Reusable Crate Wins Supply Chain Award in New Zealand

Grocery retailer Progressive Enterprises Ltd (PEL) and CHEP NZ have combined to win the Sutton Group Award for Supply Chain Influence on Packaging Systems at the 2011 Environmental Packaging Awards for their reusable shipping and display crate.

PEL and CHEP NZ worked closely with manufacturers to design the cost effective, reusable, foldable crate that provides improvement in transport efficiency and product protection. The returnable product is made of strong polypropylene which prevents breakages during transport and with less throw-away packaging (only the cardboard label) overall there is less packaging material used.

The foldable crate comes in a range of sizes and is supported by a pricing mechanism that isn’t just cost effective, but encourages a quick turnaround. Introduced in 2008 with an initial pool of 480,000 crates, the demand for the crate is now approaching 7,000,000 across produce suppliers.

Richard Manaton, general manager strategic planning at Progressive Enterprises Ltd, says the crate is the principal crate for all the fruit and veggies coming in to Countdown stores, with the only exception being produce from overseas.

CHEP NZ national retail manager, Erin Shanks, said that it was great to work with PEL and come up with a solution for transport packaging that met environmental commitment standards.

“The pleasing aspect of the award is the recognition of the partnership between CHEP and Progressive and the way we have worked together to create a solution for packaging problems on such a large scale”

The Sutton Group Award recognises initiatives where the supply chain influence on packaging systems has provided positive environmental outcomes.

The judges considered the crate to be an innovative and sustainable design which offers improvement in transport efficiency and product protection.

Packaging Council of New Zealand executive director, Paul Curtis, says that it is great to see two companies work together to solve a problem and come up with an environmentally responsible solution.

“Progressive and CHEP have worked together taking a complete assessment of the supply chain to maximise transport efficiencies, minimise space and storage requirements – meaning fewer journeys required and less CO2 emitted,” he says.

The Environmental Packaging Awards is a bi-annual event which celebrates companies and individuals who champion environmental issues and packaging product stewardship.


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