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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Summary
 Introduction
 Trends in containers used to ship...
 Management of the packing labor...
 Labor requirements for packing...
 Labor requirements for packing...
 Computed piece rates






Group Title: Agricultural economics mimeo report - Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Florida - 57-8
Title: The use of packing labor in Florida citrus packinghouses
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071999/00001
 Material Information
Title: The use of packing labor in Florida citrus packinghouses
Physical Description: 19 p. : ; .. cm.
Language: English
Creator: Capel, G.L
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1957
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Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
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Statement of Responsibility: by G.L. Capel.
Funding: Agricultural economics mimeo report Department of agricultural economics. Florida agricultural experiment stations ; 57-8
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Bibliographic ID: UF00071999
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 67671244
clc - 000489567

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Page i
    Summary
        Page i
        Page ii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Method of study
            Page 2
    Trends in containers used to ship citrus fruits
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Management of the packing labor force
        Page 7
        Rotating packers among the various fruit sizes
            Page 7
        Controlling idle time
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
        Recording the output of each packer
            Page 11
    Labor requirements for packing various containers
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Labor requirements for packing by size of fruit
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Computed piece rates
        Page 18
        Page 19
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida




June 1957 -'- Agricultural Economics Mimeo Report 57-8


THE USE OF PACKING LABOR IN

FLORIDA CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES


George L. Capel 1


LI


A Study Conducted with Funds Provided by
the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946


*


DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMIC!
LORIDA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
in cooperation with
Marketing Research Division
Agricultural Marketing Service
United States Department of Agriculture








CONTENTS

Page
SUMMARY. . . . .

INTRODUCTION.. . . . . . 1.

Method of Study . . 2

TRENDS IN CONTAINERS USED TO SHIP CITRUS FRUITS. .. 3

MANAGEMENT OF THE PACKING LABOR FORCE. . . 7

Rotating Packers Among the Various Fruit Sizes. . .7
Controlling Idle Time o .. . .. 8
Recording the Output of Each Packer . . 11

LABOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PACKING VARIOUS CONTAINERS . 12

LABOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PACKING BY SIZE OF FRUIT. . 15

COMPUTED PIECE RATES . . . .. 18


SUMMARY

This study of the use of packing labor in Florida citrus packinghouses was

undertaken to show the labor requirements for packing the 'various types of containers

and sizes of fruit, differences in practices followed in managing the packing labor

force, trends in the use of containers, and computed rates giving equal earnings to

the packers for each type of container.

The 1-3/5 bushel wirebound box has been used for a majority of the shipments

since the 1938-39 season. The postwar level ranged between 60 and 68 percent in

this container until 1954-55. The use of 1-3/5 bushel standard nailed boxes has

decreased from 35 percent of all shipments before the war to about 10 percent in








CONTENTS

Page
SUMMARY. . . . .

INTRODUCTION.. . . . . . 1.

Method of Study . . 2

TRENDS IN CONTAINERS USED TO SHIP CITRUS FRUITS. .. 3

MANAGEMENT OF THE PACKING LABOR FORCE. . . 7

Rotating Packers Among the Various Fruit Sizes. . .7
Controlling Idle Time o .. . .. 8
Recording the Output of Each Packer . . 11

LABOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PACKING VARIOUS CONTAINERS . 12

LABOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PACKING BY SIZE OF FRUIT. . 15

COMPUTED PIECE RATES . . . .. 18


SUMMARY

This study of the use of packing labor in Florida citrus packinghouses was

undertaken to show the labor requirements for packing the 'various types of containers

and sizes of fruit, differences in practices followed in managing the packing labor

force, trends in the use of containers, and computed rates giving equal earnings to

the packers for each type of container.

The 1-3/5 bushel wirebound box has been used for a majority of the shipments

since the 1938-39 season. The postwar level ranged between 60 and 68 percent in

this container until 1954-55. The use of 1-3/5 bushel standard nailed boxes has

decreased from 35 percent of all shipments before the war to about 10 percent in







recent seasons. The use of bags has changed from almost exclusive use of the 4/5

bushel bag during World War II, to the heavy use of the eight-pound bag alone

during the 1944-49 period, to the present combination of five- and eight-pound

bags. More recently, there has been an increase in the volume of fruit shipped in

4/5 bushel fiberboard boxes, especially in 1954-55 and 1955-56, and in bulk.

Management of the packing labor force was observed to differ between packing-

houses with respect to the rotation of the packers among the bins with different sized

fruit, the control of idle time, and the procedures for keeping record of each packer's

output. On the average, packers in this study were observed to be idle about 30

percent of the time. There were differences in the amount of idle time observed

between packing the different containers. The high proportion of idle time for packers

suggests that there are possibilities for increasing the efficiency in the use of packing

labor.

