Checklist: Should Your Business Use Reusable Plastic Containers?

"Checklist" words on notebook

While supply chains in every industry have many factors in common, there’s no one-size-fits-all tactic, approach or tool that will benefit every single organization’s supply chain needs. Many companies, especially those in the food service industry, can benefit from incorporating the reusable plastic container (RPC) into their supply chains, but many factors go into determining if RPCs are the right choice. It’s possible certain factors and circumstances could lead a supply chain manager to decide the time is not right for RPCs at his or her organization.

Still, the many benefits of RPCs make a compelling argument in their favor. RPCs can help supply chain managers reduce costs, trim shrink, minimize labor time and the risk of worker injury, curtail waste, and enhance the customer experience. If your organization is still using traditional packaging such as corrugated boxes, it’s worth evaluating whether you’re a good candidate for reusables.

Asking the right questions

As with any business decision, when you’re considering the move to RPCs you should understand and articulate the specific goal you hope to achieve. Do you want to reduce shrink? Increase the percentage of saleable product to reach your store shelves? Cut waste removal costs? Reduce workers’ compensation claims? Become a more environmentally responsible organization?

RPCs may be able to help your organization achieve any and all of these goals.

Run through this checklist to see if RPCs could be right for your supply chain:

  • My organization frequently moves large shipments that are consistent in volume, quantity, specifications and routes.
  • We purchase large amounts of disposable packaging.
  • We dispose of or recycle large amounts of waste created by single-use packaging such as corrugated boxes.
  • We operate our own fleet of dedicated trucks.
  • My organization has trouble optimizing cube utilization. Trucks are frequently under- or poorly loaded.
  • We frequently experience product damage due to packaging that has failed to adequately protect contents. This results in high costs associated with shrink.
  • My organization experiences a high number of workers’ compensation claims or lost man-hours due to injuries and strains that occur during loading or unloading.
  • Our store associates spend a lot of time walking back and forth to the baler and waiting in line at the baler to dispose of corrugated packaging.
  • We are failing to meet our corporate sustainability goals.

Help with calculating costs associated with reusable plastic containers

If your organization is new to the concept of RPCs, understanding their true value may be a challenge. Tosca can help. On our website, you’ll find calculators to help you understand the true cost impact of shrink for produce, eggs, poultry and case-ready meats.

We also can help you understand how RPCs can affect your cube-utilization efficiency and assess the costs associated with transport packaging, including corrugated boxes and packaging materials, freight costs, labor costs and more. We leverage your data in our calculations or generate real-world data by conducting a pack-out with RPCs, a tactic that allows us to predict how RPCs will affect costs and shrink.

To learn more about the cost saving benefits of reusables, click here.

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