We are ordering more and more food and drinks online and spending more and more money on them. The growing need of the Dutch modern consumer for ease of ordering and service brings new opportunities for you as an entrepreneur. Whether you are part of a supermarket chain that delivers groceries, a restaurant owner who now also wants to deliver meals at home or a farmer who wants to deliver directly to the end user: the opportunities within online food e-commerce are now ripe for the taking. But how do you ensure that your carefully prepared products are freshly prepared for your customers? You can read about that in this article.
Webshop transport: the rise of online food e-commerce
The modern consumer likes convenience and good service. Not only with non-food products such as clothing, books and utensils, but also with food products we see an increase in online orders. For example, spending on online food by Dutch consumers increased by no less than 24% in 2019.
It is now well known that consumer service and convenience are of paramount importance. But quality and environmental friendliness are also becoming increasingly important for today’s consumer. And the good news is that they are willing to pay a little more for this. This is evident from market research by b-open and GfK.
Transporting your products chilled: an appropriate solution
In order to keep fresh products ‘fresh’, chilled and frozen transport facilities are often chosen. Perhaps you immediately think of a refrigerated or freezer van, but in many cases this does not turn out to be the ideal solution. Apart from the fact that you lose a bit of flexibility when you have to reserve the van in advance or are dependent on availability, this is also not the most sustainable solution. A lot of energy and capacity is quickly wasted when you cannot make optimal use of the space in the van. For example, when the level of your orders to be delivered is unpredictable and irregular, leaving valuable space unused.
For this reason, well-insulated refrigerated packaging is often chosen. This has the advantage that you do not need electricity during transport (you cool the cooling elements to the desired temperature prior to transport) and that you can transport your products in a means of transport of your choice. This often makes it a more sustainable solution for chilled and frozen transport of fresh products such as meals and groceries.
Suitable packaging for refrigerated transport
Which packaging materials are most suitable for you depends on your application and logistical choices:
- Transports without a return procedure. If you make use of an external transport partner or for some other reason do not have the option of returning packaging materials, disposable packaging materials are a suitable solution. For this purpose, you can use an EPS box in combination with Gelpacks. A more environmentally friendly alternative to the EPS box is the EcoCoolBox.
- Transports with return procedure. If you have transport facilities under your own management and can therefore take back packaging materials, you can opt for tools with a long life span. The EPP boxes in combination with strong, dimensionally stable cooling elements are a solution. You can place the products to be transported here during transport in simple packaging, and lift them out of the EPP box when delivering them to your home. In this way you can use the EPP boxes and shape retaining cooling elements again and again.
Durable solution: the EPP cooler with cooling elements
The EPP box is an insulating cooler made of Expanded Poly Propylene: a 100% recyclable material. The material has a high insulation value, is light in weight and is extremely strong. This guarantees a long lifespan. Moreover, EPP boxes are practical to use: they are easy to stack, light to move and easy to clean and disinfect. Handles and sticker fields are also characteristic of the box.
How to put the EPP cool box with cooling elements into practical use? You pre-cool six cooling plates to the desired temperature. This covers the walls and underside of the cooler, and after placing the products, the top as well. Now you can transport your fresh products chilled or frozen, for example for transports of up to 24 hours.
Custom advice on webshop transport
Do you have questions about the possibilities or would you like tailor-made advice? Our experts will be happy to think along with you for a suitable cooling solution for your situation. Feel free to contact us.