6 ways to use plastic storage box containers

There’s so much more to plastic containers than simply storage. Totebox lists the six top uses for plastic crates, discussing design features and highlighting the benefits.

Ways You Can Use Plastic Storage Boxes

  1. Reusable transit packaging

Nesting and folding plastic distribution containers are often referred to as reusable transit packaging (RTP). They provide an economic and environmentally friendly alternative to single use or limited trip cardboard boxes.

Plastic stacking & nesting crates securely stack when loaded and nest when empty to save valuable space on return transport. There are three types of stacking & nesting containers:

  • 180 o nesting boxes are tough distribution containers that securely stack when loaded and nest by turning through 180o. This simple, robust design is ideal for heavy-duty applications.
  • Bale-arm crates, such as Maxinest produce trays, incorporate stacking bars which are pushed inwards to stack and outwards to nest. These crates are used throughout the food supply chain from field or food processor to retail point-of-sale.
  • Attached Lid Containers (ALCs) include integral hinged lids. They stack with lids closed and nest when open.

Reusable, tough and durable, each individual plastic distribution crate can replace hundreds of single-trip cardboard boxes over its long life – helping users to save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

Plastic folding boxes fold flat to provide an even greater space-saving alternative to nesting containers. However, folding crates are time-consuming to assemble and fold, there are more moving parts which make the boxes susceptible to damage and they tend to be less strong. Folding boxes are consequently ideal for less-intensive lightweight distribution applications.

  1. Secure tamper-evident distribution

Attached Lid Containers (ALCs), including the Original Totebox, include integral hinged lids that can be secured with tamper-evident seals.

Fitting tamper-evident security seals protects high-value goods in transit. They work by providing easy visual identification of whether the container’s contents have been accessed during distribution; if the seal is broken then the container has been opened.

  1. Storage and handling

Stacking boxes are perfect for internal storage and handling operations. Their main benefits are storage volume and simplicity of use.

Plastic stacking crates, containers and trays have vertical sides for maximum internal volume. They usually have around a 7% larger storage capability than a stacking & nesting container with the same external dimensions, which have tapering sides to facilitate nesting.

Totebox Euro stacking containers allow users to create modular handling units with containers of different base dimensions inter-stacking to form compact loads. 400 x 300mm models stack 2-up (side-by-side) on 600 x 400mm containers, which in turn stack 2-up on 800 x 600mm containers.

Unlike most carboard carriers, the strength and uniformity of plastic boxes provide a level platform for multiple pallet loads to be blocked stacked on top of each other. This can free up a significant area for additional storage.

  1. Order picking

Many warehouses spend a great deal of operational time taking items to a central marshalling area for packing. Items are picked, loaded onto a pallet, transported to the packing area where they are packed into cardboard boxes, loaded onto another pallet which is then stretch-wrapped on a turntable ready for despatch.

Cardboard boxes are time-consuming to assemble while pallet turntables take up several square meters of warehouse space.

An alternative solution is to load items for despatch directly into reusable plastic stacking boxes during the picking operation, eliminating the need to repack. Containers securely interlock when stacked (the base is recessed by about 1cm to locate snuggly into the top rim of the container below) which means that only a single band or a couple of turns of stretch-wrap is required to secure the pallet load.

Most operations who use reusable plastic containers reduce costs by speeding up the packing operation, eliminating the need to consumables (such as adhesive tape, banding and stretch-wrap) and reducing the size of the packing area which can be repurposed for additional warehouse storage space.

  1. Automated handling

Plastic totes and containers are the ideal handling solution for automated systems such as conveyors, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), robot handling/pick & place, carousels and scanning equipment.

Strong and rigid with robot handling locations, Totebox KLT containers are purpose-designed to operate with automated handling equipment.

  1. Kit boxes

Both plastic stacking crates and attached-lid containers make great kit boxes for engineers and many services. Applications include maintenance engineers, police scene of the crime, hospital CSSD, etc.

Plastic boxes can be clearly labelled to identify contents, feature ergonomic handles for safely carrying heavier loads and can be fitted with security seals to protect valuable or sensitive contents.if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 01327 340 177 or alternatively head over to our contact page to fill in our online enquiry form.

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