French Logistics Company Invests In CS1 Plastic Pallet From Craemer

CS1 plastic pallet inventory in one of the 29 warehouses of the logistics company of a large food retail group in France.

The logistics company of the fifth largest French food retail group has said goodbye to the wooden pallet and is now building up its own inventory of plastic pallets. For the internal flow of goods between its 29 warehouses and the approximately 1,600 supermarkets in the chain, the freight forwarder has purchased 330,000 of the CS1 plastic pallets from Craemer. The first pallets were delivered in 2018, and the entire order volume is expected to be in use by summer 2020. The company switched from wood to plastic mainly in order to improve working conditions for warehouse employees as well as to meet the requirements of increasing automation and a policy of sustainability.

The logistics company employs 5,000 people and has 1,800 lorries that deliver 700 million package units annually. The freight forwarder uses the plastic pallets exclusively for palletising and transporting mixed picked items (heterogeneous pallets) to meet the supply needs of approximately 1,600 supermarkets that the company delivers to directly from its own warehouses.

"The top deck of the CS1 is mostly closed, making the pallet ideal for bagged goods, cardboard boxes and other packaging units", says Cyril Wahl, Sales Director at Craemer France Sarl. "And the pallet is equipped with three metal reinforcements, which allows it to carry up to 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) in a high rack. Because the freight forwarder has equipped its lorry trailers with pallet racks, we provided this customer with a CS1 that has special, non-slip runners. This solution ensures that the pallets do not slip on the smooth and narrow shelf support beams when the lorry is moving.”

According to a company spokesperson, the logistics company is pursuing several goals in switching to plastic. "On the one hand, in the future it will be important for us to only use load carriers that work with the automation technology we recently introduced in the company's warehouses. Deformed wooden pallets threaten to block the mechanical conveyor belts. Having our own inventory of plastic pallets makes us less dependent on wooden pallets and also ensures a seamless flow of goods along the supply chain. On the other hand, it is important to us to improve the working conditions of warehouse employees and in that way to meet the goals our corporate social responsibility. Part of that is eliminating the risk of injury from wood splinters and easing the workload. The CS1 plastic pallet only weighs 17 kg (37.5 lb), meaning it is much easier to handle than the 23-kg (50.7-lb) wooden pallet."                                                                                      

Another key criterion is the sustainability of the CS1 pallets. Cyril Wahl points out: “The facts that the CS1 is made of regenerated, high-quality high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from reliable sources and that we take it back for recycling at the end of its life, correspond to this customer’s environmental management goals.” In pursuing a policy of sustainable development, the French retail organisation has also set up a recycling company for the sorting and recycling of the packaging waste generated in the chain’s supermarkets. Another plus of our CS1: Like all other Craemer pallets, it is extremely resilient and has a lifespan of several years, even with high turnover – thanks to its design and the one-piece production using the injection moulding process.