New technological developments are helping us change our thinking about the assumed trade-off between environmental responsibility and profitability in business.

For example, new, more efficient and powerful solar panel technologies, new storage battery chemistries, and more efficient control circuitry make us revisit considering solar power generation as a viable adjunct or replacement to traditional power, even in areas quite far away from the Equator.

Until now, the shift to using sustainable materials such as aluminum in place of wood and plastic for pallets and crates has been a ‘tough sell’ – the initial cost of an aluminum version of a pallet versus a non-sustainable wood or plastic version has always been significantly higher, which in turn limits appeal due to risk of loss or theft, particularly because of the inherent scrap value of the aluminum.

Aluminum pallets and crates have advantages of 10-year longevity, biological inertness, increased load handling capability, and lighter weight than pallets and crates made from non-sustainable materials such as wood and plastic.

This cost-vs.-environment trade-off situation changes, however, with the availability of Securent Cyber-Physical Trackers (CPT’s), which are low-cost, sensor-laden, GPS and Internet-connected mobile computers easily embedded in every aluminum pallet and crate.

Securent CPT’s bring the following benefits to aluminum pallet and crate users:

1. Theft protection by frequently reporting location, and ability to send alarms if the pallet strays outside customer-defined geographical boundaries.
2. Easier financing support for leasing large pools of aluminum pallets, as the tracking technology mitigates the risk of loss and theft.
3. Protection against determined thieves who have somehow obtained knowledge that the Securent CPT is embedded in the pallet – each CPT comes with a tamper detection feature that sends an immediate alarm message including GPS location should someone attempt to remove the CPT from its pallet.
4. Take instant, on-demand inventory of the location of every CPT-equipped pallet and access this data through Securent’s RESTful API.
5. Use location and other sensor report data to measure real-time and historical business process cycle times, based on the movements (or lack thereof) of pallets and measure the effects of attempted improvements.
6. Automatically detect and immediately report when pallets are unloaded and ready for pickup in real-time, for example to dynamically schedule and optimize empty pallet pickup and returns, by extending an existing delivery truck route with an extra side-trip to pick up and return empty pallets for re-use, rather than separately scheduled pallet pickup routes.
7. Leverage Industry 4.0 features such as participating in blockchain Smart Contracts, ability to securely store and retrieve bill-of-material documentation, environmental sensor data such as rough handling and drops, and tracking / reporting chain-of-custody transfer records in supply chains.
8. Minimize the number of pallets/crates leased / pooled and maximize the utilization of each pallet/crate by adjusting pool size according to historical data on pallet usage and movement available through Securent’s RESTful web API’s.

Aluminum pallets and crates with Securent CPT’s “on board” form a winning combination from both a lean and a green perspective – contact Securent today to get started!

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