- RPCs arrive folded, minimizing need for storage space
- Multiple sizes available to accommodate different products
- Fast, easy assembly
- Ventilation promotes faster cooling
- Ergonomic design for optimal handling
IFCO’s business model is based on the concept of circular economy. Our Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) are meant to be shared and reused for a more sustainable supply chain. We have been doing this since 1992.
The IFCO SmartCycle™ is a well-established example of a circular economy model that is applied to create a more sustainable supply chain and to maximize its efficiency: products are kept at their highest utility and value at all times. Our Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) are shared amongst many parties to maximize use and IFCO manages their pooling process. We were the pioneers to develop an outsourced RPC pooling system for fresh fruits and vegetables back in 1992, and we have been constantly developing this business together with our partners ever since.
Our pooling system ensures greater efficiency for you. Because you rent IFCO RPCs, not purchase, you save money, space and time. You have no capital investment or depreciation, plus simpler per-trip pricing plans for all services. Limited storage is required, thanks to just-in-time delivery based on seasonality, promotions and pipeline coverage. And we manage the entire process from delivery to collection, sortation, inspection and sanitization.
When retailers, for instance, have their own pool of reusable containers, they save natural resources and reduce waste compared to single-use packaging. However, this approach involves significant investment, as well as costs and effort spent maintaining and managing pooling assets.
The circular approach of our pooling system is reflected at every step of the IFCO SmartCycle™– and it’s designed to ensure the highest possible levels of operational efficiency, food safety and retail-readiness. IFCO manages all steps of the pooling system: from delivering clean RPCs to growers to picking up from your distribution center when the RPCs are empty.
Growers and packers order IFCO RPCs directly and schedule delivery. Just-in-time delivery available.
Shipments of fresh produce from growers and perishables (including meat, poultry, eggs or bread) from packers arrive at the distribution center, where it goes through sorting and order picking.
Orders arriving at retailers in IFCO RPCs are display-ready. They can be placed in the shelves immediately. When empty, IFCO RPCs are folded, stacked and returned.
Empty IFCO RPCs are returned to the distribution center for counting and pre-sorting.
IFCO manages pooling processes for our customers, including the logistics. We collect our RPCs and inspect each one individually, using stringent quality control standards.
At each of our service centers, RPCs are cleaned using highly automated systems, eco-friendly detergents and disinfectants. Our processes are continuously monitored electronically, with the data regularly validated.
The IFCO pool is managed centrally, with continuous monitoring of shipments. Customer services are managed locally, to ensure you can always reach someone who understands the needs and challenges of your market.
IFCO’s partners are very diverse, ranging from family-run farms to agricultural enterprises, from small-volume logistics operators to highly automated warehouses, and from single-owner grocery stands to major supermarket chains. Yet all of our partners have one thing in common: We work one-on-one with you. Above all, we listen to you.
According to our customers, what sets IFCO apart is our flexibility of solutions and the service we offer. Our people make the difference. You can reach our employees in many ways – phone, e-mail or in person – and we are always ready to support you in any way we can.
Our purpose is to first understand how you operate your business, identify any difficulties you face and then meet your needs. We look at your individual business and try to make your work easier. No matter the nature or size of your operations, one question remains our focus: How can we add value to your business, and help you to increase efficiency while lowering costs?
IFCO offers the largest footprint and network of any RPC provider in the world, delivering fresh produce daily to customers on five continents. We offer global solutions with local support – and provide flexible solutions for each customer. Learn more about our global operations .