With 20 years experience in the industry, Etiquette has become one of the UK’s leading suppliers of self adhesive labels and labelling solutions. One such solution we provide is the supply of “crate cards’ for use in Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP).
What is RTP?
In the last decade more and more producers and manufacturers have become aware of the shift in emphasis towards protecting the environment and the implementation of “greener” initiatives in business. Throughout supply chains it was evident that many areas would need attention if they were to become eco-friendly, and the ways in which goods were packaged and transported was a main target for change. The answer came in the form of Returnable Transit Packaging which, by eliminating cardboard, reducing transport costs and increasing stock densities became a dominant distribution format. In-store merchandising and sales-floor presentation was also improved due to the benefits of RTP and as a result the main UK supermarkets now have over 33 million returnable trays in their supply chains. Ranging in size from large bulk pallet boxes to nesting to nesting trays, they are used in a multitude of applications in bakery, fresh produce and many other departments.
Crate Cards for RTP
With RTP used in such vast quantities there is obviously a need for goods to be tracked and identified easily by operators and staff. To combat this RTP trays are manufactured with a display slot into which a printed crate card can be installed and removed with ease. However, as these crate cards carry vital product information and operate in often harsh environments they must be manufactured by professionals such as Etiquette. They are not simply pieces of card that can fashioned from A4 sheets – they must be supplied on the reel ready for the over-printing of variable information that is unique to each product they represent. Over-printing requires a label printer to utilise its sensors to recognise each individual crate card on a reel in order to achieve accurate printing. Crate cards from Etiquette are manufactured accordingly and as illustrated in the image above are produced with a registration mark to the rear that is easily identified by any label printer. Once the variable information such as product codes and best before dates is printed onto the crate card the operator needs to then apply it to its relevant tray ready for transport. To improve efficiency in this area, crate cards from Etiquette can be produced with a perforation that allows the operator to easily remove the printed crate card from the printer/reel and apply it.
In the diverse and often complex industry of labelling, Crate Cards may be seen as simple technology, however with the increase of RTP, they will play a major role in the way the foods and produce are transported for years to come.