Discovering transport issues led a well-known food company to achieve substantial savings

A well-known food provider was shipping product from the UK to Ireland on a daily basis. As part of a cost-saving measure, they wanted to move from stacking pallets two high to three high in order to reduce their shipping expenditure.

They had been assured by their packaging suppliers that the pallets and boxes being used would be able to sustain their integrity against this extra weight. However, this was not the case in practice and during shipping, their product was being compromised. It was arriving to Customers in a damaged state and was unusable, meaning it had to be disposed of at a substantial cost. It was noted that the pallets at the back of the transport trailers were experiencing more damage than those to the middle or front.

The company contacted STERIS whose experts concluded that there was more vibration to the rear of the trailers and for this reason when the pallets would arrive at their retail destinations, the bottom pallets would be compressed and the stock unviable.

The STERIS team was able to confirm the flaws in the packaging within a test environment by using a combination of compression testing and random vibration with top loading, as per the ISTA 3A standard, to simulate the stacking height during transport.

Through these methods, STERIS was able to confirm that the quality of the food provider’s boxes and pallets were not to the strength and specifications that had been promised by their packaging supplier. The problem was recorded and the Customer went back to their supplier to find a solution. Thanks to working with STERIS, they were able to solve their transport problems and made substantial savings.

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