We provide efficient, safe and sustainable solutions to our customers
IFCO RPCs increase the efficiency of our customers' supply chains, from better space utilization to less time for handling, stacking, and loading, reducing costs and wasted resources. Our RPCs are also safer for users than traditional one-way packaging. They are designed with ergonomics in mind, reducing the number of pull and strain injuries and eliminating the need for box cutters. RPCs also help to lower the environmental impact of our customers' supply chains. Recent studies conducted in both Europe and North America confirm the use of our RPCs lowers the environmental impact of fresh product supply chains compared to single-use packaging.
Find more information on our approach to customers here
* Fraunhofer IBP study, Carbon Footprint of Food packaging, Commissioned by Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg (SIM) Feb 2018; The Sustainability of Packaging Systems for Fruit and Vegetable Transport in Europe based on Life-Cycle-Analysis, Update 2009", published in February 2009 by Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg; Franklin Associates, 2017,“Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of RPCs and display and non-display ready corrugated containers used for fresh produce applications”
We minimize our impact on the environment through continuous improvement of our products, our operations, and our supply chain.
By partnering with our equipment suppliers, we have developed resource-efficient washing and drying equipment which help minimize our energy and water consumption. Our RPC engineers continuously seek ways to make our RPCs stack more efficiently to optimize the number of RPCs which can be stacked per pallet, lowering transportation requirements with each improvement.
IFCO has installed water recycling equipment which lowers the amount of water used during our wash process. In addition, we employ energy saving technologies in our wash centers through combined heat and power generation.
IFCO supports the communities in which we operate
Our Solutions help reduce food loss in the supply chain
IFCO RPCs reduce food loss due to mechanical damage (crushing, cuts, bruises) and improper temperature. The smooth interior and sturdy construction of our RPCs protects perishable items from damage during packing, stacking, and transport, resulting in significantly lower rates of damage and therefore food loss from producer to retailer. A 2013 study [link to study PDF] conducted by Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics and the Cold-Chain Management Working Group at the University of Bonn evaluated potential links between product damage and packaging type (specifically RPCs and one-way cardboard boxes). Through the supply chain, the following packaging damage rates were observed:
Lower Package Damage Rates
RPC Damage Rate: .12%
Disposable Packageing Damage Rate: 4.2%
Lower Product Damage Rates
Product Damage in RPCs: 0%
Product Damage in Disposable Packaging: 20%
Package Damage Rates at the Central Warehouse
RPC Damage Rate at the Central Warehouse
Disposable Packaging Damage Rates at the Central Warehouse
In addition to reducing mechanical damage, our RPCs are highly ventilated, allowing for faster cooling after harvesting of perishable products. This ventilation also allows for closer temperature control of products during storage and transport. Faster cooling and better control of temperature post-harvest promote a longer shelf life for fresh products, reducing unsaleable product and waste at retail. These benefits have been confirmed in studies on strawberries, mangoes, squash, and other products. [links to studies].