Share & Reuse in Demanding Times

By Kim Rumph, President, CHEP North America


An Old Fashioned Zeitgeist

I’m not sure if it’s comforting or disturbing when, from an analysis of history, we witness today’s supposedly zeitgeist concepts alive and well from many moons ago.  That’s what we at CHEP discovered when we began to study the principles of Shared & Circular Economics.

For example; over 2,000 years ago terracotta vessels were used to transport olive oil and wine by the Egyptians, Greeks & Romans; over a hundred years ago, glass milk bottles were used in England to deliver fresh milk from the farm to customers’ doors everyday.

These vessels were the earliest examples of a circular & shared economy that we could find.   And today, most urban cites have a versions for the CitiBike phenomena we’ve witness in the United States.

Of course that does not dilute the power of their principles at all.   All are fine human examples of human sharing.

The Intersection of Shared & Circular Economics

CHEP is in the business of sharing platforms for our customers along their supply chain.  Whether that’s a platform (pallet, reusable plastic container, container) or a transport lane (one truck journey from A-to-B) or knowledge that we utilize across all our customers; we have a business need to share and eliminate unwanted or wasted resources.

Given this, our business model is a demonstration of the efficiency and effectiveness of sharing.

The Extreme Conditions we all Face NOW

Our planet is under incredible stress to feed & water our burgeoning population.  For example, we waste far more food than is required to feed all the hungry people in the world.  What a tragedy of modern (re)distribution.

Governments are turning to the intellectual and organizational capital of organizations to lead practical solutions to this problem.   And organizations turn to their supply chain experts for 75% of their efficiency gains.

Everyday, we at CHEP are eliminating a handling touch here, a transport lane there, packing more efficiently everywhere and sharing everything.   If we give you one example, all the transport efficiencies we bought to our customers last year eliminated 26 million miles of truck trips – that’s the equivalent of 100 trucks traveling 100 times around the world.

And it’s just one rather long example of what’s possible when we share.




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