Can Plastic Crates Extend The Shelf Life Of Fresh Produce?

Pallets and crates are commonly used in food processing and manufacturing in South Africa. The latter is primarily used for shipping and is designed for holding supplies, products, or anything that requires securing and protection¹. Large in volume and highly durable, plastic crates are worth investing in if you’re trying to enhance the efficiency of your operations. 

Fresh produce is one of the best-selling food products but is also some of the most sensitive and needs to be transported and contained in a way that helps maintain its freshness for as long as possible.

A common question we get asked is whether plastic crates can extend the shelf life of fresh produce. Let’s dive into this topic today, while also considering where you can look to find high-quality, affordable options.  


New Findings from A Recent Study

A recent Florida-based study explored in depth whether plastic storage containers can extend the shelf life of produce during shipping by comparing it to other methods of transport including single-use packaging.  

The study found that plastic containers are able to extend the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetables by as much as four days compared to single-use packaging². The key difference was the amount of ventilation in plastic crates. Plastic crates provide an ideal level of ventilation which prevent airborne contaminants from spoiling produce while preventing spoilage from lack of airflow, in addition to other helpful properties. This ultimately can save your business significant amounts of time and money in spoiled and lost produce.

An Extra Layer Of Protection

Plastic crates extend the shelf life of fresh produce by creating an added layer of protection across the entire supply chain. Used for storage, they reduce the risk of damaging the produce in both links of the production process. 

Plastic crates are more durable than containers made from other materials. This is extremely beneficial for businesses as this means that the potential for the fresh produce to get bruised or damaged is dramatically decreased. 


Fresh produce is prone to brushing and crushing, especially during the initial phase of harvesting. This obviously reduces the value of the produce, or renders it unsellable. Keep in mind that food production and processing takes longer than with non-perishable products. Plastic crates are ideal for reducing losses by being a support every step of the way, no matter the environmental conditions they have to contend with. 


Highly Efficient For Transport


In their practical application in the transport process, plastic crates offer a high level of safety thanks to their durable nature³. Once packaged to be sold, fresh produce can still be damaged before they reach the end customer, leading to unnecessary losses for your business. 

Plastic crates ensure that the produce remains fresh and undamaged by the time that they are ready to be distributed and sold. 

Whether they are being transported at the start of the production process, in the middle, or right at the end of the supply chain, plastic crates are an essential tool to help keep the food ready for consumption.


Quality Crates To Save On Costs

At Mpact Plastic Containers, our range of high-quality plastic crates has saved thousands of businesses from having preventable problems during storage and transport. 

Reusable plastic crates are incredibly durable and ensure that goods are transported safely and with as little risk of damage as possible. 

By investing in a bulk purchase upfront, businesses have had fewer worries around maintenance and replacements, along with the ability to better manage the logistics around transporting produce with standardised crate sizes. The end result is a happy manufacturer with happy customers, ready to support the business time and time again. 




In-House Editorial. (2020, February 4). What's the Difference Between a Pallet, Skid and Crate? Freightcom. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from 

In-House Editorial. (2018, November 6). Study shows reusable plastic containers extend produce shelf life by up to 4 days. Refrigerated & Frozen Foods. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from 

In-House Editorial. (2019, April 1). Benefits of Reusable Plastic Crates for the Transport and Storage of Fresh Produce. Logistic Packaging. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from 

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