The collapsible lilycrate

Product features:

  • Dimensions 60 x 40 x 23 cm
  • Excellent ventilation properties, both in the bottom and in the side walls
  • Very smooth inside of the crate so no product damage
  • Low folding height and 80% volume reduction (1 folded out equals 5 folded down)
  • Reinforced bottom suitable for automatic processing
  • Active folding system by using. a “lift lock” closure
  • Suitable for high loads
  • Prepared for barcoding and RFID
  •  Made of recycled plastic
  • 100% recyclable

Current purchase price € 5,15

    Product quality

    The optimum combination of air permeability and stacking strength has been found in the design of the Utilysys® folding crate. The product can be ventilated sufficiently in these crates and that is good for quality preservation.

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    Lifespan

    Plastic is a robust material for packaging. The sturdiness of the Utilysys® folding crate is also in the special construction. Experience shows that this crate can be used for up to ten years in flowerbulbs logistics.

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    Circulation

    The Utilysys® crate is designed to stay out of the waste for as long as possible. This makes this crate  suitable for use in the circular economy. This crate can be completely recycled at the end of its life.

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    Low costs

    Due to the construction, this crate has a higher purchase price. As a reusable package, the Utilysys® crate is cheaper per year. The return costs are lower than the purchase price of new or used crates. Moreover, the customer has no costs of waste. These two constitute the yield.

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    Footprint

    The production of plastic crates requires a lot of energy. Reusing Utilysys® crates instead of single-use crates saves greenhousegas emissions. Transporting empty folding crates saves CO2 emissions as well because 5x as many folding crates fit on a pallet.

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Product quality

Store and transport of flowerbulbs and perennials take place under temperature controlled conditions. The function of this crate is mainly  that the products stay comfortably in it. Flowerbulbs and perennials are starting material intended for the cultivation of  cutflowers or potted plants. The climate around the bulb or the young plant also determines the quality of the end product. Not only the temperature is of great infuence, the ethylene in the ambient air must also be removed through effective ventilation. Utilysys® folding crates have excellent air permeability. The bottom and the sidewalls are constructed in such a way that the open area is very large.

To prevent physical damage to products, the surfaces have been smoothened everywhere. Furthermore an upper edge has been added that functions as a guide channel. As a result, a full crate easily slides on the crate below during stacking, so that damage caused by going askew is prevented.

The Utilysys® folding crate is equipped with label holders for applying the accompanying product information. Optionally, a barcode can be molded in, making crates recognizable for automated systems. Applying RFID is also an option. This gives users maximum possibilities to integrate the crates into their own logistics system. And the customer can rely on the products being delivered in accordance with expectations.

Lifespan

Utilysys® crates are strong enough to stack on pallets for storage and transport of products under temperature controlled conditions. Perfectly suitable for transporting all types of flowerbulbs and perennials. The bottom and side walls have high air permeability. Load-bearing elements are reinforced for robustness. The patented lift-lock system has been incorporated into this crate in order to be able to fold the crate smoothly and open and close it easily. The edges are smooth, making it easy to stack.

To be able to continue using the crates for a long time and without any problems, a number of tips for use have been included in the manual. It is important that the crates are loaded with care on stable pallets on a straight surface, so that the weight of the load is well distributed. The use of a lashing strap is recommended during transport, provided that it is applied correctly. The use of chemicals is not recommended because it can cause the crate to become dull or discoloured.

Circulation

In the linear economy, a crate filled with flowerbulbs or perennials travels to the customer to end up with the waste afterwards. To prevent this, the cutflower and potted plant growers offer the used crates for sale after planting. Because the market for used crates has slowly but surely become saturated, customers have a large stock of second hand crates. These go to landfill or are being ground to plastic granules as raw material for recycled plastic. There is a beter alternative.

Sometimes the rigid (non-collapsible) crates are taken back by the supplier. In that case, considerable savings can be realized with Utilysys® folding crates during the return transport of empty crates. This requires only 20% of the original volume.

