Friday, June 19, 2009

PCA Thinking Out Of The Box

I had never heard of the Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), but Dick Kearley, owner of Robrick Nursery, knows the company well. PCA is based in Orlando, Fla., and it's based less than two hours from Kearley's operation.

I passed by PCA's booth today and met Cheryl Hicks, a sales and service representative who told me a little about Bulk Liner Shippers. The beauty of Bulk Liner Shippers is growers can ship up to 60 trays of 3-inch liner trays in a single box. If growers need to ship 4-inch liners, they can send 42 4-inch liner trays at a time, and 30 6-inch trays will fit in a single box if that's what growers need to ship.

Hicks says Robrick is able to ship plants in Bulk Liner Shippers at about $36 per box. An alternative to a box of this size, of course, is a bunch of smaller boxes. Robrick used to ship liners in boxes that measured about 2 feet squared, but it only shipped four trays at a time.

Bulk Shippers Liners have now changed how Robrick Nursery ships.

"Everybody has had plenty of experience with plants being shipped on Federal Express in a conventional box," Kearley says. "They know about plants tumbling -- or, if you drive off the dock with a forklift. We've had no damage in over 500 shipments in this box. No tumbling, bouncing and breaking."

"The box normally holds 30 trays of plants, but it's strong enough that if you put a second box on top of it you can put 60 trays of plants on a pallet."

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