In one of my August 2020 blogs, I mentioned the concerns we have here at Solar Solve, about our almost-exclusive use of wooden packing cases, when, under some circumstances, cardboard packaging would suffice. You can read here the sorts of things that concern us.
One decision we did make at the time, was to invest in a machine that will fold sheets of cardboard into multiple shapes, so that we can customise a rigid cardboard packing case to the optimum dimensions that it needs to be, to effectively and efficiently protect and transport its contents to their destination. Unfortunately and frustratingly, this project has become a victim of Covid-19, as the machine supplier we were working with seems to have shut down for an undisclosed period of time. We may have to start looking elsewhere if nothing transpires soon.
Solar Solve does currently use standard size cardboard boxes and tubes, to transport smaller items quite successfully but they are not acceptable to some customers.
For example, for most shipyards, the physical size of the packing case does not matter. It is rarely a consideration because they use forklift trucks to transport just about everything around their facility. They insist everything, other than specialist items, that is to be installed on a vessel, has to be supplied in wooden boxes, irrespective of size. This is to ensure the contents do not get damaged as they are moved around the site. It makes absolute good sense to us.
The problem is that some customers prefer cardboard, some don’t and some are not bothered. We need to get a system in place that will enable us to give our customers the type of packaging they want, once we have found and installed a suitable cardboard packaging machine.
Over the next few months we expect to be canvassing customers for their absolute requirements and/or suggestions.
Wooden packing cases contradict the goals and altruistic aspects of environmentally friendly issues that are the objectives of ISO 14001, the International Standard for Environmental management Systems.
Nevertheless, satisfying the needs and demands of every one of Solar Solve’s vitally important customers has to be our main objective. They need to receive exactly what they want, if we can supply it. We are working on it but Covid-19 is not helping.
Watch this space but in the meantime, any comments from readers, regarding this subject, will be welcome.
John H Lightfoot MBE