A study has found that reusable plastic containers made by Atlanta-based Tosca are four times stronger than standard corrugated boxes.

The study, from researchers at Clemson University, was commissioned by Tosca to evaluate the strength of RPCs vs. corrugated. The findings illustrate how the superior strength of Tosca’s transport packaging solutions for case ready meat provides better product protection and can lower transportation costs, which ultimately lead to greater cost savings throughout the perishables supply chain, according to Tosca.

“Standard corrugated boxes simply don’t withstand the rigors of packing, shipping and handling,” says Eric Frank, president and CEO of Tosca. “We’ve always been confident that RPCs offer a better alternative to standard corrugated boxes based on our experience and results achieved by our customers. This research allows us to further quantify the strength of Tosca RPCs and help prove the significant impact RPCs can make throughout the supply chain.”

For the study, technicians at Clemson’s Transport Package Testing Laboratory, a certified testing laboratory in accordance with the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), conducted research using ASTM D642 testing protocol, a standard test method for determining compressive resistance of shipping containers. Compressive resistance is used to evaluate the ability of shipping containers to successfully survive the compressive forces they are subjected to during transportation, distribution and storage. 

The strength of RPCs is a critical factor in the perishables supply chain, according to Tosca. A stronger container provides superior protection, reduces product damage, and increases the amount of product that can be loaded on each truck, since RPCs can be stacked higher with less risk of damage. This advantage in cube utilization also positively impacts loading efficiencies and overall transportation costs, saving retailers money.

The bottom line savings potential is significant, the company says. On a price per pound basis, every incremental improvement in product protection and waste reduction can add up quickly.