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The power of pooling reusable containers – what’s right for you?

So – how does one even begin to implement Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) into their supply chain? The answer’s a lot easier than you may think – and it’s called pooling. Pooling reusable containers offers the benefits of a better container, with the partnership of a pooling provider that runs the process efficiently.

Determining how best to allocate capital is an important business decision that affects your growth, competitive differentiation and your long-term strategy. Taking advantage of leasing or renting assets can be an excellent way to reap the benefits of high-quality products while avoiding the maintenance and liability that comes with ownership – and, of course, saving you the full expense of buying. Believe it or not, container pooling is possible. So how does it work, exactly?

What is pooling, anyway?

The term “pooled assets” refers to any resources brought together to maximize advantages and/or minimize risk to users. Leasing assets may offer more benefits than owning — which helps explain why the equipment rental market is slated to grow 15 percent to $59.4 billion between now and 2021.

For grocery retailers and suppliers, there are many elements of their businesses that can be leased or rented that make more sense than purchasing – like buildings, forklifts, pallets, and transportation services. (Just a few that come to mind.) Asset pooling is a wise and beneficial investment for many businesses.

Why asset pooling makes sense

Another very relevant example of that principle in action is reusable packaging. RPCs (reusable plastic containers) can be leased from a third party service provider that “pools” the assets, such as Tosca. Tosca is a pooler who owns millions of reusable containers and rents them to companies for the purpose of transporting their perishable products through the supply chain – from farm or plant to retail store or point of consumption. Such systems save grocers the expense and hassle of having to develop, manufacture, clean, maintain and manage their own RPC pool — or of going the other route and using less-efficient, less environmentally friendly, more labor-intensive and more damage prone corrugated containers for their shipments. Container pooling offers numerous benefits in both efficiency and sustainability.

We worry about food safety so you don’t have to

When leasing RPCs from Tosca, you benefit from 50-plus years of industry knowledge shipping product in reusable containers. At the same time, as a pooler, Tosca is entirely responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of the containers. You will not have to worry about equipment depreciation, replacement or upgrades. After every use, Tosca inspects, washes and sanitizes the containers in accordance to our food safety policies in order to maintain one of the world’s most stringent food safety management standards, ISO 22000 certification. The established procedures within our food safety system ensure we are providing the highest quality, food-safe reusable packaging for the perishable food supply chain. Container pooling with Tosca handles the hassle of food safety for you with the highest standards.

Container pooling with Tosca saves money and increases sustainability

You can test a cost-free container pooling program

Other general benefits of leasing? If you want to test new equipment or even a packaging change – that can be done on a cost-free trial basis. Leasing gives you the ability to evaluate the benefits without the longer-term commitment that comes with ownership.

All that lets you maintain your focus on making strategic improvements and investments aimed at bringing value to your customers and improving your bottom line. Given the highly competitive nature of the retail grocery industry, that can only work to your advantage when it comes to building loyalty with existing clientele while attracting new customers. The trial will allow you to see the benefits container pooling can have on your supply chain.

Why buy resources if you don’t have to?

Once you consider all the variables associated with owning versus leasing, you may find your business is better served if you focus your expertise and capital resources on customer-facing improvements — and let the experts at Tosca handle your product transportation. As the largest pooler of RPCs in North America, asset pooling with Tosca can help your business work better for you.

To learn more about the cost saving benefits of reusables, click here.