Vision towards a Greener and Better World
Interview with LUDO GIELEN, Chief Innovation & Marketing Officer of Schoeller Allibert.
Schoeller Allibert has been inventing, developing, designing and manufacturing Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) for more than 50 years. They have a rich heritage, having been formed from the key players: Schoeller, Wavin, Perstorp, Arca, Linpac, Allibert, Paxton, Stucki amongst others. Today they are the European market leader with operations world-wide. Schoeller Allibert is a green and innovative company committed to reducing clients’ logistics and packaging costs and improving their supply chains.
Can you tell us more about Schoeller Allibert. The company, some background, and the products?
Schoeller Allibert has been inventing, developing, designing and manufacturing Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) for more than 60 years. We have a rich heritage, having been formed from the key players: Schoeller, Wavin, Perstorp, Arca, Linpac, Allibert, Paxton, Stucki amongst others. Today we are the European market leader in Returnable Plastic Packaging Solutions with operations worldwide.
In 2015, our turnover reached € 555.4 million with 1800 employees. We have 14 production facilities that manufac- ture over three thousand different reusable transit solutions for over 8,000 clients in 50 countries. Today, when you see
a RTP, the chance you enter in contact with a Schoeller Allibert product is 25%.
In terms of products, we offer a comprehensive range of standard and tailor made RTP packaging solutions across ten key product segments being Foldable Large Containers, Foldable Small Containers, Rigid Pallet Containers, Beverage crates and trays, Stackable and Stack /Nest handheld boxes, UN pails, Foldable IBCs, Pallets and Dollies.
In percentage, how important is the food industry to your company in terms of sales volume?
Food and food processing represent 11% of our global revenues. Retail is also 11% mostly in grocery logistics and shelf ready packaging.
Please tell us about your prod- ucts and what makes Schoeller Allibert stand out from other suppliers and what is your target markets?
Schoeller Allibert has the largest R&D centre in the industry (5% of our turn- over dedicated to R&D), located in Hardenberg, Nederland, allowing us to launch over 50 new products per year.
Among the many 2015-2016 innovations, the most prominent were all invented in this Hardenberg facility, such as:
- The MaxiLog®, a light, strong and hygienic Rigid Bulk container espe- cially developed for the Food market and other markets with high hygienic requirements
- The EuroClick®, a versatile European crate for the Automotive market, inter-stackable with most euro-con- tainers and featuring an innovative holding label feature
- The Magnum Optimum®, the only 750kg certified FLC in the market, with the lowest folded height (25% space saving in trucks) for automotive and industrial logistics
- The AgriLog®, a well-ventilated Big Box, made to reduced shocks while harvesting and keeping Fresh produces well-spread during transportWe work within a 360 close system; Schoeller Allibert has the EFSA agreement, meaning we can recycle 100% of our products thanks to our integrated recycling unit in the Hardenberg factory.In 2015, we recycled 10,000 tons of plastics were recycled in this facility, and reitroduce in the circular circuit to build identical containers or updated models with the same material for our clients.
Within the Food Industry, we are the first RTP Company to build a 100% recycled food safe crate that meets the European Food Safety Authority standards.
Our added value lies in our capacity to develop high-end products from A to Z, fully customizable and on-demand. We
always run a supply chain analysis for each new client, allowing us to perfectly determine their needs in terms of quality, price, but also specific industrial requirements. Our products are lighter, stronger and more environmental friendly.
Our targeted markets are:
• Food & Food Processing • Beverage
• Industrial Manufacturing
• Pooling Through Our Customers
What are the challenges ahead for Schoeller Allibert?
Globalization: is the key trend in terms of major influence on our business: competition being global and fierce, all companies look for savings and efficiency in all parts of their own business.
I.e. inbound logistics and pressure on their own suppliers to reduce costs, speeding up their own processes and reducing labor, avoid storage both of parts and finished products, and lower cost of outbound logistics.
Standardization and Customization of packaging are consequences of this:
Standard packaging is needed to opti- mize vehicle fill, speed up loading and
unloading of trucks, see containers… and insure versatility of use, and ability to pool packaging in case of seasonality or irregular sales / shipping to some locations.
Customization: in mold labelling, track- ing devices (bar codes RFID, software like GPS on some big boxes or WMS for storage systems) Private color, special features, special material to fit either special shaped products or processes, and manage efficiently the customer’s fleet of boxes. Brand awareness for bottle crates but also for outbound logistics packaging going to stores or point of sale.
How do you see the future of the packaging industry?
The future of our industry will mainly be about adapting ourselves to the trends of the different markets we work in.
Material innovation is important because it allows us to improve the core capacity of products but a lot of innovations come from smarter design and better understanding of the markets’ needs.
In terms of innovations, I see 3 top trends for the following years:
In Retail, the consumer attractiveness has become a major issue, even for standard packaging for Fruits and Vegetables for instance. Today, we are also focusing on how the packaging should look in order to draw attention on our clients’ products.
In Automotive, we have to develop products than can better protect the technical and electric parts of cars, with functions such as anti-electrostatic discharge, fiber free, waterproof, anti-contamination…
Finally, the most important trend of the decade is Internet E-Business, with products that can be integrated within automated warehouse, with speed and accuracy.