Introducing IFCO's next-generation Black Lift Lock crate in Norway

written by IFCO SYSTEMS, 5th March 2024, in News

After proudly serving Norway for 25 years, the iconic green SL crate is retiring. We’re ushering in the future with the much-anticipated arrival of the all-new Black Lift Lock (BLL) crate, scheduled for launch on March 16, 2024!

To ensure a smooth transition and address any questions you might have about the switch to our new crates, we’ve curated a comprehensive set of FAQs below.

FAQs on IFCO’s crate transition in Norway, from green SL to Black Lift Lock (BLL) reusable crates

1. What is the reason for changing the crate from SL to BLL?

After more than 25 years in service, we will now "retire" IFCO’s legendary green reusable crate (SL) from the Norwegian market. The SL crate will be replaced by a new generation of reusable crates – the Lift Lock family (LL). In Norway, the implementation of IFCO’s latest crate, the Black Lift Lock (BLL), marks a significant shift. With its widespread adoption across Europe, BLL crates offer a versatile solution for domestic use and facilitate seamless import and export operations globally. This ensures that IFCO can swiftly adapt to evolving needs in Norway.

Compared to the previous SL crates, BLL promises substantial logistics and handling savings. Its versatility and efficiency make it a preferred choice, delivering enhanced value throughout the supply chain.

2. What is the difference between BLL and SL crates?

In addition to the color difference, there are several other differences between the BLL and SL crate:

BLL is the most widely used crate type in Europe

BLL has been developed specifically for optimizing sustainability and efficiency throughout the logistics chain

BLL is the only reusable crate in the world that has achieved the most recognized global environmental certification in the sustainability market;

There are significant logistics and handling savings in terms of the number of crates per pallet: BLL has 640pcs per pallet of size 43xx (520pcs of SL) and 320pcs BLL crates per pallet of size 64xx (260pcs of SL), as well as a more user-friendly open/close mechanism.

Moreover, the BLL incorporates barcodes (GRAI) on its checkouts. This functionality allows for tracking of individual checkouts, streamlining processes such as automatic scanning of crates upon receipt at our warehouse. It is also sporting Bluetooth technology, with further details to follow.

3. When does this change come into effect?

Effective March 16, 2024, SL crates will be phased out, and only BLL crates will be utilized. For suppliers delivering to BAMA, please note that the last day for SL crate delivery will be March 15th. Beyond this date, SL crates will not be accepted for delivery.

4. What do I do with the SL crates I still have in stock?

All SL crates are reaching the end of their lifecycle in the Norwegian market and are required to be returned to IFCO. As these crates are solely owned by IFCO, unauthorized storage, resale, or continued use is not permitted. Rest assured that all returned SL crates will undergo meticulous processing. They will either be granulated and fully repurposed for the production of new crates or utilized in markets where the SL model will persist for a brief period.

To initiate the return process, please reach out to our dedicated customer service team at +47 23194660. They will assist you in arranging the seamless handling of crate returns.

5. Will I receive credit for the usage fees of the green crates I’ve paid for?

Absolutely! Upon the prompt return of the crates, your credit will be issued without delay. It’s crucial that our crates are returned promptly following the transition to BLL.

To guarantee the reimbursement of your crate rental fees, please ensure that the crates are returned in pristine condition, just as they were initially delivered by IFCO: clean, unused, and with the original strapping on the pallets intact.

6. When is the last day I can order SL crates?

The last date for ordering SL crates will be March 8, 2023. After this date, only orders for BLL crates will be possible.

7. When can I order the new BLL crates?

You can already order BLL crates for future delivery via MyIFCO. First delivery of BLL crates will be possible starting March 1, 2024.

8. What sizes are available for the new BLL crates?

The new Black Lift Lock (BLL) crates come in 10 distinct sizes, mirroring the variety offered by the SL crates. Among the options, there are 3 different heights for crates measuring 40x30cm and 7 different heights for crates measuring 60x40cm. For detailed information on dimensions and weights, please download the Black Lift Lock data sheet from our website at IFCO.com.

9. How many BLL crates fit on a pallet?

  • 640pcs BLL crates per pallet of size 43xx (compared to 520pcs of SL)
  • 320pcs BLL crates per pallet of size 64xx (compared to 260pcs of SL)

Additionally, when folded, the BLL crate has a height of only 28mm, whereas the SL crate has a folded height of 34.3mm.

10. What is MyIFCO?

MyIFCO simplifies the process of registering receipts and shipments of crates for manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Accessible via PC, tablet, or mobile phone through the MyIFCO app, it offers a seamless digital platform for ordering and managing crates.

By utilizing MyIFCO, users can benefit from a range of features, including the automatic generation of credit notes for deposits. Transitioning the cashier within the system to the next link in the logistics chain grants users the ability to make online corrections and access a comprehensive overview of all historical transactions.

To ensure users maximize the platform’s capabilities, dedicated courses will be established to provide a deeper understanding of MyIFCO’s functionality. Stay tuned for more details on these upcoming user courses. Additionally, the MyIFCO app is available for download on both Google and Apple platforms for convenient access anytime, anywhere.

