHolland, Landgard, GASA Group, VGB and Container Centralen, a growing number of companies in all parts of the industry now only accept CC Containers with the RFID padlock.

“Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, there are parties in the horticultural sector that seek to make fraudulent use of the system, at the expense of the thousands of committed users,” says Tonny Vangsgaard Gravesen, CEO of Container Centralen. “However, these recent occurrences prove that the control system based on the RFID scanning works. The containers handed in were immediately recognised as fake and an investigation backwards in the supply chain was started.” Investigations have established that these fake padlocks originate from one manufacturing source and the flow of containers has been traced back with the support of committed users. Operational and legal action is being taken towards parties that take part in the fraudulent use of the system by introducing fake padlocks.

In the south of The Netherlands concrete actions actually have been taken against a few companies. Equipment has been confiscated and the incident has been reported to the police.

“Although there are a handful of visual indications upon close inspection, the fake padlocks look like the genuine padlocks in the regular operations. The only way to effectively detect that they are not genuine is by scanning them. Container Centralen’s primary role is to secure a well-functioning high-quality pool system. Every committed user can play his or her part in ensuring the pool system: we strongly recommend that everyone scans the containers they receive,” concludes Gravesen.

Gravesen urges everyone to be vigilant and to report any suspicious flow or activity to the nearest CC office or to one of the partners: FloraHolland, GASA Group, Landgard or VGB. Supportive users are a key to identifying flows and eliminate fraudulent use of the system.

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