PACK EXPO and Reusables Management

Today’s PACK EXPO update is sponsored by the world’s best pallet and container control, you and 2ic.

Yesterday’s educational session focused, appropriately enough, on reusable pallet and container management. I’ll follow up with more later, but there were some useful quotes. One was to the effect that reusables systems suffer less loss when the trading partner that empties the containers or pallets is the owner of the system, rather than the shipper, with the observation that it is the empty pallets that usually go AWOL, and not the full ones. This is obvious, but often overlooked.

Then we had the “Asset management is the glue that holds the reusable packaging system together,” line from Bob Klimko of ORBIS. I’ll buy that. The Kennedy Group and ORBIS teamed up to help Alpha Baking run a reusable tray tracking pilot test. I love the quote from Bob McGuire of Alpha, who said that the reusables program would work, in part, because the operations people “watch what we watch.” In other words, executive focus helps the success of a reusables program. Technology is important, but invariably the first step is having executives who are paying attention.

I’ve written about it before over the last 20 years or so. Here’s a link from one of my old articles about reusable packaging and executive support that was reprised from an even earlier article. As Stewart Richardson of Richardson Pallets has been known to say, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If you want to manage reusables, you need the tracking data. Unless you own both ends of the supply chain, from container fill to container empty, then management is an issue that is probably worth your time to assess.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back next week with the regular edition of the Reusable Packaging News.

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