- Washington and Oregon became important states in the production of apples and pears in the early 1900's. During these beginning
stages, wooden boxes were used for shipping both apples and pears.
Apple containerization has progressed through several stages. Today,
the most common container for shipment of apples out of the
Northwest is the tray-packed corrugated carton. Pear containerization,
on the other hand, has changed only slightly. Presently, the
container most commonly used for shipment of pears is a wooden
box of approximately the same dimensions as its early predecessor.
Improvements on the wooden box have been made, but basically the
container has remained unchanged.
In this study, the tray-packed apple carton and the wooden pear
box are referred to as standard containers. These two standard containers
will be compared to a five bushel, corrugated container, which will be referred to as a bulk bin.
In evaluating the expenses which arise when packing fruit in
bulk and standard containers, only the cost differentials were discussed.
The major cost categories that were analyzed were: labor,
materials, packing house commissions and overhead, and miscellaneous.
Due to the nature of the packing house operations, only labor
and material expenses gave rise to cost differentials. The cost differential
in favor of bulk containers over standard containers was
$l.4784 per 100 pounds of packed apples and $1. 2995 per 100 pounds
of packed pears.
In order to determine the shipping quality of bulk containers,
three shipments of fruit packed in bulk containers were inspected.
Two shipments of Anjou pears packed in standard and bulk containers
were sent to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The third shipment was
sent to Los Angeles, California and consisted of Red Delicious apples
packed in bulk containers.
In the pear shipments, three types of damage were recorded.
These were: bruising, discoloration, and punctures or skin tears,
In the apple shipment, only bruising and puncture damage were recorded.
After the containers were inspected and the damages recorded,
comparisons between containers were made. Using statistical
methods, it was shown that there was no difference in total damage
between the bulk and standard containers. In order to determine where the damage was occurring, the bulk
containers were divided by height into three equal layers. Using this
procedure, the damages occurring in the top, middle, and bottom layers
could be identified and compared. Bruising was found to be most
severe in the bottom layer. Discoloration and puncture damage was
not affected by the layer treatment.
From the information gathered in this study, it appears that
two important observations can be made. First, the cost associated
with 100 pounds of fruit can be substantially reduced by using bulk
bins and second, the arrival condition of apples and pears packed in
bulk containers will be about the same as fruit packed in standard