The labor requirements for the various containers show that most of the time

is spent in placing the fruit in the container. Factors affecting the labor requirements

are type of package, size of fruit, and difficulty of the pattern used in placing the

fruit in the box. Piece rates are presented which would result in earnings of $0.75,

$1.00, and $1.25 per hour by packers.







THE USE OF PACKING LABOR IN FLORIDA
CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES1

by

George L. Capel2


INTRODUCTION


Wages paid to packing labor represent one of the largest single labor expendi-

tures in citrus packinghouses. Packers are paid on a piece rate basis; therefore, the

cost of packing labor is a fixed amount per unit and, in the short run, is not related

to the efficiency of use of packers. Despite this fact, there are good reasons for

studying the use of packing labor.

First, there is not a uniform packing wage rate scale among all packinghouses

in a given location. This indicates that packinghouses either do not pack with equal

efficiency or do not offer the same earning opportunities to packers. The efficiency

and costs of packing labor are of concern to packinghouse managers because the

packinghouse operator will benefit from practices which will increase the earning

power of the packers in his house. The resulting increase in morale of the packers

is a desirable goal because if they are able to earn higher pay in any given packing-

This study was made cooperatively by the Department of Agricultural Economics,
Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida and the Marketing Research
Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture. It
is a portion of an over-all study of efficiency in handling and packing citrus fruits from
the grove through the packinghouse, and is a part of the Southern Regional Marketing
Project SM-4, "Increasing Efficiency in the Marketing and Pricing ofFresh and Processed
Citrus Fruit".
2
Agricultural Economist, Market Organization and Costs Branch, Marketing
Research Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of
Agriculture.








house, this house will have the advantage of being able to attract better, more

dependable workers.

Second, packing rates are subject to change. In recent years these changes

have been upward. If more efficient use is made of packing labor, the packers will

be able to attain higher earnings even at the existing piece rate schedules. This would

alleviate the need for further increases in piece rates.

Third, the packing labor requirements need to be studied to discover weaknesses

in the relation between rates of payment for handling and packing for various containers.
Evidence exists that the schedules of rates paid by some packinghouses do not permit

equal earnings for packing different containers. The general level of rates may be

chosen with reference only to the hourly earning that packinghouse managers wish

to pay packers. It is assumed that managers desire to use rates which will allow packers

to earn the same hourly pay on each type of container. Accurate labor requirements

for packing each container can be used to set up rates which give equal hourly earnings.

The specific purposes of this study are to; (1) review trends in the type of

containers used for shipping citrus fruits in Florida; (2) describe differences in pro-

cedures used to manage the packing labor force; (3) provide data on the labor

requirements for packing various containers for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and

temples; (4) show how these requirements differ according to size of fruit; and (5) use
~- c----------- ------------ ---- ------- -
the labor requirement data to compute piece rates designed to give packers equal

earning opportunities for all types of containers.

Method of Study

Studies of packing labor were made in fourteen packinghouses. This sample of
houses was selected from the sample used in the over-all study of handling and packing







efficiency. Some of the houses in the sample shipped citrus fruit only in 1-3/5 bushel

standard nailed boxes or wirebound boxes. Others used a wider range of containers,

including wirebound boxes, fiberboard boxes, and consumer bags.

The data on labor requirements were collected using work-sampling methods,

which permitted studies to be made of a number of workers simultaneously. Frequent,

random observations were made of each worker and a notation made of what each was

doing. This procedure allowed portioning the total work time among the specific

elements of the job performed. At the end of each period of study, the exact output

of packed fruit was determined. The work time per unit for each job element was then

determined by dividing the total time spent in each working element of the job by the

number of units packed.


TRENDS IN CONTAINERS USED TO SHIP CITRUS FRUITS

S Data in Table 1 and Figure 1 show the trends in types of containers used to

ship citrus fruits by years since the 1938-39 season. Over these years, more citrus

fruits have been packed in 1-3/5 bushel wirebound boxes than in any other container.

The proportion of the crop going to market in this container increased during the war

years, reaching a high of 77 percent in 1943-44. The use of wirebound boxes in the

postwar years remained above the level just prior to World War II, until the 1955-56

season, when the percentage dropped to just below the figure for 1938-39. The use of

4/5 bushel wirebound boxes has been substantial since World War II, increasing gradually.

