UNIVERSAL PACKAGE, LLC's BLOG 

The Advantages of Plastic Agricultural Containers

Posted by Ryan Cox on Tue, Oct 17, 2017

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The Clear Advantages of Agricultural Containers

With increasing government regulation placed on food products, food-grade plastic agricultural containers have become crucial to the handling of fruit and vegetable material, as well as other food-grade applications. As more regulations are leveled, the wooden produce crates of yesteryear are being legislated into obsolescence.

Modern agricultural containers are exceptionally durable, made of FDA-approved materials, and are light and easy to use. They’re typically made of injection-molded plastics, which greatly reduces or eliminates the problems of their outdated wooden counterparts. This means no splinters, no nails, and no porous surfaces to house bacteria, contaminants, or insects.

Types Agricultural Containers

1. Vented

The vented version of these containers provide outstanding protection for fruit and vegetables while the full ventilation also allows for rapid cooling, generally resulting in less waste.

2. Solid

The solid-wall versions of these containers are made of the same FDA-approved materials, and have all the same benefits (just without vents), meaning they effectively contain liquids with zero leakage.

Container Materials

Agricultural containers are typically made of polypropylene (PP), which is a food-grade plastic. However, the containers can also be made of a food-grade version of high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

The HDPE version is sometimes a little less expensive, but the PP version is more resistant to temperature fluctuations. This type of container works very well for both shipping and storage of produce (or other food-grade materials), and are available with lids.

Other Uses

Food-grade containers are the standard for handling fruits and vegetables, but they also work beautifully for handling other food-grade products such as fish and meat.

While agriculture-specific containers can be used for other types of material handling and storage, it is usually not recommended. That’s because food-grade plastic is more expensive and is not essential when handling materials such as automotive parts.

Benefits

To recap, when looking for a quality, food-grade container – agricultural containers offer the following advantages.

They are:
  • Made with FDA-approved materials.
  • Light weight, yet very durable.
  • Easy to clean, sanitize, and maintain.
  • Available in several different sizes for different types of produce.
  • Stackable and easy to handle to improve safety.
  • Efficient and waste-reducing.
  • High- and low-temperature resistant.
  • Space-efficient.

It’s no surprise reusable agricultural containers, made of FDA-approved materials, have become the new standard for food material handling. They’re cleaner, safer, greener, and all-around better.

Having trouble finding the right fruit or vegetable container in our product catalog? Maybe you need to quote a custom project? Either way, our sales team can help.

Request A Quote

Tags: custom plastic containers, agricultural, agricultural containers, reusable containers

Not All Clients Need Custom Packaging

Posted by Universal Package Team on Wed, Oct 04, 2017

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Custom Packaging is not necessary for shipping all products.

You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.

Non-custom packaging buyers are typically mail order and “.com” companies who provide a wide variety of products and ship products via mail and package services.

Usually a standard corrugated carton “stock box”, with either paper wadding, flexible foam sheet, plastic peanuts, air bags, or other internal filler and cushioning materials are sufficient for most of the “pick orders” online companies ship.

However, highly fragile items such as electronic devices, hand tools and other high-value items are typically by the manufacturer in product-specific containers with custom interiors.

Who Requires Custom Packaging?

Custom packaging is primarily required by original equipment manufacturer’s to insure their product arrives to their customer with no damage, and is often sent directly to an assembly or finishing line.

To be clear, custom packaging doesn’t necessarily mean “more protection for a product”. In most cases custom packaging helps to create uniformity and a standard for shipping among production and manufacturing companies.

Benefits of Custom Packaging

Besides protecting a product during the distribution cycle, line presentation is a major consideration when designing a custom pack. For example, a container with a 60 x 48 foot print won’t work for a work station set up to accept a footprint of 48 x 40, which is why orientation of the parts in the container (for ease of packing and unpacking) is another consideration of line presentation.

Cost of Custom vs. Off-the-Shelf Packaging

Custom packaging typically “costs” more than off-the-shelf packs – at least in terms of initial cash outlay.

But the initial cost of a custom container is eventually offset by reductions in damage, labor, replacements, storage, and more efficient handling.

Is Custom Packaging Your Solution?

All industry segments use custom packaging at one time or another, but it’s important to know the needs of a client before we recommend a custom packaging solution.

So, before you start vetting out packaging manufacturers and gathering quotes for custom packs, ask yourself three questions:

  • Does the product being shipped require a custom packaging solution?
  • At any point, will the product be unpacked on a production line or used in some other type of production process?
  • Will the added protection of custom packaging be worth the cost of engineering a custom solution?

If you answered no to all of these questions, then there is good chance custom packaging is not required for your product.

And while we admittedly design and manufacture custom packaging, you mostly likely require a standard dunnage solution, which will provide the necessary protection to your product without the extra cost of a custom design.

To see our standard dunnage solutions, check out our product catalog, or contact us to help you solve your packaging needs.

Tags: custom container, Dunnage