Hot on the heels of the introduction of its first fully electric 3.5-tonne truck to offer customers zero-emission sustainable pallet deliveries and collections in Oxford, Darcica Logistics has received funding from the OxLEP Business Investment Fund to reduce the amount of plastic used on its pallets too.
Darcica, part of Palletways UK’s express palletised freight network, applied to OxLEP to purchase new pallet wrapping equipment for a more environmentally friendly, efficient system and further reduce the company’s carbon impact. The grant application was successful and Darcica recently received the funding from the government’s Getting Building Fund. The Business Investment Fund was put in place to support the county’s businesses into a phase of economic renewal following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Melanie Tattersall, director of Sustainability and Communications for Darcica, explains: “We offer sustainable logistic solutions for our customers – from plastic-free fulfilment to electric deliveries via our zero emissions fleet – but were still wrapping our pallets manually in black plastic wrap. Through the grant we’ve changed to a clear, eco-friendly shrink wrap which is applied using a powered pre-stretch pallet wrapping machine. It reduces product damage and wastage and it stretches the plastic up to four times more than manual wrapping and what is used is now fully recyclable. Altogether making goods more stable when being transported and delivered.
“The wrapping machine also makes the process more efficient reducing it from 5-10 minutes to manually wrap a single pallet to one minute automatically. Based on current pallet numbers, this will save us 1.5 hours of manual labour per day to use for developing the business and taking on more customers, other projects and work in the warehouse instead.”
Helen Brind, growth hub manager, OxLEP commented: “Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is pleased to have supported such an amazing organisation operating within Oxfordshire. We hope the funds go someway to helping the business develop and grow.”
In the future Darcica hopes to be able to use the same machine with alternative, more eco-friendly pallet wrap materials like biodegradable shrink wrap or paper pallet wrap. However these alternatives are not yet widely available in the UK and are considerably costlier, so not viable as pallet wrap products at this time.