Roundup: ORBIS Appoints David Heer in Europe, CHEP and IFCO Recognized for Sustainability, One-Eighth Pallet Launched

Pooling helps retail achieve Zero Waste Goals, One-Eighth Nestable Pallet Launched, ORBIS Announces New Commercial Director for Europe


ORBIS Names Heer to Senior Commercial Director Role

Heer offers more than 20 years of industry-leading experience.

David Heer, ORBIS

David Heer

ORBIS® Corporation, an international manufacturer of reusable packaging and supply chain optimization expert, announces the hiring of David Heer as the senior commercial director for ORBIS Europe.

In this new role, Heer is responsible for leading the ORBIS reusable packaging expansion in the European market.

“We are thrilled to welcome David to the ORBIS team. His involvement in diverse, multinational business environments makes him a great fit for developing and executing the growth plans set for ORBIS Europe,” said Norm Kukuk, executive vice president for ORBIS Corporation.

Heer has more than 20 years of progressive management and marketing experience in Europe, Asia and North America, with a high-level understanding of reusable packaging used in food, beverage, consumer goods and automotive industries. Heer is leading the ORBIS Europe team, including marketing, sales, customer service and operations, with a strong focus on customer relationships, new product development and market expansion.

Throughout his career, Heer has held various senior management positions in the areas of supply chain/logistics, customer solutions and sales throughout Europe, with expertise in strategic planning and execution resulting in strong business growth.

ORBIS’ European operations are based out of leper, Belgium, with a sales and marketing presence throughout Europe. Heer resides and will be based in Cologne, Germany.


CHEP and IFCO Critical Partners for Kroger Zero Waste Success

Sustainability attributes of pallet and container rental pools recognized by leading retailer.

CHEP and IFCO, member companies of the Brambles Group, announced the companies’ shared pallets and bulk containers and Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) have been identified by Kroger[1] as critical to reducing waste in the company’s supply chain. The nation’s second largest retailer highlighted CHEP and IFCO in its 2016 Sustainability Report. By replacing more single-use packaging and platforms with reusables, Kroger aims to meet or exceed the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s zero waste threshold of 90% diversion from landfill in its facilities by 2020.

“Kroger is committed to being a positive force for change when it comes to sustainable business practices, and CHEP and IFCO play an important role in our effort to meet our zero waste goals and continuously improve the sustainability of our supply chain,” said Suzanne Walker-Lindsay, Kroger Director of Sustainability.

Kroger’s sustainability report states, “Kroger partners with CHEP and IFCO, which both contribute to global sustainability through their ‘shared’ business models of pooled pallets, bulk containers and reusable plastic containers (RPCs). These packaging solutions bring both operational efficiencies and environmental benefits. Compared with one-way packaging, reusable platforms and containers offer a lower carbon footprint, reduced water consumption and less waste.” In addition, Kroger notes its use of RPCs for fresh produce improved product quality and reduced waste by eliminating the use of more than 73,000 tons of waxed and corrugated boxes.

“We are committed to providing our customers with sustainable solutions that help them make their supply chains more efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Juan Jose Freijo, Global Head of Sustainability for Brambles. “Kroger is a valuable partner and we are pleased to contribute to their zero waste vision. Those companies working together on common goals will be the ones with the greatest impact on environmental sustainability.”

CHEP and IFCO supply chain solutions provide clear environmental benefits versus alternatives. For example, Kroger’s commitment to CHEP pallets avoided more than one million pounds of solid waste and eliminated 430 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2e), the equivalent of growing more than 41,000 trees for 10 years.[2]  Separately, production of IFCO RPCs requires 65% less water and 34% less energy than one-way packaging. In addition, the use of IFCO RPCs results in a 31% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 85% reduction in solid waste versus single-use cardboard boxes.[3]

Kroger, CHEP and IFCO are also members of the Consumer Goods Forum, whose members have committed to reducing food waste by half within retail and manufacturing operations by 2025, while also contributing to the United Nation’s 2030 food waste reduction goals.

