CHEP already offered the pallets Sun Fresh needed to reduce unpacking burdens on retailers. The 48x40-inch block pallet stacks well, minimizing the chance of pallet collapse in the distribution center, and true 4-way entry allows warehouse workers to easily maneuver pallets using a forklift.
Thinking beyond the pallet, CHEP also offered Sun Fresh two environmentally sustainable programs to confirm a high-quality pallet always reached the store “on time, in full:” customer storage and managed recovery. The customer storage program, which Sun Fresh joined in 2014, allows the business to become a pallet “landlord,” keeping a supply of pallets on site during the offseason. Customer storage ensures Sun Fresh has the pallets to begin delivering as soon as a new season’s first crop is ready, and reduces the empty miles used to move bare pallets.
The managed recovery program, which Sun Fresh joined in 2018, allows the business to receive shipments of pallets directly from retailers and distribution centers. Their team sorts through the pallets, keeps the pallets that meet CHEP’s quality standards, and returns the rest to CHEP for repair. Managed recovery ensures Sun Fresh always has access to pallets that will meet retailer inspection, and because the damaged pallets aren’t discarded, Sun Fresh reduces supply chain waste.
“Retailers have heightened expectations from produce farmers today – not only are we selling our watermelons, but we’re also ensuring our logistical capabilities meet the retailers’ needs, and that we’re helping meet sustainability goals,” says James Carlton. “CHEP’s products and services help us succeed in all three of these arenas. We’re pleased with results we’ve seen from customer storage and managed recovery so far, and we look to continue partnering with CHEP to solve our supply chain challenges.”
By partnering with CHEP, Sun Fresh Farms has realized multiple benefits in their supply chain.
- Stored more than 36,000 pallets on site in one year to ensure continual availability.
- In a 10-year period, Sun Fresh Farms achieved significant environmental savings by using more than 320,000 CHEP 48x40-inch block pallets.
- Avoided more than 136,000 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
- Eliminated more than 180,000 pounds of solid waste from landfill.
- Demonstrated verifiable results, beginning with CHEP’s use of 100% certified timber (PEFC and FSC certifications) all the way to the eradication of empty miles.