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Box Latch delivers wide ranging benefits for VF Corporation distribution centres

Packaging Solutions

Box Latch Europe, a manufacturer of reusable corrugated box closure solutions, has been supplying VF Corporation distribution centres in the Czech Republic with reusable components to support closed loop box reuse in its fulfilment operations. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, VF Corporation is a global apparel and footwear company, comprising 13 brands including Supreme, Vans, The North Face, Timberland, Dickies, and Napapijri, amongst others.

Since their introduction at the distribution centres, Box Latch Europe products have delivered significant benefits. Distributed in the UK and Europe by Item Products, Box Latch devices are perfect to support closed loop box reuse. The primary product is Box Latch – a recycled plastic closure and reopening device, available in five colours and four different sizes, and suitable for a variety of material thicknesses. The innovation extends box life and, as the packaging is not damaged by single use tape or staples, provides extensive supply chain benefits including cost reductions.

The company also produces Clip & Stack, a innovative recycled plastic corner fixing mechanism that is designed to hold box flaps out of the way for packing or unpacking. As with Box Latch, the Clip & Stack can be used hundreds or thousands of times and allows boxes to be stacked in a tote configuration while open, so that they are ready when needed at peak times. Clip & Stack is available in either ‘heavy duty’ in orange, or ‘standard’ in black or green.

In response to VF Corporation distribution centres' requirements, Box Latch Europe has supplied over 50,000 medium and large Box Latches and Clip & Stack products to the fulfilment operation. The introduction of the products has since led to substantial reductions in transport and labour costs, savings on tape and boxes not purchased, in addition to positively influencing worker’s safety as a preventive measure against cuts and bruises from using tape dispensers and box cutters. In one particular scenario, goods arriving at the distribution centres in boxes from various locations around the world would often become open while on storage racks, with the flaps of the boxes getting snagged on the warehouse racking system. This in turn would stop automated cranes from being able to retrieve boxes out of the racks, necessitating manual intervention to free the trapped boxes. Since the introduction of Box Latches to keep the boxes tightly closed, the number of manual interventions to rescue boxes reduced from four to five a day to five to 10 times a year.

The use of elastic bands to keep boxes open during the pick and pack process has also been eradicated with the use of the Clip & Stack products, which has enabled a much safer operation, while also keeping boxes damage free.

‘The entire team here appreciates the substantial amount of money related to time and material that we have saved as a result of using the Box Latch products,’ said Petr Pavelcak, support coordinator, VF Czech Services.

‘Using these components, we estimate there are significant cost savings annually, not forgetting environmental benefits. Implementing the use of Box Latch products has brought significant betterment into our processes.’


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