11. Why should I register crate movements in the MyIFCO?

Registering crate movements in MyIFCO offers several benefits. Firstly, upon transferring the crates to the next link in the logistics chain and obtaining approval from the recipient, IFCO promptly issues a credit memo.

Moreover, since the reusable crates remain the property of IFCO, it is crucial to ensure they are transferred solely to approved market players and partners. MyIFCO facilitates this by enabling the tracking of crate movements, thereby preventing unauthorized usage outside the fruit and vegetable logistics chain.

By utilizing MyIFCO, all parties involved benefit from enhanced transparency and accountability. As a user, you gain full insight into your "cash register accounting," allowing you to access information about your crates whenever needed.

12. What happens if I do not register checkout movements in MyIFCO?

Failure to transfer crates further in MyIFCO will result in the non-receipt of credited collateral. Within the MyIFCO system, ownership of the crates remains with you until they are passed on to the next link in the logistics chain.

If you deliver crates to an "unregistered" recipient in MyIFCO, it becomes your responsibility to ensure their return to IFCO. Please contact IFCO customer service to arrange for the return of these crates. Only upon their return to IFCO will you receive the credited collateral.

It’s essential to note that you may be held liable in the event of lost crates. For further information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team.

13. How do I order BLL crates?

Crates can be conveniently ordered through MyIFCO. Should you require assistance or have any questions regarding your order, our dedicated customer service team is here to help. Feel free to reach out to us via telephone at +47 23194660.

14. What is the rental price for BLL?

Rental prices vary depending on the size of the crates. For a personalized quote tailored to your specific needs, please contact our customer service team. They will be happy to assist you.

Price list is effective from 01.02.2024.

15. How long is the rental period?

The rental period and rental price are based on up to 30 days rental.

16. How many pallets do I need to order to qualify for free shipping?

To benefit from freight-free shipment, a minimum order of 5 pallets or more is required. Freight charges apply for deliveries of 4 pallets or fewer. It’s worth noting that with the SL crates, the previous requirement for free shipping was 14 pallets or more.

17. How are deposit credits managed in MyIFCO’s crate movement process?

When you move crates in MyIFCO, ready for forwarding to the next link in the logistics chain, and the recipient confirms receipt, a credit note equivalent to the deposit is automatically issued on the recipient’s account. This credit is then transferred further along the logistics chain.

For instance, if you receive 640 BLL crates on "day 1," and after 20 days of packing vegetables, on "day 21" you transfer the crates to the next link in the logistics chain. By "day 25," when the recipient approves receipt of 640 crates, credit notes are issued from IFCO for the 640 crates, which you can use to offset invoices for the collateral received on day 1. However, if you fail to move the crates within 30 days, a deposit on the unmoved crates in MyIFCO will accumulate. Deposit credits will then be applied as soon as you pass the crates to the next link in the logistics chain, or return them to IFCO.

18. What type of labels should be used on BLL crates?

We will be utilizing labels without adhesive on IFCO’s crates, affixed to the short side where clips are located for label placement. Specifically, for crate types 4310, 6408, 6410, and 6413, only labels without glue should be used. However, for all other crate types, water-soluble adhesives and labels are suitable.

Should you have any inquiries regarding adhesives and labels, please don’t hesitate to reach out to IFCO customer service at +47 23194660.

Additionally, we’re excited to share that IFCO has secured competitive prices for water-soluble labels and adhesives through our partnership with Lexit. With their expertise in providing the appropriate types of labels and adhesives for our crates, you can trust in their quality. For pricing inquiries, feel free to contact Lexit at +47 63984080.

19. Why should water soluble labels be used on BLL crates?

IFCO has recently made significant investments in a state-of-the-art washing facility and warehouse located in Kløfta. Our commitment to providing crates that maintain a visually clean appearance, free from label residue, remains unwavering. However, in cases where water-soluble labels are not utilized, our washing system may encounter issues due to label residues in the machinery. This can disrupt operations and necessitate additional cleaning processes.

Given that our crates are often used to display fresh foods in grocery stores, maintaining a pristine appearance is paramount. Not only does this enhance the visual appeal, but it also facilitates smooth scanning processes at checkout. Avoiding remnants of old labels ensures accurate scanning of current labels, preventing any potential challenges associated with outdated information.

In the event of non-compliance, IFCO must undertake a new wash and disinfection cycle, not only for the individual crate but for the entire batch in which it was included. Additionally, manual removal of label residues from the entire batch becomes necessary. This incurs an additional cost for each crate in the current batch submitted with labels that do not comply with the use of water-soluble labels.

Your cooperation in adhering to our label guidelines is greatly appreciated as we strive to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and efficiency in our operations.IFCO has made major investments in a brand new washing facility and warehouse, at Kløfta. IFCO strives to have crates that look clean, with no label residue.

If no water-soluble labels are used, this may mean that our washing system may stop due to label residues in the machinery.

Our crates are often utilized to display fresh foods, such as in grocery stores. It’s crucial that the crates maintain a clean appearance, free from any remnants of old labels. Moreover, this ensures smooth scanning processes, preventing potential challenges associated with scanning outdated labels instead of the current ones relevant to the checkout content.

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