The intermediate bulk container (IBC) sector represents a logical long-term growth opportunity for CHEP: a multi-billion dollar global addressable market that is fragmented yet suited to CHEP’s pooling model.
CAPS‘ Steve Mitchell and Hawkins’ Jeremy Hutkowski at Hawkins’ facility in Centralia, Illinois, USA.
Capable of carrying liquid and dry goods in multiple industries, IBCs offer a compelling opportunity for standardisation, increased efficiency and cost savings in the manufacturing supply chains of many of CHEP’s existing customers.
A step on the journey of building CHEP’s presence in the IBC sector came in January 2011, when Brambles announced it had acquired Michigan, USA-based Container & Pooling Solutions (CAPS) for US$16 million.
Founded in 1998, CAPS has developed a reputation for innovation in container management and tracking in the food, industrial, automotive and chemical sectors, establishing a base of more than 300 customer touch points in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
The CAPS team and operations are now part of Brambles’ plans to grow its IBC business in the Americas, while the CAPS team’s expertise is benefiting CHEP’s pre-existing IBC operations worldwide.
Recent CAPS customer successes include Iowa-based Rembrandt Foods, one of the largest egg and egg product producers in the USA, and Minnesota based Hawkins, a leading industrial chemical producer and distributor.
Rembrandt switched to CAPS’ collapsible, pooled IBCs for transporting liquid egg products to its customers replacing its own rigid-wall containers, which wasted shipping and storage space when empty and were hard to recycle.
Hawkins was suffering similar problems transporting liquid food ingredients in bottle-caged totes, which used up storage space, were costly to repair and capital-intensive to own.
Since switching to CAPS, both companies have significantly reduced their associated labour, storage and transportation costs, while using an environmentally sustainable and recyclable solution, with no capital investment.
Hawkins Business Manager Fritz Wagner says: “CAPS offers significant cost savings over bottle-caged totes, and its disposable liner system means I rest assured there's no threat of cross-contamination. The support we've received from CAPS is world-class and we no longer worry about losing assets. We completely trust CAPS to manage our packaging needs.”
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