June 7, 2006

Ford program turns shipping containers into auto parts

Dearborn, Michigan – The Ford Motor Company’s Material Planning and Logistics Group, working with the Georgia Institute of Technology, has designed an overseas shipping container made of polypropylene plastic that can be ground up afterwards and used in plastic auto parts, such as truck splash shields.

The container eliminates cardboard boxes and is designed to hold more parts, resulting in fewer overseas shipments. It also comes apart for easier unloading by plant workers, a design produced through consultation with plant operators. The program saves the company an estimated 25 per cent of its shipping costs, and eliminates third-party shipment repackaging because cardboard is not allowed in powertrain plants.

Over the past year, prototypes of the container have undergone two successful overseas shipments from China, as well as durability testing.

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