Innovation in tray pooling and supply chain management

Efficiency and sustainability are hot topics in tray pooling. Innovation is key to keep improving these pillars. As a tray pooling service provider in the fresh supply chain, Euro Pool system invests and puts a lot of effort into research and development (R&D). Not without a reason: we want to maintain our position as the knowledge partner in circular tray pooling.


CoolRail, the coolest innovation in logistics

CoolRail is a cooled train connection between Valencia and Rotterdam. This innovative initiative improves efficiency and sustainability in the fresh supply chain significantly. The train transports fresh products to retailers in Northern Europe and returns to Spain with empty, folded trays for the producers to fill. The extra space is offered to external partners who produce goods for the Southern European market. With one CoolRail trip, you save out on 42 truck transports, unburdening the road network and reducing CO2 emissions by 70% - 90% as a result.

Sustainability, driven by innovation

Research and development push efficiency to the limits and simultaneously fuel sustainability. Our tray pooling solutions are a circular system, but nevertheless, we still feel obligated to lower our impact on the environment even more. These are a few of our most recent developments and projects in progress:

  • We continuously test and retrieve data to optimise the washing process, reducing the usage of water, energy and detergent.
  • We are investigating and testing the possibility to recycle our trays in-house, by granulating and reuse plastic for the production of new and improved pooling trays, aiming for zero waste.
  • We introduced a service – return logistics – where we pick up all your packaging waste unseparated. This way, you only need one transport to dispose and recycle your waste correctly, instead of several. 
  • Together with partners, we have introduced CoolRail, a cooled train connection between Valencia and Rotterdam.

Innovation and efficiency in logistics and the fresh supply chain

Euro Pool Systems’ first standardised trays were a game-changer in the fresh supply chain. Rigid trays have been the status quo for a lot of companies ever since. However, our urge to evolve and increase efficiency encouraged us to keep innovating. Our current, reusable folding trays, optimise the whole supply chain and have led to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions. We believe that innovation is a process where ideas are developed into viable business models, and is accomplished through collaboration on different company levels. 

  • Innovation for Operational Excellence. Think of process optimisation and automation, product improvement and digitalisation. 
  • Innovation for New Business (models) like CoolRail.

Zellik: Depot of the future

At the reverse logistics distribution centre Zellik in Belgium, Euro Pool System and Delhaize have formed a partnership to optimise the use of reusable carriers within Delhaize’s supply chain. In 2018, Zellik won the prestigious Supply Chain Award for ‘Project of the year’. This prize is awarded for the innovative ideas that enhance the efficiency of the supply chain. With reverse logistics, direct transport from the retailer to the distribution centre is realised, resulting in a significant reduction in transport kilometres. Furthermore, Zellik is the first service centre where wash water is purified and reused in the cleaning process – reducing water consumption by 70%. These innovations result in a reduction of both the carbon footprint and the water demand of the service centres.

Our innovation projects

Transport of the trays
Smart Tray

Developing new sensor technology and software to be able to monitor the flows of our trays and the conditioning of the products during their trip.

Zero waste tray production
Zero waste

By recycling our trays our old trays become one of the raw materials for our new produced trays.

Washing facility service centre
Emission neutral service centres

By reducing the water, and heating being used for our washing process we are for instance able to reduce the CO2 footprint of our washing process with 70%.