The Covid-19 pandemic, rising shipping costs, and the shortage of shipping containers all have an impact on the international fruit and vegetable trade. Shipping delays and backlogs in ports lead to product damage and loss. These developments make proper packaging all the more important. Qingdao Hengsheng Plastic Co., Ltd. is a specialized manufacturer and supplier of plastic crates for agricultural products such as okra, asparagus, fresh ginger, cherries, mangosteen, and grapes.
Vivien is a sales manager at Qingdao Hengsheng Plastic. She first introduced the unique characteristics of these plastic crates. "We produce three kinds of polypropylene (pp) crates: conductive, nonconductive, and regular. The crates use an integrated design. They are very tough, and collapsible. The material is waterproof and oilproof, sturdy, and re-usable. In addition, we can make the crates to the specific dimensions that our clients need."
When asked about the impact of this material on the environment, Vivien replied, "the foldable fruit and vegetable crates use pure raw materials, without additional poor-quality material. That makes them friendly for the environment. Our crates are stronger than traditional crates, use less raw material, and can be used over and over again. This helps our clients save on the cost price of raw material."
Packaging is an important step between production areas and end markets. Cardboard boxes have been popular in the agricultural by-product market for a long time because the cost price of production is low.
When asked about the comparison between cardboard boxes and plastic crates, Vivien replied: "The greatest disadvantage of cardboard boxes is the difficulty with air circulation inside the box. That can greatly reduce the commercial value of products. And some poor-quality cardboard boxes will soften when some of the products rot. Soft cardboard boxes can not protect any of the products inside. Moreover, most cardboard boxes are single use. That adds to the cost price and waste."
Qingdao Hengsheng Plastic produces more than 10 million foldable plastic crates per year. They primarily export their products to Mexico, Egypt, Spain, Israel, Brazil, Turkey, and the USA.
"Since last year the shipping cost has soared and shipping containers are hard to find. These conditions have an impact on our company as well. Our export volume declined by 30% compared to last year. In addition, many of our loyal clients see their businesses suffer, so they reduce their purchase volume with us." Vivien continued, "but some traders who used cardboard boxes in the past now use plastic crates because their products spend more time in shipping containers, due to back logs in ports and delays in shipping periods. The plastic crates are sturdier and their price-quality ratio is better. We have received many inquiries from new customers."
"Our crates for okra and asparagus mostly end up in North America. The North American markets have high requirements for the quality of food-grade plastic packaging. That is why we strictly control the quality of raw material and the manufacturing process. Our products are ISO9001 and SGS certified."
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Qingdao Hengsheng Plastic Co., Ltd.