Alternative to steel gitterbox

Steel vs. Plastic



13. October 2022

Alternative to steel gitterbox



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In manufacturing industries such as automotive, steel packaging is still the go-to solution for transporting parts. They are robust, durable and have high weight capacities. But all these characteristics apply to plastic pallet boxes, too. So, what are the differences? We compared both solutions one to one and here’s what we found out.

Gitterbox vs. GitterPak®

The most used steel packaging solution is the gitterbox: The Euro gitterbox consists of a steel frame construction with a 1200 x 800 mm European standard footprint. The container is normed by the European Pallet Association (EPAL) and used in the European container pooling system. Steel gitterboxes typically have a height of 800 mm and access doors for loading and unloading.

ORBIS Europe has developed a collapsible plastic pallet box that is a 1 to 1 alternative to steel gitterboxes – with several supply chain advantages. Both solutions are based on the European standard footprint 1200 x 800 mm and offer high weight capacities. Here are the differences:

Steel Gitterbox

Steel Gitterbox
  • Outside dimensions: 1240 x 835 x 970 mm
  • Steel cage with wooden base, risk for product damage caused by rusting packaging elements
  • Non-modular design, one access door
  • Open on all four sides
  • High weight capacity of up to 1000 kg, around 85 kg tare weight
  • Non-collapsible, fixed-wall design, no storage and truck space savings, 78 units per truck
  • Low acquisition costs
  • Limited repairability, resource-intenisve disposal of damaged gitterboxes
  • Recycling process is costly, high temperatures needed

GitterPak® – Plastic Gitterbox 

Plastic alternative to steel gitterbox
  • European standard footprint 1200 x 800 x 960 mm
  • 100% plastic design with recycled materials, reduced CO2 emissions by around 60 kg per load carrier
  • Modular design, multiple access door configurations available
  • Closed walls ensure product protection
  • Weight capacity of 900 kg with relatively low tare weight
  • Collapsible design for optimised space utilisation and reduced shipping costs, 272 units per truck
  • Easy and quick repair without special tooling for a longer service life
  • Long-term cost savings, quick ROI, material buyback option
  • 100% recycling of obsolete load carriers

By optimising space utilisation and product safety, the GitterPak® is a sustainable, cost-efficient and space-saving alternative to conventional steel packaging. It is a plastic gitterbox. Higher initial acquisition costs are compensated by lower operational costs, a long service life and less product damage. The all-plastic design with a smooth inside surface does not rust and therefore prevents products from getting damaged.

Comparison Plastic Alternative Steel Gitterbox

With foldable containers, companies improve transport efficiency in return transport. When folded, one truck load holds up to 272 folded, empty containers compared to 78 fully assembled (steel) boxes. The secure, stackable design further improves space utilisation. At end-of-life, ORBIS offers to buy back obsolete plastic packaging and uses the raw materials for new packaging production – creating a closed raw material and product life cycle.

Are you interested in testing the GitterPak® as a steel gitterbox alternative in your supply chain? Our packaging consultants are happy to support.


    +49 2233 619 2072

Packaging Comparison Steel Gitterbox and Plastic Alternative

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