This has been due to the increasing shipments of temple oranges and to the development

of a 4/5 bushel box for oranges and grapefruit. While the percentage of shipments in

wirebound boxes has remained uniformly high, the proportion of the crop going to market
in other containers has shown noticeable changes over this period of years.





TABLE 1
PERCENTAGE OF FLORIDA CITRUS FRUITS SHIPPED IN VARIOUS TYPES OF CONTAINERS
FOR SEASONS 1938-39 TO 1955-56


- --- ------ -- ------- Percent ---- -- --- -- --


26.4
22.5
28.0
22.5
15.1
11,8
12.1
10.6
12.1
14.2
11.0
10.8
13.1
11.0
10.7
13.2
10.7
8,9


8.2
5.9
5.7
5.1
6.0
2.6
2.1
1.9
0.5
1.0
0.4
0.3
0,2
0.1
0.1
a
a
a


a
0.7
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.3
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.5
0.4
0.5
0.5
0.4


48.3
53.8
59.5
66.9
66.3
76.9
73.8
72.6
71.0
62.3
68.8
66.2
67.2
67.1
65.0
60.8
57.0
47.8
- -i i i


5.3
1.5
0.8
0.5
1.4
0.9
3.6
6.1
6.2
7.1
7.6
9.7
8.4
8.0
10.1
9.4
10.6
13.4.


a
a,
a
b
0.1
a
1.2
a
a
b
a
a
a
b
b
a
a


2.5
0.5
0.8
0.7
0.4
1.7
4.3
6.0
7.8
12.3
8.5
4.4
4.3
5.0
4.7
5.4
5.5
5.4


1.0
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.1
a
a
a
0.8
5.4
3.6
4.6
4.0
4.0
4.4
5,2


8.0
4.6
3.6
2.9
7.4
3.5
1.1
1.9
1.2
1.1
0.7
0.5
0.5
0.7
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.3


0.1
0.2
0.5
0.4
0,3
0.4
0.4
0.4
0.7
1.4
1.2
0.6
0.4
0.4
0.4
0.4
0.3
0.3


a
a
a
a
a
a

b

a
0.1
0.1
0.3
0.9
2.8
6.6
14.6


"Less than .05 percent.
None reported.


Source: Summarized from the annual reports of Citrus and Vegetable Inspection Division, Florida Department of Agriculture.


Season


1931-39
1939-40
1940-41
1941-42
1942-43
1943-44
1944-45
1945-46
1946-47
1947-48
1948-49
1949-50
1950-51
1951-52
1952-53
1953-54
1954-55
1955-56


b
b
b
b
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.3
0.6
1.6
1.8
2.3
3.2
3.2
4.2
3.7


0.2
0.2
0.2
0.1
1.9
1.7
1.0
0.1
0.1
a
0.1
a
a
0.1
a
a
a


100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00
100.00

















-.Wirebound .....
.boxes ......"
..-'''
o.


(0
'o




L..
c
1>
PJ
'3





or


(3



in
C
0
-

1^


1951-52


1953-54 1955-56


Fig. 1.--Trends in the shipment of Florida Citrus Fruits in wirebound, nailed and fiberboard boxes; bags,
anOd in bulk, 1938- through 1955-5r.


failedd boxes





S..... "....--.. Fiberboard boxes...--
Bas.... -....- Bulk ---
II I I __! I _I


__ ___


_____L__ _L_ ~ _UL_____~ __II~I___ ____ ~


,o,
*.,

. .,


. .-


1. 31-4- 1941-42 1 43-44








The importance of nailed boxes has been less during and after World War II

than in the prewar years. While 39.2 percent of the fruit was packed in nailed boxes

in the 1939-40 season, only 8,9 percent was shipped in this type box in 1955-56.

There are various reasons for this change. Probably of first importance is the higher

cost for the standard box. Secondly, the wirebound box is easier to handle and dispose

of in the markets. The use of the standard box has been almost entirely discontinued

in the interior section. Its use is now limited mostly to the Indian River section.

Important changes have taken place in the use of bags. Prior to the war, the

4/5 bushel bag was used for 3 to 8 percent of the fruit shipped, During the war, this

proportion declined and was replaced by the eight-pound bag. Of the fruit shipped

in the 1947-48 season, 12 percent was in eight-pound bags--the highest percentage

attained for this particular container. In the 1949-50 season, the use of the eight-

pound bag declined and the use of the five-pound bag increased to a point where the

combined use of five- and eight-pound bags was equal to, or higher than, the use of

eight-pound bags alone in previous seasons. The combined use of five- and eight-

pound bags has totaled about 8 to 10 percent of the total shipments from the 1949-50

season through 1955-56.

In recent years, the shipment of citrus to market in bulk form has increased.

