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Fastmile Saves with Pallet Bands

Better Results & Lower Costs Lead Fastmile Logistics to Use Rubber Pallet Bands

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The Challenge

As business costs skyrocket it can be hard to find economical efficient ways to cut costs. However, making one simple switch allowed this logistics company to realize substantial savings while decreasing labor demands. Faced with plastic wrap costs averaging $14,000 a year, Fastmile Logistics, a solutions company, looked to reduce their packaging material and disposal costs.

Historically, as loose shipments of cabinets arrived at their storage facility, they wrapped the pallet load in plastic wrap. However, each time they needed to load an outgoing truck they had to unwrap and re-wrap the pallet loads due to the product mix.

This time-consuming and costly task drained labor resources and required a substantial investment in materials. The search for an alternative lead them to investigate pallet bands and with the help of the Aero Rubber team they identified ideal size bands for their pallets.

The Fix

Open to new ideas, but still slightly skeptical Fastmile agreed to try out pallet bands in one of their warehouses. After evaluation, Fastmile found rubber pallet bands not only cost effective but also a time saver. “We have been using the bands since 2014 and found that in plastic wrap product cost alone we are saving around $5,000 a year,” claims Brad Ward the general manager at the Orlando location.

Because of their unique pallet loads, Fastmile uses a pallet size larger than your typical pallet to hold the cabinets. “Using custom pallets for the cabinets, the size of the rubber bands was just as important because they had to fit with our custom pallet size.” But that wasn’t a problem. Fastmile quickly realized pallet bands were available to fit all of their needs from 56-128” Circumference.

“We use two bands, one at the top and one at the bottom to keep the load stable and have found no problems with the bands stabilizing our loads,” Ward answered when asked about how well the bands have worked for them. “They work so well, we use them at our other locations when those locations have had the same application.” He commented that the pallet band elasticity was instrumental to secure palletized loads.

The Benefits

Aero’s rubber pallet bands were not the only alternative Fastmile tried, but it was the most efficient. “We tried the polyurethane with metal clasps. But, the clasps were time consuming and if you over tightened them, it could lead to product damage,” Ward explained. The other obstacle was the size of the pallet. The larger pallets made it difficult to apply other methods with just one person.

After seeing how tightening the metal clasps led to difficulties, he enjoyed the way the pallet bands snap into place after being applied to the pallet. No extra steps were needed, application only took seconds by one worker and the product remained undamaged. Fastmile expanded their tests with Aero pallet bands and eventually adopted them.

Ward quickly realized that his savings topped his original estimate and reduced their spending by more than a third. He went on to explain the savings is not counting trash costs which he estimates at another $200 yearly. Now, four years later Fastmile continues to be happy with the bands and has expanded their use to other facilities. Ward believes the other locations have seen similar savings.

The bands do have a very specific use inside their warehouse and are not seen on every pallet. “Most of our pallets come in wrapped and leave with the same wrap on them which doesn’t give us the opportunity to use the bands,” Understanding the bands are not for every warehouse application, Ward would still recommend the bands to anyone looking to make changes where wrapping and re-wrapping take place within a warehouse.

The strategy to switch from plastic wrap to pallet bands, which are reusable, led to yearly savings of more than $5,000 while keeping or improving efficiencies because they no longer had to deal with the wrapping and unwrapping every time they needed to unload and re-load the cabinets. The bands fulfilled Fastmile’s objective of lowering the amount spent on plastic wrap and reducing their trash costs.

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