Many industries face the challenge of finding sustainable transportation solutions. Moving to a more circular economy for transport packaging, where HDPE recycled materials are used to create reusable transportation containers, is a sustainable and environmentally sound approach that is also cost effective for manufacturers.
The Challenge of Sustainable Shipping
The shipping and transportation industries are faced with rising costs of packaging, fuel, handling, and breakage. Historically, crates, pallets, and packing materials were single-use products, a temporary means of protecting parts and materials during transport. The monetary and environmental costs of continuing this approach are becoming more obvious.
Businesses and manufacturers are keenly aware that they have a responsibility to their customers and community to implement greener practices and support waste reduction initiatives. Not only is it the right thing to do, but consumer surveys show that buyers make an effort to support businesses and brands that make sustainability a high priority.
Just as changing from single use containers to multi-use containers can cut the carbon footprint of businesses in the food service and personal care industries by 50-60 percent,1 making the switch to reusable containers made of high density polyethylene reduces the environmental impact of your shipping process.
What Are the Goals of Sustainable Transport?
Companies that are implementing reusable transportation containers share the same sustainability goals, which are:
- Decrease leaking of hazardous substances
- Protect their product during transport
- Support a circular economy
- Reduce their carbon footprint
Each of these is a separate benefit of using Endural’s reusable and re-fittable packaging containers. The benefits of using HDPE in this process become more apparent as we consider the full lifecycle of transport packaging.
The Environmental Value of Sustainable Transportation Containers
Starting with material that is 100% recyclable is the first step to a greener approach. By making reusable transportation containers from black high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and using trim, scrap, and worn-out cases as part of the process to create new ones, Endural’s reusable packaging systems should never end up in a landfill.
Many Endural transportation cases have been in continuous use for more than 10 years! Each case can be used to safely transport hundreds of products. This sustainable approach prevents the harvesting of trees for single-use packaging wood and cardboard, as well as keeping acres of shrink wrap out of the waste stream.
The other factor of lifecycle costs is in the energy used to create a transportation case. Reusing the tough outer case over and over again, with changeable inserts made from recycled and recyclable materials, drastically reduces the overall energy used in the shipping of product compared to single use, disposable crates and packing materials.
Understanding the Low Environmental Impact of HDPE
High-density polyethylene has less environmental impact than you might expect. Endural offers a credit for returned cases, which are reused or recycled. Because of this material’s ability to be recycled at a high rate, it is an incredibly sustainable choice compared to new industrial plastics.Using HDPE benefits the environment in a number of ways.
As an example, when transport cases are made of HDPE recycled material at a rate of 70%, with 30% new plastics to meet ASTM standards, the results are:
- 32% reduction in electricity consumed
- 39% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
- 56% reduction in petroleum use
- 100% less packaging waste headed to the landfill
Designing Greener Solutions to Be Cost-Effective for Shipping
Some manufacturers of reusable transportation containers are locked into a pre-molded design that is specific for each type of part. While these cases can be reused for that specific part multiple times, they are essentially useless for any other parts, can’t accommodate different model years, and can become obsolete quickly. This reduces their use as a sustainable alternative.
Endural’s HDPE transport cases are designed to accept different inserts that are formed to the specific specifications of our customers. When your design changes or you need the flexibility to ship something else, the insert can be replaced and the outer case itself remains in service.
Additional Benefits of Reusable Transport Packaging
For your business to stay sustainable, you need to protect your bottom line, your employees, and the environment. Some of the ways your company can benefit from making the switch to Endural transport cases include:
- Worker safety improvements. Reusable containers are designed for ease of handling , with access latches, which means your employees do not need to deal with box cutters, sharp staples, problem leaks, and broken crates or pallets. Standardized sizes allow workers to use lift equipment, storage racks, and other safer methods of unpacking, lifting, and storing parts.
- Product quality improvement Using HDPE cases protects parts and equipment from damage during shipment, including serious damage or loss due to packaging failures in transit. Extra pieces cannot fall out and be lost enroute, and dangerous liquids from batteries or fluids cannot contaminate the container next to them.
- Cost and efficiency savings. By switching to reusable containers with changeable inserts, your packaging expenses are spread out over years of depreciation to perhaps pennies per trip. Employee time spent preparing parts for shipment is much less with the right containers on hand. In addition, waste hauling costs are drastically reduced when your transport cases are reused or returned for credit and recycling.
- Building a circular economy. When it makes good business sense to return and reuse transportation cases, both parties benefit from the exchange of value. Purchasing containers for your business and receiving a credit for their return at end of life is a textbook example of building a more sustainable economic environment.
Are Reusable Shipping Crates Right for Your Industry?
Endural can create purpose-built transportation containers for parts and equipment across the most demanding industries. We work with you to supply or custom design the containers you need to meet the highest standards of quality and most rigorous industry regulations. Transportation, material handling, and storage solutions are available for the most demanding requirements of these industries:
- Automotive part manufacturers and suppliers
- Automotive assembly plants
- Electronics manufacturers and suppliers
- Medical and pharmaceutical manufacturers
- Aerospace and aviation manufacturers
Explore More Sustainable Transportation Solutions with Endural
Endural designs and builds transportation cases to be durable and sustainable solutions for our industry partners. We have ready made solutions for remanufactured engines and transmissions, as well as electronics and EV batteries. Our experts are happy to answer your questions about these options or quote custom-built solutions that are made to your exact specifications. Contact us today to find out more about our comprehensive line of products that can help your business meet its long-term sustainability goals.