The data presented in Table 1 for bulk shipments include both interstate shipments of

bulk fruit and intrastate shipments of fruit in "loose" boxes (boxes not closed). The

increase has been from none reported in the pre-World War II years to 4.2 percent of

the total in 1954-55.

Another recent development in shipping containers is the increased use of









4/5 bushel fiberboard boxes. Shipments from Florida in fiberboard boxes have increased

in recent seasons, and accounted for 14.6 percent of all fresh shipments in 1955-56, up

from 6.6 the previous season. This large increase is related to a similar drop in the use

of 1-3/5 bushel wirebound boxes between 1954-55 and 1955-56.


MANAGEMENT OF THE PACKING LABOR FORCE

Management of the packing labor force used to pack the complex of containers

described on the previous pages was observed to differ between packinghouses with

respect to (1) the rotation of packers among bins with different size fruit, (2) the control

of idle time, and (3) the procedure for keeping records on the output of each packer.

Rotating Packers Among the Various Fruit Sizes

The basic procedure for rotating packers among the various bins was to have the

entire group of packers organized in an imaginary numerical order. Corresponding to

this was a similar imaginary order for each packing bin. The starting point was the

bin of largest-sized fruit being packed in the first row of bins. Packers worked through

the entire gamut of packing bins by starting on the large-sized fruit in the first row,

rotating to the smaller-sized fruit on the same row, and then to the large-sized fruit on

the second row of bins, and so on. Such an arrangement of the packers enabled them

to follow a set order through the gamut of packing bins. A certain number of packers

was assigned to each row of bins. Changes were made on a set schedule. This

schedule varied between packinghouses from as often as every half hour to every half

day. This procedure tended to give each packer equal time in packing fruit of all

sizes. It is not necessarily equitable over short periods of time. Variations in the

volume and size of fruit might give certain packers advantages over short periods.









4/5 bushel fiberboard boxes. Shipments from Florida in fiberboard boxes have increased

in recent seasons, and accounted for 14.6 percent of all fresh shipments in 1955-56, up

from 6.6 the previous season. This large increase is related to a similar drop in the use

of 1-3/5 bushel wirebound boxes between 1954-55 and 1955-56.


MANAGEMENT OF THE PACKING LABOR FORCE

Management of the packing labor force used to pack the complex of containers

described on the previous pages was observed to differ between packinghouses with

respect to (1) the rotation of packers among bins with different size fruit, (2) the control

of idle time, and (3) the procedure for keeping records on the output of each packer.

Rotating Packers Among the Various Fruit Sizes

The basic procedure for rotating packers among the various bins was to have the

entire group of packers organized in an imaginary numerical order. Corresponding to

this was a similar imaginary order for each packing bin. The starting point was the

bin of largest-sized fruit being packed in the first row of bins. Packers worked through

the entire gamut of packing bins by starting on the large-sized fruit in the first row,

rotating to the smaller-sized fruit on the same row, and then to the large-sized fruit on

the second row of bins, and so on. Such an arrangement of the packers enabled them

to follow a set order through the gamut of packing bins. A certain number of packers

was assigned to each row of bins. Changes were made on a set schedule. This

schedule varied between packinghouses from as often as every half hour to every half

day. This procedure tended to give each packer equal time in packing fruit of all

sizes. It is not necessarily equitable over short periods of time. Variations in the

volume and size of fruit might give certain packers advantages over short periods.









However, over longer periods these variations tend to be minimized.

The major variation from this basic procedure was to have the packers organized

into teams of from two to four. Each team manned one row of packing bins. The

packers rotated in a team among the bins in their rows and the teams rotated among the

rows of bins. Both of these rotations were on a fixed schedule. The rotation within

the teams may be every half hour or every hour. The rotation of teams among rows or

bins may occur every half day.

Controlling Idle Time

Most packinghouses employ a crew of packers in excess of the average needs

to handle peak loads of work. Packers observed in this study spent an average 30.3

percent of their time in a nonwork status (Table 2).

