The case for reusable containers is getting stronger. The ability of beverage-makers to ship products in reusable cartons — some of which also function as in-store displays — is resulting in potentially powerful cost savings while also giving companies an environmentally friendly aura.
At the beginning of a new year, it’s customary to look forward and imagine the future. In keeping with that tradition, let’s fast-forward five years into the future to look at the challenges and opportunities that managers will face with their 2020 fleets.
Even the smallest beverage distributors in today’s marketplace have a vastly expanded range of products to market. Thus, they’re increasingly turning to fleet vehicles — large and small — to promote many smaller and newer brands with eye-catching mobile graphics.
Just a few decades ago, beverage fleet managers worked with a well-established and generally predictable set of equipment-related variables to arrive at a total fleet operating cost that could be factored in to the wholesale product prices charged by a distributor.
In spite of generally positive performance out on the road, diesel-electric hybrid drivetrains have had less than stellar success in the North American truck market. So much so that Eaton Corp., a manufacturer of hybrid components, has recently announced that it will discontinue offering hybrid drivetrains in North America.
When Kansas City, Mo.-based Boulevard Brewing Co., now a part of Puurs, Belgium-based Duvel Moortgat, realized that the craft brewing business it had been building since 1989 was outgrowing its infrastructure and equipment, the company knew it needed to turn to automation to support its growth.