The Canadian Pallet Council (CPC) has a feature in its CTSweb software called Electronic Container Transfer which facilitates virtual reconcilation of pallet or container exchange balances without pallets actually being returned. What this means is that if, for example, Company A owes Company B 500 pallets, Company B owes Company C 500 pallets, and Company C owes Company A 500 pallets, this will be identified by the tracking system, and the companies can choose to collectively wipe the slate clean of pallets owed to each other, without any pallets having been physically moved.
Up to this point, ECT has only worked to find and balance between 3 trading partners, but CPC is now looking to be able to utilize ECT to reconcile imbalances between a larger number of member companies. With this in mind, CPC and its consortium members’ application for $1.25 million in funding to assist in the development and demonstration of the Electronic Container Transfer (ECT) technology has been approved by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
The ECT software will work with a multi-party trading system designed to “track and electronically reconcile pallet ownership to minimize transportation and handling costs while alleviating road traffic and reducing diesel engine pollution,” according to the CPC. Officials say the system will not only be used for pallets, but other standard returnable assets such as cages, totes, plastic pallets, thermal covers, milk crates and bread trays.
“I am excited about this very positive development for the CPC. The Electronic Container Transfer technology will allow combinations of multiple companies to trade pallet imbalances electronically, which would result in reducing transportation costs, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Belinda Junkin, president and CEO of the CPC.
“The transportation of goods is an area that really needs to be looked at if Canada is to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions objectives it has set for itself,” said Vicky Sharpe, president and CEO of SDTC. “This technology is a step in the right direction; it will contribute to considerably reduce the environmental footprint of the industry while bringing positive economic impacts for the companies who will adopt it.”