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Søren Bøgede Andersen, Uni-Troll explains:

How the ornamental industry can benefit from a new universal trolley system

Why is the ornamental industry still using the traditional trolley system and not participating in a universal one? Søren Bøgede Andersen, CEO of Uni-Troll Europe has been asking himself this question for several years now. In 2016, Uni-Troll presented the idea of universal trolleys with ISO measurement and showed the prototypes at the IPM Essen for the first time. "The interest is high and we sell a lot of trolleys to other industries, but the ornamental industry remains hesitant in adapting to this new system." In this article, he presents the advantages of using the ISO measurement (400*600 and 400*300 mm) crates for the plants and shows their new aluminum prototype trolleys.

Ms. Lisette Warburg, Uni-Troll's Sales Manager since 25/10 2022

What is Uni-Troll?
Before diving into the advantages, more about Uni-Troll. Uni-Troll is a universal trolley solution that is based on the visionary principle of a circular economy. "It fits to the standard ISO modular measurements, and is designed to be double stacked and transported directly from the producer into the store - replacing expensive and environmentally damaging one-way packaging and display solutions."

Besides, the trolleys are easy to pack down in order to utilize space optimally, whether in the store, the warehouse, or during transport. "In cases of empty transport or storage, our trolleys can be destacked and stacked so they take up a minimum of space."

Less handling, designed for automation
One of the main advantages is that the Uni-Troll trolleys require less handling as the plants can stay at the trolley shelves from the grower to the wholesaler or retailer, he explains. "The Uni-Troll can eliminate some manual repacking processes, meaning less labor costs, and in turn will also eliminate the use of one-time plant trays."

On top of that, it also offers more room for automation, as labor costs are rising and difficult to attract, that is why more and more processes are automated. "Big automated warehouse installations, for example, have exploded over the last few years. Then, trolley systems need to be designed for its purpose too, and the Uni-Troll is."

More efficiently
According to Andersen, the Uni-Troll trolleys are also more efficient than the traditional trolley system that is being used in the ornamental industry. "RPC (Returnable Plastic Crates) has become an established pool system used by most European retailers for fruit and vegetables. So why introduce a new pool system for recycled plastic trays, like EPT is planning? They will need to invest in high “reserve” volumes (perhaps 40-60 million trays) to cope with the needs during the spring as presently, more than 300 one-way trays are sold yearly. The total pool of RPC (F/V-F all included) is perhaps 10 times bigger than the EPT pool will ever be, why a “small” peak during the springtime in our opinion will lead to fewer investments with minor risks. At the same time, a new universal trolley system for ISO module can give new efficiency and synergies especially as they fit the trucks perfectly, four by four, and users can double stack them in traditional trucking of FMCG and can also use them for internal purposes in the retail shops."

Ornamental industry still hesitant
But the ornamental industry is still hesitant to start using this system, but why? "It takes time and some big parties need to decide if they want to work with it or not. The interest among many trolley users is definitely there, but the realization takes time. Especially as the ornamental industry is so used to using the 'old fashioned' trolley system. We are in touch with the big parties as well as retailers. Because the retailers are the ones that should start to demand it from the growers or wholesalers. Only in this way, it can be changed."

"Now you may ask, why do you worry, leave it like it is. Of course we can do that. We already sold and are still selling a lot of our trolleys to other industries, but we just find it a shame that it is not being picked up widely in this sector yet. There is so much potential and so much to gain for all players in the ornamental industry. Therefore, we keep presenting our universal trolley system and its advantages."

New aluminum trolley
And maybe the new aluminum line may awaken some new interest. "We have experimented with aluminium to reduce own weight of the trolleys. We now have prototypes of a Uni-Troll Alu-Line, and expect we can introduce it to the market within the coming 6-12 months."

For more information
Uni-Troll Europe
Søren Bøgede Andersen
Tel. +45 70 60 11 20
[email protected]