Technical Guidance

Classification for our crates

Plastic crates are developed to respond to different types of logistical applications; there are multiple categories and product types.

Range of crates for the meat sector and cold logistics

Plastic crates are the most wide-spread option for a large number of applications and sectors, to transport, handle and store many kinds of product. Over the years, plastic containers have demonstrated their countless advantages, including their outstanding durability, high resistance and hygiene. For this reason, plastic crates have become the best option when looking for a reusable crate with a lengthy life cycle.

There are different models of plastic crates in our catalogue, which have been developed to respond to extremely specific applications. Therefore, there is no universal product that is efficient and convenient for all uses.

At Naeco we have two ranges of plastic crates, which aim to meet the needs of the following uses:

  • Crates for the meat and poultry sector We have standard E1, E2 and E3 crates for the meat industry. These crates are a widely recognised standard in the sector for the vast majority of the European Union member countries.
  • Crates for cold logistics: Crates designed to improve and optimise the transportation of products in controlled temperature chains. Our line of crates for cold environments are adiabatic containers produced in high-density polyethylene and with cutting-edge insulating material to ensure the cold chain is maintained.

Over time we will incorporate new ranges to our catalogue, with the aim of covering as many applications as possible.

Rigid plastic crates

Plastic crates manufactured as a single piece that is enormously resistant, durable and with a large load capacity. Rigid crates are ideal for the following applications:

  • For applications in which storage is undertaken by stacking them onto different pallet boxes at a height, therefore they require high resistance against compression.
  • Closed circuits in which reuse takes place in a unique, controlled environment without the need for transport. In these applications, plastic crates are captive products, therefore its durability is paramount.
  • Loads that may leak liquids (such as meat and fruit) and that must be stored within the crate.
  • Applications with loads that are prone to breakage (for example, glass bottles)

Foldable plastic crates

Plastic crates comprising a set of pieces that fit together, and thanks to the joins and hinge system, can be folded down, optimising space when empty. Foldable crates are the ideal option for optimising reverse logistics costs and returning the crates to the source in applications in which there is a high reuse of the package.

The major advantage of foldable crates is their capacity to be folded down once empty, taking up just a fraction of the space used when open. However, their resistance is lower than rigid crates, precisely due to the joins of the pieces. Normally, the cost and environmental efficiency generated by foldable crates justify their use and create an optimum return on investment thanks to their high efficiency.

Nestable plastic crates

Nestable crates take up less space when empty and can therefore be stored for later use. Space is a critical and highly valuable element in any reverse logistics operation, and consequently must be optimised to obtain the maximum benefit. In this respect, nestable crates can optimise both storage and transport space when empty, thus reducing logistics costs.

Nestable crates are designed with a lid or oscillating element that can spin 180º, allowing the crate to partially slot into another when empty, optimising the space used. To do this the crate must be conical, making it possible for it to be partially slotted into another (nestable), therefore helping reduce the storage space required. Generally, crates from one manufacturer are not nestable with crates from others, which can also occur with different models of nestable crates.

Nestable crates lose volume load because of their conical sides, and in order for them to stack correctly, generally intervention is required, such as spinning the crate, opening a lid or activating a mechanism. This intervention is usually compensated by the high optimisation of space in transportation and storage, compared to the advantages of having a rigid crate.

Perforated or open crates

Perforated or open crates have small openings on one or various sides of the inside of the crate. As well as making the crate lighter and therefore more economical and sustainable, these openings facilitate air flow through the goods inside, ventilating the product correctly.

Perforated or open crates are often used in applications in which ventilation is an important factor (fruit, vegetables, bread, etc.) or in cases in which the external walls are not important, given that as the weight is lower, it is a lower-cost model than closed versions.

Smooth or closed plastic crates

There are numerous applications in which the product being transported may leak liquid or fluid (meat, fish, etc.) or contains small pieces (nuts, washers, etc.) and it is vital to prevent these liquids or particle from spilling or shedding along the entire product distribution chain. For this, completely closed and smooth crates are ideal, as they can contain even completely liquid products with no risk of spilling, as the plastic is watertight.

Thanks to the advantages of crates being produced in plastic (usually virgin), they can come into direct contact with foods, and once emptied, can be washed as they are watertight.