Loadhog Limited, the multi Queen’s Award winning designer and manufacturer of innovative returnable packaging solutions, has experienced increasing interest in its line of eco-friendly pallet securing products. The company is currently working on developing its 17-year-old Pallet Lid system by integrating automation technology. This will significantly reduce waste, labour and time spent securing the load to a pallet for several retail and e-commerce giants.
Sky, Unipart Logistics, Poste Italiane and lately Penguin Random House are already avid users of the Pallet Lid, with the growth in interest deriving from the product’s ability to replace single use packaging resources such as stretch wrap and banding. Loadhog has recently announced significant success off the back of this interest, obtaining the 2020 Queen’s Award for International Trade as well as the 2019 SBA Outstanding Business of the Year Award. The company’s original and first invention, the Pallet Lid, was brought to market in 2003, with the intention to replace the 220,000 tonnes of stretch wrap and other consumable packaging resources being utilised throughout the UK at that time.
Last year Loadhog estimated that three million pallets of stretch wrap were eliminated by customers utilising the Pallet Lid. Based on a recent business case this is equivalent to 108 million metres of stretch wrap, almost enough to wrap around the earth three times.
Since the launch of its first product, Loadhog has introduced numerous innovative returnable packaging solutions and has expanded its reach across the globe. Its turnover has increased by 79% in the last three years, with exports up 181%, assisted by the launch of various containers and material handling equipment.
Remaining at the forefront of the global campaign to reduce single use packaging resources, Loadhog has also remained resilient during the recent outbreak. The business continues to perform by offering versatile packaging solutions, enabling companies to set-up its first home delivery distribution network and a click and collect service in response to the changing needs of today’s consumer. With the lockdown accelerating the growth of e-commerce, home delivery and automated warehousing Loadhog is focussing its packaging design around new solutions which integrate seamlessly with automation technology to deliver cost perfection.
It is clear that the future of packaging will shift dramatically after the recent outbreak and Loadhog anticipate growth in the investment in returnable packaging solutions, as businesses are challenged to be even more environmentally aware and require, more than ever, the promise of a substantial return on their investment. Not only are the packaging solutions they are trading re-usable, they are also predominantly manufactured from recycled plastic, with over 60% of the products made by Loadhog in 2019 being manufactured from recycled material. The business has set a vision for 2023 aiming to increase that percentage to more than 70%.
The latest case study shows the Pallet Lid being utilised by well-known publisher Penguin Random House (PRH). With RFID tracking technology Penguin has managed to maximise the potential of this product, tracing its resources throughout their closed loop operation and safeguarding their goods and packaging resources. This project began two years ago with the PRH team sitting round the table to discuss what exactly could be done within their own distribution to minimise generated waste. With the extensive media coverage surrounding single-use plastic the project was moved along rapidly.
Having been in logistics for more than 20 years, head of operations at Penguin, Neil Springall led the project and said; “What we particularly liked about the Pallet Lid is just how speedily we could use the product and we found the benefits to be absolutely phenomenal. On average it was taking us about three minutes to stretch wrap one pallet where as we’ve now got the speed down to about 20 seconds to apply the Lid.” “Equally when the customer received the Pallet Lid they were finding that they could take it off within seconds and they wouldn’t have to cut off the plastic waste. They just stack the Lids, send them back to us and we scan them back into the operation here.”
PRH has managed to reduce its use of single-use plastic by more than 47%, a phenomenal amount in just its first year of adopting this new product. The company has ambitions to continue pushing that percentage higher and campaigning for the market to make a bigger difference, speaking out at various trade conferences.
Loadhog’s next movement will be to launch their new line of automation products targeted towards businesses which are implementing automated warehousing. The company’s design team have been finalising this exciting development by utilising the business’s vast E-retail customer base, identifying solutions to new problems in integrating packaging with automation technology. Loadhog has an R&D objective which states that 25% of its turnover must come from products less than four years old. This instils a drive throughout the company to invent, challenge and implement the latest innovation.
Loadhog managing director, Shaun Khan had the following comments: “We make the biggest difference when customers get involved and drive the developments forward alongside our design engineers and packaging experts. Awards and case studies help us get the message out there but it often comes down to a business’s willingness to make significant change and its drive to challenge the industry to do more to reduce single-use resources which determine the strength of a project. We’re looking at how the future of packaging is shaping up and which forward-thinking businesses, like Sky, Unipart Logistics, Poste Italiane and Penguin, are going to make the difference in packaging innovation.”
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