IBC Transitions From Wooden to Plastic Shipping Pallets

igps logoORLANDO, Fla. — Independent Beverage Corporation (IBC), the North Carolina based soft drink company that is known for its unique and popular cherry flavored soda, Cheerwine, has completed its conversion from a standard wooden pallet product distribution platform to a full system integration of iGPS Logistics plastic pallets.

IBC President, Marc Robinson noted that the company always used the industry’s standard wooden two-way entry 36×36 beverage size pallet for producing and shipping their popular Cheerwine Brand, as well as for shipping a selection of major national brands such as 7-Up, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Sunkist, and A&W products which they manufacture under license.  Recognizing that the company needed to upgrade its distribution platform, Robinson noted that the iGPS system not only allowed IBC to increase its footprint to the more truck friendly 48×40 GMA size, it also allowed the company to move to the sturdier plastic pallet without the cost of replacing the entire fleet of wooden pallets.

“We all agreed that newer plastic 48×40 pallets were the right direction to go in. But, like so many good ideas, we were concerned about the price tag to replace our old and depreciated fleet of wooden beverage pallets,” stated Robinson. “Then, iGPS opened our eyes to the best of both worlds – a way to avoid the high cost burden of purchasing, while still providing us all of the benefits of iGPS plastic pallets through a rental agreement.”

“It was the perfect solution for IBC,” added David Barker, IBC CFO. “And we’ve now completed the full conversion of our distribution system to iGPS plastic pallets.”

“Although every company faces its own unique distribution challenges, IBC’s concerns were not unusual – how do you take advantage of the latest technology without the high cost of reinvesting in an entire new shipping platform,” stated Jeff Liebesman, iGPS Logistics CEO. “Our model provides that solution.”

iGPS worked directly with Marc and his team to determine the volume of pallets needed to support IBC’s closed loop requirements between the Charlotte plant and a network of more than 80 regional beverage distributors spread throughout the Southeast. Remarkably the two companies were able to implement a successful test and reach a start-up decision in less than eight weeks, which was then followed by a complete overhaul of IBC’s product SKU Management process, driven mainly by changing from the 36×36 to 48×40 pallet footprint.

“We now rent about 37,000 iGPS plastic pallets and we’re already seeing improved efficiency benefits. This includes the elimination of nails and wood debris on the lines and on the floor at our Charlotte plant, as well as less product damage and a significant improvement in our transportation costs,” added IBC’s David Barker. “We now carry more product, using the larger 48×40 footprint on fewer trucks. Bottom line, we’re very happy with the outcome of the decision we made to move to the larger pallet and away from wood. We also like the way in which iGPS is working with us to ensure that we keep our current costs in line with our original expectations. They help us focus on the importance of closely managing this captive fleet of plastic pallets as they move through our supply chain to and from our in-house and third party distributors. We’re working through any of these kinds of issues in true partnership, which is greatly appreciated by all of us here at Independent Beverage”

About IBC

Independent Beverage Corporation (IBC) is a Charlotte, NC based soft drink company that is famous for its unique and popular cherry flavored soda, Cheerwine. Through a network of more than 80 regional beverage distributors, IBC also produces and ships a selection of major national brands, such as 7-Up, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, Sunkist, and A&W –  products that they manufacture under license.

About IGPS Logistics

iGPS Logistics is North America’s only pooler of 48×40 plastic pallets. iGPS pallets will generate measurable savings in transport, reduced product damage, and other operational efficiencies. The world’s only multi-use pallet to receive NSF Food Equipment Certification, iGPS’ platform is a major advance in supply chain hygiene—a platform that can easily be cleaned.  It will not absorb fluids that can lead to contamination and never requires treatment with toxic pesticides or fungicides. Measuring a true 48” x 40”, iGPS’ platform enables larger load patterns and is ideally suited for automated environments. And it puts an end to broken boards and protruding nails that can damage equipment, endanger workers, jam production lines and litter workplaces. An independent life cycle analysis has documented that iGPS’ solution is better for the environment than both one-way and multiuse wood pallets.  For more information please contact us at 1-800-884-0225 or visit www.igps.net.