MINNEAPOLIS -- Pillsbury here has become the first company to offer nationwide shipping of its frozen products via the Chep pallet rental system.
Starting this month, all Pillsbury products across all categories are being shipped through the pallet rental system. The company's frozen food lines include Green Giant vegetables; Jeno's, Totino's and Pappalo's pizzas, and Pillsbury Toaster Strudel Pastries.
Steve Gartner, vice president of distribution operations for Pillsbury, told SN the Chep program costs his company more in up-front expenses. "What we're trying to do is offset those costs through damage reduction, productivity gain and carrier productivity," he said.
"A lot of our customers are requesting Chep because it very clearly cleans up and simplifies their process involving pallet exchange," he added. "In addition, it also takes the carrier out of the exchange problem."
Gartner said the use of a rental pallet system will help Pillsbury's efforts in Efficient Consumer Response, the industrywide movement to reduce distribution costs. He's confident Pillsbury won't suffer by being the first company to offer Chep pallets in the shipment of frozen goods.
"We feel comfortable with our capabilities, working with our warehouse providers and our own facilities, that we can implement the Chep program nationwide from our full-service distribution centers."
Ronald Margulis, a spokesman for Chep, Park Ridge, N.J., said rental pallet systems have not caught on yet in frozens because of the industry's concerns about space.