Introducing two new shelves for the CC Container

New reusable shelves will generate saings of 20 million euros annually and reduce carbon emissions

Since 1977 the CC Container has proven to be essential in the horticultural supply chain across Europe. Almost 40 years ago Container Centralen (CC) developed the CC Container as an efficient, flexible, sustainable and reusable load carrier for the standardised transport of plants and flowers.

During the last decade, however, Container Centralen has received feedback from the horticultural market that there is room for improvement with the current wooden shelf, the CC Wood.

With this in mind, Container Centralen is launching not one, but two new shelves for the CC Container – the CC Solid and the CC Air. Both of these upgrades are vast improvements on the current system. They will eventually replace the CC Wood in the CC Pool.

New shelves for a new age

The design of the CC Wood is not up to today’s standards in durability, sustainability, and ergonomics, says Container Centralen. It states that there are better solutions possible for transporting smaller and lighter loads.

An even bigger challenge is that due to the influx of non-original, lower quality shelves in the CC Pool, customers are confronted with a reduced performance and shorter lifespan of many of the shelves in the CC Pool. This has resulted in increased costs and effort in sorting, transporting and replacing material. As well, it has presented a higher risk of revenue loss due to damaged products as a result of materials failing during transport.

The two new shelves will increase the added value of the CC Container and the CC Pool to the horticultural sector. These shelves will ensure that Container Centralen can continue to provide its customer with reliable quality. They provide two durable and sustainable alternatives with much better performance, higher efficiency and the option to select a shelf best suited to their needs.

Both shelves have been carefully designed and tested. Customers and key stakeholders from the horticultural sector participated in the design and all market feedback was incorporated. Important criteria for developing the new shelves included competitive pricing in combination with improved performances in return transport, handling, sorting and storage, compared to the current CC Wood. They are universally usable on all current CC without any changes to the current setup except for the placement of the posts. It will not be possible to use wooden shelves with either the CC Air or the CC Solid on the same container.

CC Solid

The CC Solid is designed as an upgrade of the current CC Wood. It’s a full steel shelf and offers the following benefits compared to the CC Wood:

– 2.5 times increased return ratio in the return transport
– 20% weight reduction – Better handling, easier sorting and stacking
– Increased durability
– Improved sustainability

CC Air

The CC Air is a quarter sized steel shelf specifically designed for handling plants on plant trays. The concept consists of two CC Airs, one mounted on each side of the container, that together form a lightweight solution for a more efficient transport of plants on plant trays. It offers the following benefits over the CC Wood:

– Five times increased return ratio in the return transport
– 50% weight reduction
– Increased durability

Improving the horticultural supply chain

Both shelves not only offer a better performance at the product level, but they will contribute to a more efficient, flexible, and sustainable horticultural supply chain with lower costs. These include:

  • Total expected horticultural supply chain cost savings of €20 million annually, as a result of more efficient transport, handling and storage
  • Sustainable and durable. Both shelves are made from 100% recyclable steel with an approximate life expectancy of 20 year for the CC Solid and 10 year for the CC Air
  • Reduced CO2 emissions throughout the supply chain, as the shelves last longer, take up less space and weigh less
  • Improved traceability options with RFID, offering an improved insight into the supply chain movements and throughput times per shelf

Introduction of the new shelves  

With more than 14 million shelves currently on contract in the CC Pool, Container Centralen states that replacing them is going to require a joint effort from everyone in the sector: customers, stakeholders, users, and CC. The company aims to start the introduction of the new shelves around the second half of 2017.