Reuse is higher on the sustainability ladder than recycling. Utilysys® folding crates require only 20% of the volume when folded, making return transport of crates to the supplier viable. This relieves the customers waste management. Returning crates requires a careful administration. Supplier and customer can arrange this in consultation. Utilysys Foundation offers a helping hand in this by offering the ‘model rules’ for return packaging. This contains the rules that the supplier and the buyer can establish together. These model rules are intended as a guideline, which users can adjust at their own discretion. Read more about this on out News page.

Low costs

With Utilysys® folding crates, environmental benefits and financial benefits go hand in hand. For companies that reuse their crates, the annual purchase of new crates is superfluous. That is the major part of the cost savings. Add to that the fact that the customer no longer has any costs of waste. Last but not least, the benefit of a lower storage volume of folding crates also counts. This can have a positive effect on the logistics flow on the work floor.

In a logistics system with return packaging, there are also costs of return transport, cleaning and storage. Also consider a small percentage of scrap due to damaging the crate. How these costs are to be calculated is different in every business situation. For companies considering a  switch to reusable packaging, the Utilysys Foundation offers a calculation model that can be downloaded elsewhere on this site. This model can serve as a guide.

Multi-use crates last longer. The difference between the purchase + waste phase of single-use crates on the one hand and the return costs of reusable crates on the other is the annual return on investment. In current practice, the Utilysys® folding crates are earned back long before the technical lifespan ends. This is good financial news for supplier and buyer, that calls for making agreements about this together.

Footprint

Reuse is a profitable strategy for achieving sustainability objectives. Producing flowerbulbs eco-friendly is paramount naturally, but switching to sustainable packaging will certainly be obvious as well and relatively easy to implement.

The use of plastic packaging is an emotionally charged topic. Governments are taking measures to reduce single-use plastic. In the minds of many, plastic is linked to pollution of the environment. However, plastic crates rarely end up in the sea.

Production

The use of plastic transport packaging (single-use or multiple use) has an impact on climate change. Plastic crates are made by injection molding of HDPE. The raw material consists of pellets from recycling, which are liquefied by heating upto 130 °C . The liquid material is injected into the mold under high pressure and then cooled until the plastic solidifies. This process requires a lot of energy (+ emissions) and water, which is used as sustainably as possible by the manufacturer. The plastic product that results from this is robust and durable and can be used for a long time. So far, single-use and multiple-use plastic crates are equivalent in their environmental impact. Then the differences arise.

Environmental impact in the supply chain

Folding crates are transported to the packing location in 20% of the transport volume. There they are filled like other crates and sent to their destination. In the subsequent journey, the crates do not come from the factory but are reused after return transport and cleaning. This also requires energy (+ emissions) and water. Recycling of plastic is unnecessary for as long as possible. On balance, this reuse yields a considerable saving in energy, emissions and water compared to recycling disposable plastic crates. After many years of use, a high-quality recyclate remains, while the raw material would have degenerated if the crates would have been used once and then recycled year after year.

Waste prevention

In the waste hierarchy of plastic Reuse has priority over Recycling. Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle prevent crates from ending up in waste prematurely for landfill or incineration. The chance that crates unintentionally end up in waste is much smaller within a returnable crates system, because returning empty crates means receipt of the depostit. The crate-owner is well prepared to sort out plastic crates that have become unusable after a service period and dispose of them through a recycling company.

Specifications

  • Material Polyethyleen PE
  • Color Black
  • Material closure Polyoxymethyleen (POM)
  • Weight 2090 gr
  • W x L x H (outside) 399 x 599 x 232 mm
  • W x L x H (inside) 367 x 567 x 222 mm
  • Stacking height (opened) 224 mm
  • Stacking height (folded) 44 mm
  • Usable volume 44.3 Liter
  • Static load 25 kg
  • Static stacking strength 400 kg
  • Identification (optional) Underside 400 mm sidewall
  • Identification (optional) Underside 600 mm sidewall
  • Label holders Both 400 mm sidewalls
  • Palletization
  • Europallet 800x1200 mm
  • Folded in 2400 mm high 200 crates
  • Industrial pallet 1000x1200 mm
  • Folded in 2400 mm high 250 crates
  • Loading sea container Highcube 40 ft
  • Full crates 22 x 50 crates
  • Folded crates 5500 - 6800 crates
    • Divers

    • How can I calculate my benefit?

