The US-based company said its FirmaCap cover is designed to fit tightly over loaded pallets to hold the packaging materials securely in place during shipping or warehousing.
The patent-pending cap was developed as “an alternative to the heavier wooden boards used in the industry”, said Sonoco. It has been designed to work with all 44" x 56" pallets used for shipping bottles and cans.
The FirmaCap stabilises cans and stops them falling when the load is in transit. The company said it believes the new system “will better protect cans as compared to the wooden boards currently used in the industry”.
Lightweighting and recyclability
The firm said that when combined with its own corrugated pallets the new cover lightweights the total load significantly, cuts transit costs and generates revenue through recycling.
“Compared to 44" x 56" wood pallets capped with standard wood caps, Sonoco's Firma brand corrugated pallet protection systems offer an 87% reduction in weight in an average truckload,” said Sonoco.
It can also be recycled with other corrugated materials and generate up to US$33 in revenue per truckload, said the company.
Corrugated and plastic pallets
Sonoco said it had recently launched corrugated and plastic pallets in 44" x 56" sizes for the bottles and can markets.
“When we evaluated the market for palletizing bottles and cans, we realized that options were very limited for customers," said James Harrell, division vice president and general manager, Industrial Carriers - North America.
He added: “For the most part, the only option available was the heavier and more costly wood pallet, By offering corrugated pallets for one-way shipping and plastic pallets for closed-loop shipping, along with our new FirmaCap protector, we're giving customers options that will better fit their needs."
Recyclable corrugated pallets are suited best for l for customers whose shipments travel long distances and/or cannot be returned, while the more durable plastic pallets are designed for repeated use in a ‘closed loop’ system, the company explained.