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Transport Temperature Control Manufacturer Saves $1,000,000 and 2,000 Tons of Solid Waste to Landfills Annually with Reusability's Reusable Packaging Program

Program Background

An American manufacturer & global leader of transport temperature control systems for trucks, trailers, buses, rail cars, & shipboard containers made a 2030 Commitment to changing every major facet of their business to impact the environment positively.

To help achieve these goals, they changed their packaging to be reusable for two full product lines: auxiliary power units & diesel-powered truck lines & will launch for public transportation bus lines in 2020. All the reusable packaging was designed by Packaging Solutions of Milwaukee, WI who also manufactured much of it. Advanta Industries also manufactured some of the packaging. In 2018, the manufacturer partnered with Reusability to recover the reusable packaging delivered to Dealers and OEMs.

Industry: HVAC, Auto & Truck Parts
Location: United States
Services: Reusable Packaging Management
Refirgerated Truck

The Problem

Before creating reusable plastic packaging, this manufacturer relied on packaging constructed from disposable wood. This led to specific problems, including:

  • Safety Issues: Internal team members were responsible for putting together the packaging, which required using nail guns, manipulating wood, and working with potentially dangerous materials at their facilities & customer facilities.
  • Product Damage: Common to all disposable packaging solutions, low durability caused frequent damages to products. With a product that is expensive to make, this was a high risk for the manufacturer.
  • Labor Costs: Before shifting to reusable packaging, solutions required line personnel to construct, which was labor-intensive for the manufacturer’s staff.
  • Customer Costs: Disposable packaging solutions had to be landfilled by dealers & OEMs. While this was environmentally unfriendly, disposal fees also cost dealers & OEMs money.
  • Transportation Costs: Disposable packaging required more frequent trips & transportation. This increased costs for the manufacturer & the amount of CO2 emitted into the environment.

The Goal

Once the manufacturer designed their reusable packaging, they turned to Reusability to further assist in achieving goals related to their 2030 Commitment to sustainability. These include:

  • Achieve carbon-neutral operations
  • Deliver zero waste to landfills
  • Become net positive in water use
  • Achieve 10% absolute reduction in energy consumption

The Solution

The manufacturer looked at replacing their packaging years ago, but they felt it was too expensive at that time. Once they realized that the initial, upfront cost would pay off long-term, the internal team researched solutions but could not find a strong partner.

In need of a reusable packaging recovery partner, they found Reusability and were drawn to their experience in managing and recovering assets. Reusability's expertise in similar industries and the alignment on goals this manufacturer sought to achieve ultimately led to the selection of Reusability as their partner.

Steel Crates, Flexible Sleeves with Footers, & Reusable Pallets are currently used for three different products at two different plants. Once items come off the line, they are loaded directly into reusable packaging for transport to Dealers & OEMs. Once installed at Dealers & OEMs, Reusability reaches out, schedules a pickup, & brings the packaging back to a Reusability-owned facility where it is inspected and made ready for the line. We run a daily shuttle from its facility to the manufacturer’s factory to provide adequate reusable packaging.

The success implementing reusable packaging has caused the manufacturer to evaluate their supply base and focus on more opportunities around returnable packaging even outside their finished goods.

The Results

Reusability's manufacturing partner has seen quantifiable savings of ~$300,000 annually per product line.
With 3 product lines launched, they are achieving almost $1,000,000 in savings annually.

Through implementing the current reusable packaging program, they have saved annually enough wood to cover 60 acres of forest.
Their efforts have also saved ~2,000 tons of solid waste to landfills on an annual basis.

Other business benefits that are not quantified but important to note:

  • Customer Cost Reduction & Time Savings: While the manufacturer has seen savings from reusable packaging, their dealer partners no longer have to incur disposal fees associated with landfilling wood packaging. Also, dealers do not have to tear down packaging for collection, which equates to significant time savings.
  • Product Protection: As mentioned previously, common to all disposable packaging solutions, low durability can cause frequent damages to the products. Moving to reusable packaging has made this less of an issue for the manufacturer.
  • Improved Warehouse Operations: Reusable packaging is less labor-intensive and doesn't require line personnel to build the packaging. This saves on costs and time. In addition, reusable packaging is loaded direct to the trucks, so the manufacturer no longer has to store crating materials in their warehouses.
  • Transportation Cost Reductions: Since we handle processing and pick up, the manufacturer has saved on logistics costs.
  • Improved Transportation Utilization: The shape of the reusable packaging has allowed better utilization of trucks, as units can be stacked.
  • Worker Safety Enhancements: Both the manufacturer and their customers have experienced benefits with safety. Internal team members and dealers are no longer using nail guns, tearing down wood, or working with potentially dangerous materials at their facilities and dealer facilities.

Want to see how much you'll save with a reusable packaging program?

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