Roundup: RM2 Accepted by Leading Canadian Retailer, EPAL Production Record, XPO to Process 22 Million Reusable Assets Annually for Aldi

RM2 Accepted into Loblaw Supply Chain

The key to success for any reusable packaging program involving multiple locations is the agreement of supply chain participants to return the assets. Case in point, RM2, leading composite pallet innovator, has announced that Loblaw Companies, Canada’s largest retailer has begun accepting RM2 pallets in its supply chain network.  RM2 will continue to work with Loblaw to further implement a programme of pallet deployment in the coming years. Loblaw employs roughly 192,000 people on a full-time or part-time basis.

“We are very pleased to begin accepting RM2 pallets in our distribution centres, and we look forward to working with selected vendors to support this important sustainability and efficiency initiative,” stated Loblaw Executive Vice President of Supply Chain, Rob Wiebe.

“Loblaw is greatly respected as an innovative retailer with a deserved reputation as a champion of environmental responsibility,” stated John Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of RM2. “We are delighted to be chosen to partner with them and their supplier community to bring cost efficiencies, greater sustainability and innovation into the supply chain.”

Based on my discussions recently with RM2, they have indicated their interest in targeting pallet applications with “closed loop” characteristics – lanes with higher volumes and velocity which make better sense for a very durable pallet in terms of competing successfully with wood pallet rental programs. In the case of Loblaw, or any retailer, for that matter, would include private label co-packing programs as well as vertically integrated production plants.


EPAL Posted New Production Results in 2015

With an increase of almost 11%, the 2015 production figures of EPAL pallets have exceeded all expectations. A total of 73.6 million EPAL Euro pallets were produced around the globe in 2015. This is a record result, up 10.9 percent in comparison to the previous year. At 23.9 million units, the 2015 repair figures were slightly but clearly above those of the previous year (2014: 22.4 million).

In 2014, with an increase of 3 percent, the development of the EPAL load carriers was on a par with the growth of the global logistics industry. In 2015, the production figures more than tripled and thus lay far above the annual growth rates in the logistics and packaging industry. Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPAL: “This exceptional result is thanks to the outstanding teamwork of all fifteen National Committees, the three EPAL representatives and the field managers. I’m very proud of EPAL’s positive development.”

“This exceptional result is thanks to the outstanding teamwork of all fifteen National Committees, the three EPAL representatives and the field managers. I’m very proud of EPAL’s positive development,” stated Martin Leibrandt, CEO of EPAL.

EPAL’s positive overall result was influenced by increased production in the following countries (in alphabetical order): Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Ukraine. And in addition, the overall result was codetermined by increased repairs in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain and Ukraine. In Asia, EPAL recorded increased production figures in China and South Korea and increased repair figures in China.

Source: EPAL


XPO to Process 22 Million Reusable Containers Annually for Aldi in UK

Working with Aldi’s asset management provider to support their existing returnable equipment network, the discount supermarket chain has awarded XPO Logistics a multi-million pound contract to wash and repair reusable transit packaging from its UK stores.

In a collaborative arrangement with other XPO Logistics customers, approximately 22 million Aldi plastic crates will be processed each year through XPO Logistics tray wash centres. XPO Logistics will take additional responsibility for the processing of beverage trays, universal display pallets (UDPs), potato shippers and fresh produce and meat shipping containers annually for Aldi. Read more.


Thai Group Looks to Build Pallets from Biomass

A research group in Thailand has been awarded 10 million baht ($285,000) to research the possibility of manufacturing pallets from corn biomass. Thailand is a world leader in biomass production, but most of the feedstock is rice husk, woodchip, bagasse, coconut shells and other fast-growing plants. Normally the waste is burnt, contributing to the country’s smog problems. The Energy Ministry and Chiang Mai University will look at the problem and build a machine to turn corn biomass into pallets. Read more.


U.S. Labor Department Sues Phoenix Pallet Company for Violations

The U.S. Labor Department has brought a $300,000 judgment against a Phoenix pallet company for violating federal labor laws.

Colmenero’s Pallets Company was accused of using fictitious names for workers, improperly labeling others as “vendors” and routinely destroying time cards at the end of each pay period, accordin to the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division.

Investigators said they found the manufacturer violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The company was instructed to pay $139,154 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 58 current and former workers. Read more.