Floor Loaded Foam Tray Cases Create Waste and Jeopardize Quality

by Commodore Plastics Team

Commodore Plastics has been a leader in process innovation for decades but often underappreciated is our carefully managed system of preparing and loading trays for shipment.

It is typical for many tray manufacturers to forgo palletizing product in an effort to maximize trailer space. This loose case hand-loading method can lead to both product damage and food safety concerns due to movement during shipment and product bundles touching trailer walls and floors. Loose cases can also shift and crash down causing trays to be crushed and broken. Unloading loose cases results in excessive labor costs as each individual case must be offloaded and can even lead to freight detentions if received as a live-unload.

Foam trays badly stacked in truck
Typical loose case loaded shipment

At Commodore we set our products up in the footprint of a pallet, neatly arranged on top of a heavy-duty corrugated cardboard slip sheet. This slip sheet is then stretch wrapped along the entire outside of the bundle offering further protection beyond the standard double bag. The majority of our bundles adhere to the dimensions of a pallet allowing us to get anywhere from 28-30+ wrapped and protected bundles on a full 53 foot trailer.

By loading our products in shrink wrapped bundles forks of the lift truck can be slid underneath for simple and timely offloading. This method of shipment that is unique to Commodore helps avoid damage and contamination in transit, and reduces the need for a labor intensive offloading.

Pallet wrapped and stacked Commodore Trays
Commodore wrapped pallet shipment

If your receiving program specifies that product be shipped on wooden pallets, Commodore will accommodate this request while still maintaining our shrink wrapped bundle method.

A major advantage of this shipping configuration is that a skilled fork truck operator can offload an entire truck with minimal assistance using standard forks. For higher volume operations (multiple trucks per week) we do suggest that customers consider a lift truck carton-clamp attachment. A clamp attachment will facilitate off-loading slip sheet bundles while also providing a stable mode to transport product after exterior wrap has been removed.

If you see opportunity for improvement with your current foam tray program or receiving arrangement, contact us for a fit assessment. Our assessment team will come out to your plant and "live the life of your foam trays". At each step of the lifecycle we've identified parameters to help you to realize means of savings, operational efficiency or improvements in shelf appeal.