iTUB is a rental and pooling service operator supplying the North Atlantic seafood industry.

TUB was established in March 2010 with the purpose of renting insulated plastic tubs to the fishing industry for use on land and at sea. Our clients have the option to rent tubs on a short-term basis or for longer periods.

iTUB is jointly owned by Saeplast Iceland, a manufacturer of Saeplast plastic containers, Icefresh in Germany, Leroy Seafood Group, Nergard and Batsfjordbruket, well-known companies in the European fishing and salmon industries.

Returnable packaging for transport of fresh seafood products

iTUB operates a network of service depots for returnable packaging for transport of primary and secondary fresh seafood products. It operates a fleet of reusable containers that are used for storing and transporting goods in a circular system. Through the iTUB systems, the users are sharing the equipment in a circylar pooling system. Sharing equipment in a circular systems increases the utilization and reduces the number of packaging to do a certain job, hence reducing the need to produce new assets, which again reduces the use of valuable natural resources. 

iTUB was founded in 2010 by the manufacturer Sæplast and a few industry leaders in the fisheries sector in Norway, to manage their under-utilized and ill-managed fish tubs. Sæplast had been the supplier of quality fish tubs to those companies for years, but the tubs – or containers if you like – are made from long-lasting, high-density PE plastic and had replaced inefficient packaging in the seafood industry some years before. While most companies would keep their own stock of equipment, the management and maintenance had been neglected. Thus, iTUB was established to take control of the management of the stock and to improve the hygiene, user rate and the overall logistical efficiency of the equipment.

After successful implementation in Norway, iTUB started offering the services and equipment in Iceland and in Denmark for the EU market. Today, iTUB operates a fleet of 60 thousand containers, mainly for the seafood industry in the North Atlantic.

iTUB operates within a closed circular setup, where re-usable equipment of the highest quality is rented out in an effective pooling system. Re-using equipment is sensible where continuous transport of goods is realised and re-usable equipment is getting more recognised in the food transport as this supports the sustainable goals. The equipment is made from high-quality Polyethylene plastics that are 100% recyclable. As iTUB is in control of the equipment throughout it´s lifetime, the circular use of the material is secured and with the equipment being made from mono-material, it is easily recyclable. This means that a full control of the virgin materials that are brought into the value chain in the first instance are in place and this material is directed back into the future production streams. This lowers the need for virgin material for the second and future generations of equipment. 

Through iTUBs effective reverse logistics systems, the equipment is repaired and maintained to prolong it´s lifetime, but the equipment can typically last for up to 12-15 years, depending on the maintenance levels and the use intensity. So re-using the equipment for several years makes it sustainable, compared to single-use equipment.

Thus, the iTUB concept has become an example to follow since it scores high on the benefits in 

  1. Sharing economy
  2. reusable packaging within a controlled loop
  3. recyclability

The industry, together with customers, are now looking for similar solutions with other packaging and transportation-concept that may complement the sustainable tub-solution offered by iTUB.

Innovation is strongly linked to circular economy thinking. The design of products and processes for better control and utility for transport packaging is important. Sæplast is a leading player in designing and producing re-usable equipment that fits very well into the logistics systems for food materials and innovation is at the heart of everything we do.

From the perspective of sustainability, food needs to be produced where the footprints are the lowest. That also includes packaging and transportation. Since Iceland and Norway have a large source of biomass (fish) that goes beyond the domestic consumption, a major part of it has to be exported either as processed/semi-processed or as whole-fish for processing closer to end-users abroad. To optimize this in the context of lowest possible footprint (carbon and other), the need for sustainable transportation systems are evident. The consequences of not doing this will have a negative impact on climate change and eventually effect the access to this important source of proteins.

All food producers recognise the need for transporting raw materials and products in their value chain. By considering solutions like iTUB offers, they can be sure that they get their carbon footprint lowered for the transported goods. There is a great opportunity that lies with shifting from single-use equipment to reusable systems like the one iTUB offers, when it comes to companies that are trying to reach their sustainable goals. 

For more information…

Website link: