Moving the nation’s food supply from point of production through supermarket shelves to consumers’ tables requires an enormous consumption of energy throughout the supply chain. According to ENERGYSTAR, the average-size 50,000-square-foot supermarket spends more than $200,000 per year on energy — over $4 per square foot. What’s more, the average store is responsible for emitting 1,900 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually. When you consider those numbers, it’s clear that reducing energy costs can significantly contribute to increasing a store’s profit margin — and shrinking its carbon footprint.
Indirect energy costs
Some costs are direct (and obvious), such as vehicle fuel, lighting and refrigeration. However, other indirect costs can also affect your supply chain’s cost-efficiency just as significantly. For example, product damaged in transit equates to more fuel consumption when you have to ship in more to replace unsaleable food.
Inefficient packaging can lead to poor cube utilization and further contribute to fuel costs. Maximizing use of space on every truckload can be challenging when you’re dealing with containers in multiple sizes and shapes. Failing to maximize space on every truckload means more trips — and fuel consumption — to keep shelves stocked. Lack of uniformity in transport packaging can lead to load shift and damage to product. Packaging can also act as insulation, making refrigeration units work harder to cool food and maintain it at safe temperatures.
4 Ways RPCs can Make a Difference in your Fuel Consumption
You already know that reusable plastic containers add value to your supply chain in multiple ways, from ensuring more product reaches shelves in good condition to reducing labor costs associated with disposing of one-time-use packaging materials.
Consider how RPCs also help reduce fuel consumption and energy costs:
- RPCs are designed to stack together neatly and securely, allowing you to optimize cube utilization for every truckload. Optimum cube utilization means shipping equal or more product in fewer trips, thereby reducing fuel consumption and costs.
- The secure stackability of RPCs also means less product lost to damage because loads are less likely to shift during transit, further reducing fuel consumption associated with returning and replacing damaged product.
- RPCs allow perishables to cool faster and stay at target temperature, helping refrigeration units operate more efficiently and consume less power.
- The process of disposing of food waste and replacing unsaleable product all contribute to energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing food waste, RPCs also help you reduce energy use and your supply chain’s carbon footprint.
RPCs can enhance your efforts to achieve a supply chain that’s more sustainable.
Making the switch from corrugated packaging to RPCs can help fuel a more energy-efficient operation throughout every phase of your supply chain.