For years, Delano, Calif.-based Munger Farms searched for just the right tray to field-pack the company’s blueberries.

It wasn’t easy. Some were too deep, and berries got damaged. Others lacked adequate ventilation, and fruit got too hot.

Some broke easily, and others took too long to clean, thanks to soil getting caught in trays’ ribs and sharp angles.

Then, said Cliff Woolley, Munger’s chief financial officer, the company was introduced to Vancouver, B.C.-based InterCrate Container Corp.

The key to InterCrate, Woolley said, was its willingness to work with Munger to develop a tray tailored just for the company’s needs. For starters, InterCrate came up with a design specifically for blueberries. In the past, Munger had had to settle for trays designed for other berries, Woolley said.

Munger Farms co-owners David and Kable Munger worked with InterCrate to design a blueberry tray that improved cooling efficiency when trays were stacked 20-high, and modified the tray’s hand-hold to prevent berries from spilling out.

Munger co-owners David and Kable Munger worked with InterCrate to design a tray that improved cooling efficiency when trays were stacked 20-high, and modified the tray’s hand-hold to prevent berries from spilling out.

“Every season we tried a different one, until we found the InterCrate tray,” Woolley said. “It has a good sturdy design, it washes and wears well and it’s easy to handle. They’ve been a good company to work with.”

The InterCrate tray has hand-holds on both ends, and its stacking bars can double as a second carrying option, Woolley said.

Munger uses the trays exclusively for hand-harvesting blueberries, he said.

The InterCrate trays feature vent holes that maximize the air flow through berries and reduce heat quickly, Woolley said. A reinforced double wall gives the tray extra strength, and a smooth external surface make it easy to clean and handle.

This year is the fourth year Munger is using the InterCrate trays, Woolley said.