Case-ready meat is the result of a shift from back-room to centralized processing of meat products. One effect of the change will be to reduce transport packages from a 70-lb. to a 15-20-lb. capacity. This means that trailers will "cube out" before they "weigh out," meaning that the space will be full before the weight limits are met. Fundamental changes in transport packaging for meat will result. New challenges and opportunities for transport packaging now shift from containment to stacking strength and logistical efficiency. Complicating matters, the current primary packaging products (M.A.P. trays) make poor use of the GMA pallet and trailer cube. These will also require redesign to meet the new challenges of case-ready meat packaging.
The Fibre Box Association (FBA) introduced a new packaging system for case-ready meat packaging in 2003. The launch of the new modular corrugated packaging system provides a target for tray makers to design to. The corrugated industry is the first to market with a solution for this new segment, providing best pallet and trailer efficiency and lower system costs with the Corrugated Modular Systems for Case-Ready Meat.
The new modularity systems offer two parallel footprints and standards: a 5-down, (full-size) and a 6-down-long (full-size). The simplicity of the proposed approach balances packaging flexibility and logistical efficiency. Both system configurations include half and full-size container specifications.