Craemer’s new plastic pallet is purpose-built for automated material handling systems in the American market
In June 2021, Craemer US launched its first pallet designed for the North American market, the CR4-5. At 61 lb (27.5 kg), the made-for-U.S. multi-purpose pallet boasts load capacities of 16,500 lb (7,500 kg) for static loads, 3,300 lb (1,500 kg) for dynamic loads, and 3,100 lb (1,400 kg) in racking systems. The pallets are equipped with steel reinforcement rods to help handle these load capacities.
“Easily rackable and perfectly stackable,” said Axel Breitkreuz, President of Craemer US Corporation. “The CR4-5 is more sturdy and stable than any pallet in the past. On top of that, the Palgrip® anti-slip top deck strips ensure maximum safety. We’re proud to offer our newest model to our U.S. customer base. Today, the CR4-5’s strength and safety provide end-users with a newfound level of trust.”
Craemer has long had a reputation for producing high-performance pallets. With over 25 years of experience in the reusable packaging sector, Breitkreuz, now President of Craemer US Corporation, has been recommending Craemer to his customers for many years.
He emphasized the differences between the US market and Europe regarding pallet size and handling equipment. One of the key steps for Craemer US was to establish a true 48×40” pallet versus the 1200x1000mm European version that it previously offered. He emphasized that the roughly extra half-inch of width and length is extremely important to many decision-makers, given the North American pallet size standardization around the 48×40″ footprint.
“I see my job also a little bit like a diplomat between America and Europe,” he said. Working with a European manufacturer, part of his role was to present North American requirements to the European office and have the necessary adjustments made such as lowering the pallet profile and North American sizing.
But not everything is negotiable. Part of his wish list was to have a 50-pound pallet. The response he received from the company’s engineering department was that at 50 pounds it would no longer be a Craemer pallet – it would just be a lightweight pallet.
“You need material to get the strength into the pallet., Breitkreuz explained, “so we made the decision to go with the 61 lb version.” The pallet is targeted for automated facilities, he noted where there is little or no manual handling of pallets.
“We are not the cheapest if you look only at the purchase price,” he added, “but if you look at pallet life and return on investment, Craemer pays off. Long term, we are the best investment,” he asserted.
One of the challenges he sees in conversing with potential customers is that they often have an incomplete picture regarding how many pallets they buy or how much spend. As a starting point, he encourages pallet customers to do their homework regarding understanding their current expenditures. Secondly, he recommends undergoing a trial with the CR4-5, being sure to test it with workers on the shop floor. “It’s really (about) testing, testing, testing,” he said. “That’s why we offer free samples.”
He stressed that the CR4-5 is aimed at internal or in-house applications to support multi-million dollar investments in automation. “If you want to ship something around the world, get a cheap plastic pallet or wood and forget it. But that’s not our business. Our business is more about internal use and multiple loops.”
For multi-location supply chain applications, he encourages customers to work with pallet management or pooling providers that can help reduce the risk of pallet loss. Craemer pallets are offered by multiple pallet rental providers in Europe.
For more information, visit https://www.craemer.com/us/products/plastic-pallets/