Mr. Freijo concluded, “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Kroger and other retailers and manufacturers to reduce the environmental impact of the fast-moving consumer goods supply chain and to help preserve our natural resources for future generations.”

[1] National Retail Federation, 2015

[2] CHEP Sustainability Calculator

[3] Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Reusable Plastic Containers and Display- and Non-Display-Ready Corrugated Containers Used for Fresh Produce Applications, Franklin Associates, March 2016 Launches One-Eighth Nestable Retail Pallet

New eighth pallet offers ease of use and storage for retailers, leading independent UK provider of plastic pallets, has launched Nest M1, which the company states is the first “one-eighth” retail pallet to the supply chain industry.

Designed and produced by CABKA-IPS, the Nest M1 pallet is a small, lightweight, nestable pallet, ideal for point-of-sale and retail floor display. It offers special secure location points which allow product displays and sleeves can be safely and effortlessly fixed to the pallet. The Nest M1 is produced from HDPE.

The 400 x 300 mm pallet has a height of  140 mm. When empty, it stacks 60 pallets high, or 480 pallets per full euro footprint.

The Nest M1 pallet is available in the UK through


Pallet Market in Europe to Witness Growth Through 2020

According to the latest market study released by Technavio, the pallet market in Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 5% during the forecast period.

This research report titled Pallet Market in Europe 2016-2020 provides an in-depth analysis of the market in terms of revenue and emerging market trends. This market research report also includes an up to date analysis and forecasts for various market segments and all geographical regions.

The report categorizes the global pallet market in Europe market into three major end-user segments. They are:

  • Manufacturing sector
  • Retail sector
  • Transportation and warehousing sector

Manufacturing sector

The manufacturing sector requires pallets for the transportation of processed materials within inventory houses and the safe delivery of products to distribution centers.  “This sector accounts for more than two-thirds of the EU’s exports and thus is a major customer segment of the pallet industry,” commented Sharan Raj, a lead analyst at Technavio

The recovery of the manufacturing sector in Europe and the projected economic expansion worldwide are expected to increase the demand for the material transport sector. As of August 2014, Europe’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 51.8 (a PMI > 50 indicates expansion). It is further expected to increase during the forecast period. To meet the high level of manufacturing and transportation needs, the demand for pallets will also increase. Procurement and supply chain activities are poised to benefit with an increase in industrial and manufacturing output. Investments in the market depend on downstream demand from manufacturers, which is determined by industrial production and business confidence in the economy.

Retail sector

The retail sector is the second major end-user of pallets. Most retailers receive shipments and stack their inventory in warehouses on pallets. This sector adopts pallet leasing and pallet pooling as the major strategies for their pallet needs. The retail sector suffered a downturn during the economic recession of 2008. However, with economic recovery, retail consumption is expected to increase. This will increase the volume of consumer and durable goods transported. As the demand for pallets is directly proportional to the volume of consumer and durable goods transported, the demand for pallets in this sector will also increase.

The retail sector primarily uses wooden pallets. This is because plastic pallets are costly, and as most pallets are not returned to the distributors in this sector, the retail sector avoids bearing the cost.

Transportation and warehousing sector

The transportation and warehousing sector is one of the important end-users of pallets in Europe. Transportation and warehousing involve the delivery and storage of inventory, supplies, raw materials, and other goods. The logistics companies involved in the transportation and warehousing sector partner with pallet companies to procure pallets to ship products and return pallets to manufacturers once the shipment is delivered.

Exports from countries in the EU were valued at more than USD 180 billion in February 2015. The pharmaceutical, food, and manufacturing sectors contributed the maximum revenue to the pallet market. Exports from countries in the EU increased by 1.3% in 2014 and were valued at more than USD 6 trillion.

A rise in exports and shipments in Europe will require producers to add pallets to their existing stocks to handle the high output. “Manufacturers are outsourcing logistics to third-party suppliers to reduce shipping costs while improving services. This is a viable opportunity for pallet companies to expand their existing logistics services. As companies are focusing on making supply chains lean, venturing into these types of services will prove profitable for pallet companies,” says Sharan.