A ‘REEL’ Look at Programs, Best Practices & Technology Innovations for the Wire & Cable Industry


May 2, 2022

by Daniela De Marco, Marketing Manager, EFC

“The properties of wire and cable require reels to be robust and have certain structural specifications to ensure wire and cable goods are not compromised between the time they leave the factory to when they are installed on site,” said Rob McIntyre, retired Manager of EFC’s Business Sections.

The use and safe handling of reels for wire and cable can be as valuable as the product they carry. Proper protection is a safety, quality, and economic matter. Millions of dollars worth of reels are in circulation across North America; therefore, the diligent handling of reels at every point in the supply chain can offer big rewards. Returnable Reels provide many benefits, such as avoiding the cost of disposal and producing new reels, reducing the impact of landfill waste on the environment, and returning reels that meet Manufacturers’ and Distributors’ Reel Return Policy guidelines offer recovery on deposits paid. The returns for managing reels will make an effort well worth it, financially and environmentally.

The reality is that once a reel is empty, it often results in a series of challenges for several reasons: 

  • Lack of consistency in reel return programs offered by suppliers (manufacturers or distributors). 
  • A wide range of reel sizes and configurations, and the quality of reels can be variable. 
  • Transportation costs are a serious consideration for the return of reels; the vast geography of Canada and the wide disbursement of reels, often to remote locations, magnify logistics considerations. 
  • The collection, reuse, and recycling of reels are not yet subject to government regulation; as such, environmental impacts result from reels being abandoned or sent to landfills.

As a result, a group of members was formed from Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) ’s Wire & Cable Business Section to develop a best practices guideline document to provide guidance on programs, best practices and technology innovations and the most productive use for the safe return and handling of wire and cable reels. 

Earlier this year, the document was finalized and distributed for public viewing and covers the following areas:

  • Reel types, specifications, capacities, and marking and labelling.
  • Reel handling, storage and transport.
  • Reel administration and return programs.
  • Reel care, repair and disposal.
  • Technology and innovation.

This document, along with other Wire & Cable reel resources, can be found online at www.electrofed.com/resource-library-wire-cable-reels/.

Related Articles

Changing Scene

  • AD Owner/Members Elect 2023 Board of Directors

    AD Owner/Members Elect 2023 Board of Directors

    AD has recently announced that its owner/members elected three directors to its Board of Directors. Each year, the AD Board’s Nominating & Governance Committee holds an open nomination and voting period, during which AD members select members to its board of directors. Currently, more than 140 of AD’s 850-plus member companies provide leadership on corporate and divisional boards and committees. AD’s newly elected director is François Deschênes, President & CEO of Deschênes Group Inc. Chrissy Nardini, President, American Metals Supply, and Donald D. Slominski, Jr., Executive Chairman of the Board, McNaughton-McKay Electric Company, were reelected by AD’s owner/members. Read More…

  • R. STAHL Joins ETIM North America

    R. STAHL Joins ETIM North America

    ETIM North America recently announced that R. STAHL, a major supplier in the field of explosion protected products and systems, has joined the North American chapter of the global product classification standards organization. R. STAHL, a global electrical manufacturer, provides the industrial customers of electrical distributors a wide array of products including terminal boxes, control boxes, control systems and distribution boards, industrial lighting, intrinsically safe barriers, remote I/O, grounding, industrial cameras and PCs, signaling devices and more. Read More…

Peers & Profiles

  • Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is Canada’s top international corporate citizen in 2022. This designation was awarded to Schneider Electric by Corporate Knights, a media and research company committed to advancing a sustainable economy. Read More…

  • The Sonepar Ontario Region is proud to announce the relocation of their SESCO Central Distribution Centre (CDC) to its new location in Brampton, ON. This move has facilitated an amalgamation between Texcan’s large Brampton branch and SESCO’s CDC, as both businesses work together within one facility for the first time. Read More…