With a 25% share of the European market, Schoeller Allibert is by far the leading supplier of RTP containers on the continent. The two companies that give the group its name were founded in 1958 and 1962, respectively, and along the way the company has absorbed other leading names in the sector, such as Wavin Trepak, Arca Systems and Linpac Allibert, into its organization.
“Schoeller Allibert has been formed out of numerous smaller entities over the years but can be said to be much more than the sum of its parts,” says Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer Ludo Gielen. “Each new acquisition or merger brought a complementary product range or expertise into the mix to enhance the larger group.”
Schoeller Allibert focuses on the seven key segments of agriculture, automotive, food and food processing, beverage, retail, industrial manufacturing, and pooling. For each it provides an adaptable range of innovative products.
“We offer a comprehensive range of standard and tailor-made RTP packaging solutions across ten key product segments: foldable large containers, foldable small containers, rigid pallet containers, beverage crates and trays, stackable and stack/nest handheld boxes, UN pails, foldable IBCs, pallets, and dollies,” says Mr. Gielen. “In addition to our standard models, we also offer a bespoke design and engineering service.”
Each product group serves a special market. For example its small foldable containers are used in the fresh food supply chain from field to fork, reducing the need for repeated handling of the goods and thereby reducing spoilage of perishable fruits and vegetables.
Stackable containers are frequently used in industrial manufacturing, where they are used for in-house stock management and warehousing. Beverage crates are used in conjunction with a bottle deposit system that is widely used in countries such as Belgium and Germany. There, beer, water and fruit juice are often sold by the crate containing PET or glass bottles.
When the crate is full of empties, it is returned to the retailer, and the deposit paid is refunded. Crates and bottles can be reused several times, cutting down on the resources required to make new ones.
Schoeller Allibert’s containers are designed and manufactured in-house from high-quality polymers that are 100% recyclable. Great care is taken with the design of each product with a view to optimizing its lifespan, which is currently up to ten years in industrial conditions.
“Our products represent the green alternative to disposable packaging solutions,” says Mr. Gielen. “Our efforts are continuously focused on reducing overall energy consumption and cutting CO2 emissions. Our products help polish our customers’ green credentials.”
Schoeller Allibert has its own dedicated team operating the green transit packaging stream so that when a customer changes from a disposable to a returnable solution, the process is managed smoothly.
Innovation continues to be one of the most important drivers of Schoeller Allibert’s success. On average, the company launches at least one new product every month.
“We recently launched a new vintage-style beer crate which combines the appearance of a traditional wooden beer crate with all the protection and marketing benefits of a modern distribution container,” says Mr. Gielen.
Another innovation is the new EuroClick® range, which offers a host of unique benefits including a click booster to increase the height of the crate and a click holder to ensure 100% readability while optional drainage holes ensure that the containers meet fire safety regulations.
“EuroClick® is a versatile transport container solution that grows with the customer,” explains Mr. Gielen. “Its innovative design enhances logistic efficiency and can be adapted to the customer’s needs as these change over time.”
Manufacturing takes place at nine factories throughout Europe and one in the USA. Including sales and production sites, Schoeller Allibert has around 50 subsidiaries worldwide and employs a total workforce of 1,800 people. Turn-over is expected to reach 575 million EUR this year.
“We are a global player with a very strong European footprint and a well-organized presence,” says Mr. Gielen. “The way the company has grown through acquisitions and mergers, we have a unique product range that includes a solution for any transit packaging requirement. Our goal for the future is to build on our strengths to increase our market share in Europe and strengthen our position in the global market.”