With the help of stackable plastic boxes, tons of apples and other fruit and vegetable products are stored throughout Europe every year. However, due to the sharp increase in electricity and energy costs, long-term storage has become considerably more expensive this year. Accordingly, growers are trying to store their crops as efficiently as possible and reduce electricity costs as much as possible. The new CTX MS® box system from Europlast is designed to help them do just that.
Mario Guggenbichler (r) and sales partner Walter Ahn (Wasto-Pac Ltd) at Fruit Logistica 2022.
The manufacturer of plastic containers and boxes, based in Dellach im Drautal (Carinthia - Austria), has already been known for many years for its efficient and innovative solutions in the agricultural sector. The company's presence at Fruit Logistica 2022 in Berlin was predominantly focused on the new CTX MS® apple box. "The letters MS stand for multi-stacking: this means that our boxes are compatible with existing solutions from competitors, which is why the respective user does not have to completely change his storage boxes, but can also continue to use his 'old' boxes," Sales Manager Mario Guggenbichler says.
The standard format of the CTX/MS harvest box is 1200x1000x780mm (width x length x height).
With its innovative hole structure, the box is designed to contribute to optimal ventilation and long-term storage of the respective stored products, Guggenbichler continues. "Overall, the ventilation holes are 20% larger than in standard harvest boxes on the market. This results in easier and more targeted temperature control during storage, which in turn contributes to significant cost savings. According to initial studies, electricity consumption can be reduced by up to 6kw/hour thanks to the use of the CTX MS®, which will pay for itself quickly over a life cycle of at least ten years. The lower energy consumption during storage is particularly relevant in times of rising costs."
The CTX MS ® has twice the opening area of its predecessor. Europlast calculations show a reduction in CO2 emissions per crate and storage season of up to 2kg.
Although the first and official presentation -during the pandemic- only took place in Berlin, the crates are already being used successfully on many fruit farms, whether in Austria, Lake Constance, the Benelux countries, or Poland. Guggenbichler: "Our crates are highly suitable for storing apples in particular. Nevertheless, the box can be used for all stored products. The tremendous, international response at Fruit Logistica clearly confirmed the application potential of our solution."