Returnable Transport Packaging: benefits and risks

March 16, 2023

RTP (Returnable Transport Packaging) are packaging that can be used several times. Unlike disposable packaging, RTP are washed and returned to its owner for reuse. Reusability promotes sustainability.

Many sectors use reusable packaging: the automotive, food, metallurgy, chemical and distribution industries are just a few examples.

Their growing popularity lies in their so-called "reusability". Available in a variety of forms, reusable packaging allows companies to implement a more sustainable logistics strategy.

How can we define reusable transport packaging?

First of all, let us use the logistics term. In logistics we do not say " Reusable Transport Packaging" but " Returnable Transport Packaging" - abbreviated to RTP.

An RTP is a package that can be used several times.

Unlike disposable packaging, RTP is washed and returned to its owner for reuse. Reusability promotes durability, ease of use, cleaning and repair.

There are several types of RTP - usually made of wood, metal or plastic - such as plastic pallets, shuttle bins or pallet boxes.

Some examples of RTP:

  • Wooden or plastic pallets can carry light to very heavy loads. They optimise and secure the storage and general transport of goods.
  • Plastic pallet boxes are designed for use in warehouses, workshops and other industrial environments. The pallet box is rigid and sturdy, allowing the transport of any solid or liquid goods.
  • Metal drums can be used for transporting, storing or selling products. 
  • Wooden reels are used to transport cables.
  • Plastic shuttle bins are ideal for inter-plant transport and storage.
  • Plastic stacking bins are essential for the storage and transport of any bulky object.


What are the advantages of using RTP?  

  • Financial gain. Despite the high cost of reusable packaging, it is a smart and profitable investment because it can be used several times.
  • Space saving. This type of packaging is often designed to be foldable or easily stacked on top of each other. This means that when the package is empty, its volume is reduced by up to 80%, thus reducing storage space.
  • More secure packaging. An RTP - unlike disposable packaging - can be opened and closed many times without damaging the packaging or the goods inside. With RTP, you can easily check the contents. In addition, RTPs are made of strong materials, so the goods are better protected.
  • Reduced carbon footprint. Using RTPs reduces the amount of waste produced by the company - unlike disposable packaging. In addition, RTPs are often made from materials that are easy to recycle and can be recycled several times.
  • A better image for your company. Consumers are demanding more transparency from companies. Indeed, they are more and more concerned about the environment and expect companies to have a stronger environmental approach. By highlighting your environmentally responsible actions, their perception of your company will improve.

What are the risks of using reusable packaging?

While we have noted many advantages to using RTP. There are risks that should not be forgotten. Indeed, errors in the return of containers can occur, damaged containers, losses, shocks, thefts etc.

Thus, having visibility over the material helps to minimise risks.

Everysens' solution allows a tailor-made tracking of your reusable packaging in order to act on hazards in real time.


Are you curious and interested in a demo of our platform? Schedule a meeting with our team.


Bonus :

Discover how Lidl optimises its pallet fleet logistics thanks to IoT!