Clip-Lok’s reusable packaging solution for helicopter rotor blades used by the US Army

Clip-Lok’s North American partner, packIQ, develop a reusable packaging solution to transport helicopter rotor blades for the US Army.

Helicopter rotor blade sets are typically packaged and shipped for service and maintenance many times during their lifetime. Traditionally, the blades are shipped in nailed wooden crates, with one blade per crate. Upon arrival at the destination, the boxes are discarded and new boxes built for the return shipment. This method is both costly and wasteful. Clip-Lok’s North American partner, packIQ, decided to design a better solution.

“We knew that this idea had great potential,” says Marcel Bakx from packIQ. “So when we met a man from the US Army who was dissatisfied with the existing system, we asked him to join us in developing a Clip-Lok reusable packaging solution. He was very happy to share his field experiences with us.”

The result of this cooperation is a nearly five-meter long reusable box that carries a complete set of two rotor blades. Despite its size, the box is easy to handle thanks to eight built-in handles, the two-piece lid, and beveled pallet runners.

“Our contact in the US Army is very pleased with the Clip-Lok solution,” says Marcel Bakx. “As an added benefit, different foam supports can be used in the box to accommodate blades from all helicopter manufacturers.”

Clip-Lok reusable boxes are built of plywood panels according to individual size specifications and held together with strong spring steel clips. Custom-designed dunnage holds the cargo securely in the box. The plywood used in Clip-Lok boxes is extremely durable, weatherproof, and certified environmentally friendly. Our boxes are tested and approved by internationally accredited test institutes for pressure, vibration, impact, and stacking. Our customers have observed our reusable boxes can be typically used over 100 times with normal handling.

The robust and cost-saving helicopter rotor blade crates are now in use by the US Army. Other customers around the world are also using this application.