KFC's New Returnable Transit Packaging developed by Viscount Plastics is driving a freight cost breakthrough.
KFC's worldwide policy specifies plastic crates over cardboard. In New Zealand however, nationwide distribution must factor in the high costs of Cook Strait crossings. The challenge for Viscount Plastics was to develop a plastic crate that would deliver cost efficiencies by significantly increasing quantities per pallet.
Working with KFC and Te Aroha chicken producer Inghams, Viscount Plastics developed a 23litre deep nesting stacking bar crate that easily outperformed KFC's previous supplier's off-the-shelf crate. The positive impact of the new crate has already been recognized with the Packaging Council Supreme Award in the 2005 Environmentally Acceptable Packaging Awards.
Deep nesting to a quarter of its height achieves an impressive 200 crates per pallet ----- twice as many as the previous supplier's. Costs for Cook Strait crossings are dramatically cut, along with the elimination of 220 trucking movements annually. This equates to significant reductions in fuel usage and other operating expenses, and exhaust emissions.
The new 23litre chicken crate carries the same 16 kg as the previous supplier's 32litre crate. So that's more crates of product per pallet and the equivalent of 9litres of fresh air per crate removed from the supply chain.
KFC and Inghams report high levels of satisfaction with the deep nesting 23litre chicken crate. In KFC outlets it achieves a 25% increase in product stored in chillers. When empty it also makes more efficient use of available storage space.
Inghams' Plant Manager Adrian Revell says the crate's base makes life easier for him through being specifically designed for conveyor transfers. Distribution Manager Brian Tolson describes the crate is a quantum leap in assembling orders and stacking on pallets, relative to cardboard packaging.