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Germany 17/04/2024

Banana crate, digital tracking system, and plastic pallets: BIG Interview with Cosmin Minescu, IFCO

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IFCO is at the forefront of sustainable packaging solutions, providing Reusable Packaging Containers (RPCs) to businesses globally. With a dedicated commitment to environmental stewardship and enhancing supply chain efficiency, IFCO offers comprehensive services covering every aspect of RPC management. From delivering clean containers to producers to collecting and sanitizing them for redistribution, IFCO ensures seamless operations while reducing environmental impact.

In this interview, we delve into the innovative solutions offered by IFCO, with Cosmin Minescu, IFCO's Business Development Manager, shedding light on their novel banana crate, digital tracking system, and plastic pallets.

Fructidor: Let's begin with the banana crate. What sets it apart from the previous model?

Cosmin Minescu: The new banana crate brings several improvements over its predecessor. It provides better airflow, allowing for more precise temperature control and banana maturation, while also facilitating quicker cooling, ultimately saving power during the ripening process.

Fructidor: Can you elaborate on its suitability for ripening rooms?

Cosmin Minescu: The banana crate has received praise from growers for its customized design, particularly when compared to cardboard boxes. It ensures consistent airflow, even when palletized, making it an ideal choice for ripening rooms.

Fructidor: And what about its size and shipping benefits?

Cosmin Minescu: The crate is designed to hold 18.14 kg (40 lbs) of bananas, making it an industry-standard size. Additionally, its efficient design allows for denser pallet configurations, ultimately reducing shipping costs and emissions.

Fructidor: It sounds like a game-changer. Are there specific markets where it's gaining traction?

Cosmin Minescu: Absolutely. Our banana crate has already found success in the UK market, with major suppliers like Frutier embracing its advantages. We're also exploring opportunities in Germany, Poland, France, and Spain, among others.

Fructidor: That's promising. Now, let's shift gears to your digital tracking system. Can you tell us more about how it works?

Cosmin Minescu: Our digital tracking system utilizes BLE technology to monitor the location of crates in real-time. Each crate is equipped with a tracker that sends signals to access points installed at warehouses, supplier locations, and retailers, allowing for precise inventory tracking throughout the supply chain.

Fructidor: Are there any countries where this technology is currently being tested?

Cosmin Minescu: Yes, we're currently conducting trials in Colombia, Spain, and Poland, with plans for further expansion based on the results of these tests.

Fructidor: Switching topics, you have also launched a new plastic pallet. Can you tell us more about this product?

Cosmin Minescu: Yes, we are excited about the launch of our new plastic pallet - Dora. It was designed specifically for the fresh supply chain, offering numerous advantages over traditional wooden pallets, including hygiene, durability, and perfect compatibility with our crates. Moreover, it's part of our pooled solution model, contributing to a circular economy.

Fructidor: Are there plans to expand its usage beyond the fresh supply chain?

Cosmin Minescu: While our primary focus remains on the fresh supply chain, we're exploring opportunities in other sectors. Following specific business case evaluations with interested partners, we will decide the best conditions for introducing Dora into the supply chain of a particular company or industry.

Fructidor: Can you tell us how the idea for the plastic pallet came about?

Cosmin Minescu: IFCO is a global leader in reusable packaging solutions for the fresh supply chain, catering to a wide range of temperature-controlled products. It was time for us to complement our existing solutions with newly conceived plastic pallets. We identified a strong business need from the retail and groceries industry for innovating operations with strong, stable, and sustainable plastic pallets. Combining our expertise in pooling services and streamlining the supply chain, we created Dora.

Fructidor: Could you highlight some of the key advantages of using a plastic pallet in the fresh supply chain?

Cosmin Minescu: Hygiene is paramount in the fresh supply chain, and plastic pallets offer significant advantages in this regard. Unlike wooden pallets, plastic pallets can be easily washed and sanitized, reducing the risk of contamination. Additionally, they are lighter, resulting in fuel savings during transportation. Moreover, our plastic pallets are designed to the standard dimensions of a Euro pallet, ensuring compatibility with existing logistics systems, including automated production lines or warehouses.

Fructidor: Could you elaborate on the design features of the IFCO Dora plastic pallet?

Cosmin Minescu: Our Dora plastic pallet features anti-slip strips on both the top and bottom surfaces, enhancing stability during handling and transit. This design is crucial, particularly in environments where moisture may be present, such as distribution centers. Furthermore, the pallets are compatible with various types of loads, making them versatile for different packaging needs.

Fructidor: We understand that you're also integrating digital tracking technology into your pallets. How does that work?

Cosmin Minescu: Building on the success of our digital tracking system for crates, we're extending this technology to our plastic pallets. Each pallet will be equipped with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology for continuous tracking, with the addition of GPS for real-time location monitoring, providing our clients with invaluable insights into their palletized goods' whereabouts throughout the supply chain.

Fructidor: That sounds like a game-changer for supply chain visibility. Finally, could you tell us about your approach to making the plastic pallet the standard choice in the fresh supply chain?

Cosmin Minescu: Our vision is to promote the adoption of plastic pallets as the industry standard for the fresh supply chain. By offering a comprehensive packaging solution, coupled with our pooled rental model, we aim to drive significant efficiencies and sustainability benefits for our clients. While our focus remains primarily on the fresh supply chain, we're open to opportunities in other sectors where our solutions can add value.

 

 

 

For those seeking to implement banana crate, digital tracking system, and plastic pallets by IFCO, send your inquiry

 

 

 

 

 

 
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In the interview, Cosmin Minescu, IFCO's Business Development Manager, sheds light on IFCO's novel banana crate, digital tracking system, and plastic pallets.
   
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