Customer magazine feature for CHEP written by Richard Stewart


Next-Generation Pallets, Smooth-wall Food Containers Readied for Launch

Plans are being laid to roll out several new-design CHEP pallets and containers this summer. Innovative new products include the 1208 Next Generation pallet to be field trialed in Spain; the 4840 Blue Step pallet, set for a USA launch; and the smooth-wall DRICON 1208 foldable large container, targeting the food industry in Europe .


The 1208 Next Generation pallet, measuring 1200 x 800 mm, is a mixed-material pallet featuring high-density materials, which are proprietary to CHEP. The new materials are expected to deliver improved impact strength and durability, better nail retention and other important benefits, reports John Kenna, Sr. Marketing Manager.

“The high-density material will provide improved performance and a better appearance. It will also be a superior pallet for automated retrieval and storage system (AS/RS) applications,” says Mr. Kenna. The pallet has been successfully tested in CHEP's Innovation Center in Orlando , Florida .

“We will see less board splitting, block twisting and better nail and skid retention. This new pallet will be light years ahead of what's currently in the marketplace in Europe ,” adds Mr. Kenna. “We think it improves our competitive differentiation and provides better protection for our customers' products.”


CHEP USA is currently trialing the new 4840 Blue Step Pallet in preparation for launch this summer. It represents an engineered impact solution which distributes the force of impact for better product protection, according to Felicia Littlejohn, Product Manager, Pallets.

The Blue Step pallet is named for the redesigned solid corner block, which is manufactured from a dense material and stepped to accommodate a thicker lead board and to brace stringer boards. The new design also puts more separation between the lead board and the following board, she explains.

“It takes rougher handling before damage occurs. In a hard impact with a forklift tine, there is a good chance that only one board will break rather than two, which commonly occurs with pallets,” says Ms. Littlejohn.” The new pallet provides a wider spread for nailing and better nail retention for improved strength and durability.

“The Blue Step Pallet is designed to hold together better and stay within spec,” she says, noting that reduced variability will make it well suited for AS/RS operations. It also provides improved support for common sizes of packages. “With this platform, there's a better chance that loads will be sitting on an actual wood support vs. gaps between boards,” she adds.


The DRICON 1208 foldable container, measuring 1200 x 800 mm, features smooth walls inside and out to facilitate thorough cleaning and promote hygiene. “There are no holes in the walls and minimal ribs that trap dirt, making the container well suited for the food industry,” relates Thomas Storteboom, Product Manager, Large Container Projects.

An optional shelf provides protection for fragile products. Supported by ridges on the walls, it divides the container into upper and lower sections. “The shelf allows customers with crushable products to utilize all the space in the container, taking the weight off the product on the bottom for reduced damage,” explains Mr. Storteboom.

“The smooth walls will allow CHEP to consistently deliver a cleaner container to the customer,” he adds, noting that the new DRICON 1208 will open up new markets to CHEP that the company currently cannot serve with existing products. The container is well suited for products such as packaged coffee, bulk candy, powdered ingredients and other bulk food items.