Customer feedback spurred Macro Plastics and Calpine Containers officials to develop two new produce totes.
Initially designed with grape growers in mind, the Macro Tote 5-FV and 6-FV containers can be used for any fresh produce commodity, the manufacturers said in a news release. One was designed to increase shipping efficiency and the other was created to protect produce, ease handling and increase storage capacity.
The Macro Tote 5-FV is made with an injection-mold process and is collapsible. It has ergonomic handles for easy field handling and weighs just over 1 1/3 pounds when empty. The 5-FV has a peak depth of 6.3 inches and can hold 36 pounds of produce, the news release said.
A flip-style latch and hinged edges make the 5-FV collapsible, allowing it to fold down to a flat 1.34 inches tall. Customers report the 5-FV is saving them money because of improved packout and minimized freight costs, especially for one-way shipments, said Peter Piccioli, vice president of agriculture sales for Macro Plastics, Fairfield, Calif.
The Macro Tote 6-FV is designed to protect fresh produce, the release said, with rounded corners and smooth surfaces. Grips on the bottom of the tote allow workers to easily handle the 6-FV during harvest. The totes have more than 400 air vents, which speeds pre-cooling and extends shelf life, the release said.
Although lightweight, the 6-FV totes have a load capacity of 28 pounds and can be stacked three pallets high. They have a maximum stack weight of about 1,200 pounds, which allows users to maximize use of storage space, said Calpine containers marketing director Eva Hammond in the news release.