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Is Software Alone a Fix For All Issues Related to Returnable Container Management?

When containers are shipped, there are many back-end processes that must be in place before software or any other technical application can be used to help with asset management.

The industry is moving more and more towards green operating practices, and at the same time most companies are also facing significant challenges in controlling their returnable containers.

When containers are shipped, several back-end processes must be in place before a software or any other technical application can solve these issues within the supply chain.


Absence of proper training and back-office processes for container management can produce a long list of problems. The resulting lack of accurate supply chain visibility causes high container loss rates and damages which are difficult to pinpoint and prevent.

While pressing a button on a computer or simply scanning container tags will help to improve the visibility and data flows for container movements, if the people involved in monitoring data integrity and standardized processes are not properly trained and invested in the quality of this information, there will be no credibility the data is timely and correct.

Companies may already have standard procedures in place, but they might not match industry best practices for tracking and container management if this is not one of their core competencies.


The capital expense required to maintain owned returnable packaging is very cost-intensive. In order to protect these assets, all parties involved in the supply chain must dedicate the appropriate labor resources and infrastructure to track and manage the containers.

A well-run container management solution provides powerful supply chain analysis tools through actionable data and KPIs. The result is a well-supported team at both the supplier and OEM plant locations to protect valuable assets in the field. In addition, having dedicated people responsible for container processes, supported by a scalable tracking software, can result in immediate cost savings.

Author: Evi Schulz, Manager Managed Services at CHEP Automotive and Industrial Solutions

To read more about CHEP Solutions click here

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