Since it began using IPL reusable totes, SaveOn Seafood, St. Petersburg, FL, has reduced its packaging expenses considerably, increased the productivity of its workers, and is providing better service to its customers.
The company is using the FlapNest Series 2416 tote from IPL Plastics to deliver its fresh seafood to retail grocers and restaurants throughout the Southeast. SaveOn Seafood began using the reusable totes to eliminate the cost of repeated purchases of cardboard boxes.
“We wanted to cut down on the cost of repeated purchases of boxes in the short term and we wanted to stabilize our future costs,” recalls David Silver, chief financial officer of SaveOn Seafood. “Since we began using the IPL totes, we have considerably decreased our packaging costs, which has offset some of the increases in other expenses such as fuel, insurance and benefits. Other factors contributed to the decreased cost, but there is no question that the totes were the most significant contributor. They helped us avoid price increases to our customers.”
In addition to cost savings, the IPL FlapNest totes are making workers more productive. It takes less time to wash and sanitize the totes than it did to assemble all the cardboard boxes. Also, they do not take up as much room as box stock and made-up boxes. In addition, the IPL totes do not require the constant management process of monitoring, inventory, counting and ordering of boxes. Because there is no metal in the totes, they do not rust or deteriorate in the wet, cold, and salty processing plant.
The robust, leak-proof totes also make a much better impression on SaveOn Seafood’s customers. The waxed boxes sometimes get soggy and water and other fluids would drip onto the customers’ floors. In addition, customers had to deal with disposal of the boxes after emptying them.
“Cardboard boxes sometimes would leak all over the floor. It did not make a good impression. Now we have a professional presentation and we no longer receive complaints about a mess on the floor,” says Silver.
After processing fresh seafood, the company packages it according to customer specifications. The orders are placed into the totes and covered with layers of ice. The interlocking flaps of the totes are closed and then the totes are stacked on pallets and delivered to retail stores and restaurants.
Silver estimates that the company sends out about 700 of the IPL totes daily.
SaveOn Seafood empties the contents of the totes and takes the empty containers back with them. “Now our customers don’t need to deal with an empty box. They don’t need to break it down and dispose of it. We have eliminated that work for them,” explains Silver. Silver also is pleased that his company has reduced the flow of waste to the landfill, easing the strain on the environment.
On the return trip, the empty totes are nested with their lids open for efficient return shipping and storage. Ergonomic handles allow easy access to the totes when nested.
The company chose a smart black-colored tote for its products. The totes are embossed with SaveOn Seafood’s logo. In addition, SaveOn Seafood uses a white tote at the request of a customer.
“Overall, the IPL totes have reduced our packaging costs significantly. The FlapNest totes also decrease labor for our workers and for our customers. And the environmental benefit is an added advantage,” says Silver..