If we want people to use our Cargo Carousel System (CCS), then we better practice what we preach. The CCS is designed to have a useful life of approximately ten years and it, along with each of its cubic modules, are being built with fully recyclable materials. The Carousel itself and the framework that it’s housed in are built much like an airplane so the structure can be used for years as long as it’s properly maintained. The cubic modules will bear the brunt of abuse as they’re used on a day-to-day basis much the same as wooden pallets do today. To counter this problem and to ensure proper, continuous maintenance each module will be will be part of a pooling system that has damaged modules quickly replaced with new ones as damaged modules are refurbished and put back into action. Again, this is much the same as wooden pallets are handled today; why reinvent the wheel?
The CCS will only be available for lease so that ownership stays with us to ensure that the maintenance program is conducted on a regular basis. This system simply can NOT fail while in service and, if it does as all mechanical system inevitably do, it can be replaced immediately through the pooling mechanism at no additional cost to the user. When it is time to retire this system or any of its cubic modules, we will not go looking for virgin materials to build another one, but rather, we will completely recycle the component parts as the entire system was designed to do.
The Cargo Carousel System is being developed to increase the efficiency of value chains and will invariably eliminate some jobs in the the supply side of the equation but, the efficiencies we gain from the supply side of this system will allow greater efficiencies on the underdeveloped reverse side of the equation which is the side that we need to focus on as we try to develop a circular economy. Store returns, overstocks, perishable items, seasonal stock, shelf pulls, label changes, damages, recyclables, etc. are all part of the reverse chain and each of these categories still carry considerable value and need greater attention to realize their true value in a circular economy. “Salvage” is the term given to these categories in the retail industry but this merchandise deserves greater attention to its value so that reverse chains can be justified to the degree of their counterpart supply chains. Until our reverse chains are developed to the degree that our supply chains have been, we will never begin to realize a true circular economy.