Jason Adlam met us at the booth for CHEP at Promat 2019 in Chicago! We got to chat with Vishal Patel last year at MODEX, but this year was Jason’s first interview with IndustrialSage.
According to Jason, what set CHEP apart isn’t so much what the company does, but rather what it doesn’t do. CHEP is known for their pallets, crates, and containers. However, their perspective on supply chain is unique compared to other companies. Material handling and logistics to CHEP is not a point-A-to-point-B process: to them, it’s a cycle.
CHEP cares about what happens to their pallets not just between manufacturers and retailers, but after deliveries are made to retailers. What happens to goods containers after said goods have been delivered? How can CHEP help eliminate waste and make the process more sustainable?
“We deliver more products to more people and places than any other organization on earth. So when you think about CHEP, we really are the invisible backbone of the global supply chain.”
A practical example of CHEP’s innovation is when they recently partnered with a retailer to take 8,000 trucks off the road. That’s the equivalent of removing 1 million “empty miles” off the road– or $2.5M in transportation revenues!
One of the company’s most well-known developments is their signature blue carbon-neutral half-pallet. It was central to the display for CHEP at Promat.
CHEP actually took the time to calculate the carbon footprint of the average wooden half-pallet. The first of its kind, CHEP’s carbon-neutral half-pallet can be used by retailers to move products straight from the truck trailer to a shelf without the need to be unloaded. That alone can reduce handling costs by 25% and increase sales by 30%. The wood is responsibly-sourced, as CHEP works with the Mississippi Reforestation Project to reduce environmental waste.
On top of everything, CHEP also made sure to prolong the lifespan of these half-pallets by using curved nails to hold them together. Curved nails are less likely to grow loose or fall out of the planks when met with the usual wear and tear or heavy impacts that might damage common pallets.
“Customers want to do the right thing for the environment. They also want to have cost savings. And a lot of companies don’t realize that you can have both.”
CHEP actually has an innovation center in Orlando, Florida where they conduct much of their R&D. In fact, it’s the center’s ten-year anniversary. The center is where items like the half-pallet prove their mettle: from drop and impact tests to extreme temperature changes.
The center also helps customers determine the best right packaging options for their companies. Are they paying too much? Are they cutting corners? Do they need more plastic wrap, or could they cut back on excess?
Whatever your industry, it’s clear that one company has made it their mission to help reduce your bottom line and improve the future at the same time. If you didn’t get a chance to see CHEP at Promat, visit their website. They’re something special.
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