FranĂ§oise PomĂ¨s, Global Marketing Director
Schoeller Allibert has been developing solutions for the harvesting, storage, transport and processing of fruit and vegetables since 1970. Initially the company offered 500x300 footprint harvesting and storage crates to match the size of the wooden boxes which were in use at the time. The main advantages of plastic boxes appeared to be obvious; the plastic crates were lighter, did not promote mold, were resistant to moisture, had a constant tare weight whatever the climate and environment conditions and were extremely long lasting. In the cold storage chambers they could be easily stacked and pallets on top of each other optimized space use. Initially, Schoeller Allibert offered crates for apples and tomatoes, and later developed fragile stone fruit models featuring a special wave shaped base so that the fruit would gently settle, reducing bruises and surface damage when transported from orchards to cold storage chambers and on to packing or processing sites.
When Schoeller Allibert started to offer plastic solutions for fruit and vegetable handling, Palloxes or Big Boxes were all made of Wood as injection molding machines were not capable of manufacturing 1200 X 1000 X 750 plastic boxes of around 45 kg weight.
In 1980 we introduced the first Schoeller Allibert Jumbox® which could take a unit load of almost one ton, and a 10 tonstacking load.
Now, Schoeller Allibert’s plastic Big Boxes are the market leader in fruit and vegetable transport and storage. We have listened to the market, surveyed the end users and innovated to improve our solutions and offer new unique features. We have adapted the footprints of each product to each region in Europe and made our Big boxes compatible with the existing wooden fleets to facilitate the shift from wood to plastic.
Our Maxagri®, Agrilog®, Maximus® 1210 and Maximus® 1212 rigid pallet containers all offer much more than just the basic plastic material advantages (constant tare weight, resistance to deep frost and sun, no rain or dirt retention) to our customers: we designed the first curved internal side walls thereby increasing the usable volume in the given overall dimensions, ultimately offering up to 50 liters more capacity in each big box. This dramatically increases the tonnage of fruit and vegetables that can be transported in trucks and stored in cool chambers.
We have continued to make our boxes lighter, improving payloads, with less plastic and more produce in each truck, and ultimately, contributing to fewer trucks on the roads.
The fruit and vegetables processing industry is very demanding and highly automated, so we design all our solutions to be compatible with robotized systems, tipping, water-sorting, and automated handing. Our containers work smoothly and silently on any kind of conveying devices.
We have continued to innovate over the years, inventing the pockets which feature in the base of the Maximus®, preventing the bottom layers of apples and pears from rolling and get damaged. The Maximus® 1212 launched in 2017, and has been verysuccessful, being well received by the major apple and pear growers and cooperatives in France and Benelux where this footprint is very popular.
All surfaces and angles on the Maximus® 1212 are rounded, both for produce quality preservation and for hygiene and easy cleaning.
We have also adapted the height of our big boxes, making them more suitable for fragile produce. The shallow Agrilog® has proven to be the perfect solution for broccoli, lambs lettuce, apricots, and peaches…extending the shelf life of the produce and reducing bruises.
In 2018 we launched the Combo Fructus®, a water, bug and needle resistant foldable IBC aimed at the tomato paste and fruit juice industry.Combo Fructus is compatible with high speed aseptic filling machines,and is offered in 3 heights enabling it to adapt to road, rail and sea containers shipping. The Combo Fructus® is totally hygienic and very sturdy, passing the stringent AAR (Association of American Railroads) test with ease, and can ship up to 1200 litres of liquid in total safety.
Our innovations are not constrained to our large format pallet boxes. Our smaller crates feature innovations are for the transport of green leafy salads: our highly ventilated bicolor stack nest salad boxes nest up to 80% for logistics cost reduction: the major 4th range companies having empties travelling throughout Europe and North Africa, to the harvesting fields.
At Schoeller Allibert, our concern is not only to be profitable but also to look after our environment. As a result, Schoeller Allibert is taking back and recycling all those crates at the end of their long service life and thanks to our unique EFSA approved recycling process, we can manufacture brand new food approved crates with this material. We are therefore proud to say that we truly do offer a sustainable, cradle to cradle solution.
1 - Agrilog®
2 - Maximus® 1212
3- Combo Fructus®
4 - Boxes for the minimally processed industry (IV range)
5 - Boxes for wine harvest