Pierre Carté has been working with Container Centres for about twenty years. The person who set up his horticultural business in the aptly named town of Fleurance (Gers), talks to us about his profession and the importance of logistics when we produce 100,000 chrysanthemums and 4 million bedding plants a year.
Introduce us to your company
Pierre Carté: Jardinerie Carté is 60,000 m2 of greenhouses, 60 employees and 11 vans. In April and May alone each year – that’s when we make 60% of our turnover – we ship up to 200 rolls a day. We thus supply garden centres and freelancers within a radius of 400km around Fleurance.
Thirty-five years ago, I set up my business from a 30m2 greenhouse – I was the smallest producer in the department – to become, over the years, the largest in the region!
Being a horticulturalist today means taking care of the greenhouses and their staff – I criss-cross the greenhouses all day long – but also managing logistics, and that’s not an easy task!
How does CC help you with this?
Right now, in autumn, I’m renting between 600-700 rolls and 2,000 shelves … Last Monday, I brought 270 broken shelves to CC stock and I was given 270. If we exceed our exchange quota (set at 20% at Container Centres), we repair them ourselves: we have invested in a compressor and a riveter for this.
I still have 200 other rolls which are “away”, on my customers’ premises. Indeed, the ongoing problem is that the garden centres have no stock and we therefore lend them our rolls for free … it is then up to us to track and recover them, if possible in good condition! So I regret that many partners do not play the game of buying their own Danish rolls!
At Carté, we got used to the new Tag 5 without any problem, after going through the black and red rings, now all our bases are equipped with green rings, which allows us to check the authenticity of the rolls. Admittedly, the Tag 5 “rubs” a little on the ground but it is read much more quickly with the RFID reader and makes it possible to avoid counterfeiting. Carté has adjusted itself to the new standards and all users must do so and sign contracts to enter the CC pool.
Samson Horticulture was a tree grower and market gardener when it was created in the 1960s, it now grows vegetable plants as well as strawberries and herbs for amateur gardeners. Located in the heart of a region recognised as a centre of plant excellence, Anjou, the company produces more than 5 million plants per year, delivered throughout France and, for this, Samson Horticulture bought no less than 1,400 rolls from CC, plus another 1,000 (and 7,000 shelves) for seasonal rental in the spring. “Danish rolls are essential for shipping our products”, explains Clotilde Samson, partner. She admits having tested the wooden rolls and not being satisfied. “CC rolls are practical: they are solid and modular, which is important for us as we deliver both 35cm high artichokes and lettuces – and above all easy to move thanks to their solid wheels”, she states. Samson Horticulture plans to buy more rolls soon to reduce rental costs.
“Another advantage of CC contracts is that we have equipment that is always in good condition, because it can be exchanged or repaired within the limit of the quota imposed, and very quickly, we know that the nearest stock of rolls is only 20 minutes from Samson Horticulture.”