Fastmile Logistics lowers shipment costs with rubber pallet bands
The bands have eliminated the need to unwrap and rewrap pallet loads.
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With plastic wrap costs averaging $14,000 annually, Fastmile Logistics sought to reduce its packaging material and disposal costs. In the past, employees wrapped pallet loads in plastic wrap whenever loose shipments of cabinets arrived at Fastmile’s storage facility. But each time they needed to load an outgoing truck, workers had to unwrap and rewrap the pallet loads, primarily due to the product mix—a time-consuming and costly task.
However, after evaluating various products, Fastmile eventually discovered rubber pallet bands that were cost-effective and saved time.
“We have been using the bands since 2014 and found that in plastic wrap product cost alone, we are saving around $5,000 a year,” says Brad Ward, general manager at Fastmile’s Orlando, Fla., location.
To hold its cabinets, Fastmile also uses a pallet size that’s larger than usual. “Using custom pallets for the cabinets, the size of the rubber bands was just as important because they had to fit with our custom pallet size,” Ward says.
He adds, “We use two bands—one at the top and one at the bottom—to keep the load stable and have found no problems with the bands stabilizing our loads. They work so well we use them at our other locations when those locations have had the same application.”
Although rubber pallet bands weren’t the only alternative Fastmile tried, they were the most efficient.
“We tried the polyurethane with metal clasps, but the clasps were time consuming and, if you over-tightened them, it could lead to product damage,” Ward explains.
After realizing how metal clasp tightening led to difficulties, Ward appreciated the way the bands snapped into place once they were applied to the pallet. No extra steps were necessary.
Due to the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the rubber pallet bands (the $5,000 in annual savings doesn’t include trash costs, which are roughly $200 yearly), Fastmile has expanded its usage to other facilities, which have similar savings.
And, since the facilities’ employees no longer have to wrap and unwrap every time they unload and re-load cabinets, Ward believes the bands will continue to meet Fastmile’s main objectives—reduce its plastic wrap and trash costs.
Aero Rubber Company