      The specific business situation of your company in combination with your customer(s) is decisive. As a tool for calculating the financial benefit of Utilysys® crates in your situation, the Utilysys Foundation offers a calculation model that can be downloaded on the Product page of this website.
    • Can the Utilysys® crate also be manufactured in a different version?

      Utilysys® crates can optionally be manufactured with a special identifier or in a different color or in virgin (non-recycled) material. Applying an in-mold barcode or a QR code or RFID is also an option. For customization you can contact our dealer (for companies in flowerbulbs) Twinpack BV or (for companies in perennials) Van Krimpen BV.
    • Are there affordable stacking machines on the market already?

      There are machine stackers in operation in the flowerbulb industry. The economic feasibility is partly determined by the number of hours that these machines can be used. In other industries, also machines are used for folding open and closing folding crates.
    • Are empty crates charged with VAT on return transport to the EU?

      If you import goods from a non-EU country, you pay VAT. This rule also applies to the return transport of empty crates. If you not want to do this at Customs you can also account for it in your VAT return? This way you pay nothing on balance and you prevent unnecessary confiscation of your liquidity. You can read more about applying for a permit here.

      Crate

    • How high can the crate be stacked and is it as strong as a lily crate?

      Tests have shown that the Utilysys® crate is just as strong as the rigid lily crate.
    • Is the design protected?

      The manufacturer of Utilysys® crates has intellectual property rights on the design. The Utilysys Foundation owns the brand.
    • What if a crate breaks?

      With normal use, for purposes for which the Utilysys® crate is designed, this will not happen. We recommend that you pay proper attention to the user manual. In most cases, loose panels can easily be clicked on again. Utilysys Foundation recommends handing in a crate that should be considered lost due to damage to the crate owner. This will provide for settlement and recycling.
    • Have ventilation tests been executed?

      The ventilation properties of the Utilysys® folding crate are optimal. Comparative tests have been executed by PPO-Lisse (a subsection of Wageningen University and Research). In general, it can be said that the ventilation decreases the smaller the size of the flowerbulb. Perhaps a lower sized folding crate will have to be developed for some products.

      Return, cleaning and storage

    • Do the crates have to be returned clean and free of stickers?

      This depends on mutual agreements between supplier and buyer. Utilysys Foundation hereby advises to return crates clean and free of stickers. The folding crate is provided with label holders, so the use of adhesive stickers is not necessary.
    • On which pallets can crates be returned?

      Supplier and buyer must make mutual agreements on this. Utilysys Foundation recommends using clean, undamaged pallets always.
    • Where are the crates cleaned?

      The owner of the Utilysys® crates is free to choose where the crates will be cleaned. Utilysys Foundation advises you to consult the user manual. A specialized cleaning company will generally perform the cleaning according to standard specifications.
    • Are the crates collected in a depot?

      The user will generally store empty crates in his own storadge and arrange the return transport according to the agreement with the owner of the Utilysys® crates. A good alternative is to outsource storage and transport to a logistics service provider. You can obtain more information about this at Container Centralen Benelux.

      Open pool

    • What does participation in the open pool cost?

      After purchasing Utilysys® crates, there are no costs for participating in the open pool. Possibly owners of Utilysys® crates can decide themselves to participate pool services against payment. More information can be obtained at Container Centralen Benelux.
    • Is my company obliged to participate in the open pool?

      As the owner of Utilysys® folding crates, you are free to choose whether you want to participate in crate pool activities. Most crate owners operate solo, but there are also partnerships. Collaboration can be lucrative. If you start operating in a crate pool, collaboration with a service provider can have advantages. Get well informed about this at Container Centralen Benelux.
    • Can growers also use the open pool?

      If flowerbulb or perennial growers pack in Utilysys® crates at the request of the trader, this prevents repackaging. Growers can also purchase Utilysys® crates themselves to fill with flowerbulbs or perennials. Upon delivery to the buyer there is a choice to exchange full for empty, to charge a deposit or to settle the value of the crates.
    • How does the open pool work abroad?

      Everyone in the flowerbulb and perennial industry can buy Utilysys® crates and exchange or settle them with other companies. This is also possible without participation in the open pool. The cost benefits of an open pool are attractive and will be greater as the number of users increases.