TABLE 2

PERCENTAGE OF TIME PACKERS WERE OBSERVED IN A NONWORK STATUS
BY TYPE OF FRUIT AND THE TYPE OF CONTAINERS BEING USED,
FLORIDA CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES, 1954

Type of Container
1-3/5 Wire- 1-3/5 Standard 4/5 Wire- 1-3/5 Wire-
Type of bound Nailed bound bound Boxond
Fruit Box Box Box Consumer Bags All
- ---- percent- -- -- -- -- r- -
Oranges 31.6 37.4 17.7 19.6 25.2
Grapefruit 69.1 27.9 37.6 37.0
Temples . 25.4 25.4
Tangerines .. 27.1 27,1
All 40.0 29.5 25.1 28.3 30.3


Generally, in packinghouses where a variety of containers were packed, the

delay time was greatest when packing those containers for which the labor requirements








were lowest. This was to be expected in view of the fact that a fixed crew of packers

was employed at all times. This fixed crew was the number required to pack all the

fruit at peak loads when those containers were being packed which have the highest

time requirements. The smallest proportion of delay time was observed during periods

when /5 bushel boxes and combinations of 1-3/5 bushel wirebound boxes and consumer

bags were being packed. No observations were made in which bags only were being

packed. It must be remembered that these figures, as well as the original data on which

they were based, are averages over a period of time. Typically, in the beginning of a

half-day run, boxes alone would be packed for a while. Later, certain sizes would be

packed into bags instead of boxes. Seldom would the entire output be packed in bags.

Still later the packing of bags might cease and the entire output be packed in boxes.

Therefore, the entire study contains periods other than combinations as indicated.

The time of packing various containers is determined by efficiency considerations,

Bags are not usually packed until they are actually needed to fill an order and the truck

or rail car is ready to be loaded. This is done for reasons of efficiency in the use of

labor in the shipping department. In general, it is more efficient to store boxes than

bags, especially in packinghouses which use specialized equipment to transport bags to

the loading station. Furthermore, the volume of shipments going to market in bags for

the entire industry is considerably lower than that proportion shipped in boxes. There-

fore, it is more reasonable to pack and store (if necessary) the larger quantities of boxed

fruit needed and to pack bags only when they can be loaded immediately.

The practice of packing bags only when a motor truck or rail car is waiting is not

followed by all packing houses. Some find it possible to store bags temporarily with no








great increase in costs. This is true for those which transport the bags from the packing

stations to the loading stations by hand trucks in large upright crates or in modified field

boxes. These crates or boxes of bagged fruit may be stored temporarily and then trans-

ported to the loading point as readily as boxes.

These considerations emphasize the situations which lead to peak loads for

packing labor. Certainly, if possible, it is desirable to spread out evenly the packing

of containers with higher than average labor requirements, if in doing so, greater

inefficiencies do not result in other departments. It was observed that when a combina-

tion of bags and boxes were being packed, the regular crew of packers was required to

work almost constantly; in fact, occasionally the packers would be unable to keep up

with the regular flow of fruit through the packinghouse and temporary stoppages in the

flow of fruit to the packers would be required. Such breaks were lmimed by the fact

that the fruit could accumulate in the packing bins to a considerable ex!r;rt before

breaks were needed, and the packers would have an opportunity to e! iirnate the

accumulation if the period of bag packing was limited.

There were indications in this study that packinghouse managers had had varying

degrees of success in solving the problem of idle time for the packing labor force. In

some packinghouses there was very little nonwork time chberved. In others, a substan-

tial percentage of the packers was observed in a nonwork s-atus. Frequent short periods

of intensive bag packing create the need for a larger crew of pcnkeos thmn if the packing

of bags was never undertaken or, if at all, over longer periods al I:bwr intrnsn'y. This

is a question which must be answered on the basis of several consid~rations--on!y one of

which is efficiency in the use of packing labor. The relatively large proportion of idle








time necessitated procedures for rotating this time among packers. In nearly all cases

observed, the rule was for the idle time to fall to the packers assigned to the bins with

the smallest-sized fruit. In some situations, one packer was able to pock all the fruit

falling into one row of bins. When this happened, the one packer assigned to the bin

with the largest-sized fruit would move from bin to bin, packing all the fruit. The

rotation of the packers among the bins with different sized fruit, allowed idle time to

be averaged out among all packers over long time periods.

One variation in the allocation of idle time was noted. In one small packing-

house the packers all became idle at the same time. If one or more packers were

packing from bins that became empty, they would signal to the others to stop. During

the idle period, the packers would rearrange themselves so that bins with relatively

large volumes of fruit falling into them had more packers. When enough fruit had

entered the bins, the packer who had signaled for the break would signal for all to start

packing. This system gave an equitable rotation of idle time among the packers but it

would be difficult to operate in a medium to large packinghouse.

Recording the Output of Each Packer

The job of keeping records of the output of each packer was handled in several

ways. The simplest method observed was for the packers to keep their own record by

the use of punch cards. Each packer had one card for each type of container, stamped

with the packer's number, and distinguished according to the type of container by color.

After the completion of packing one unit (1-3/5 bushel box equivalent), the packer

would punch a hole in the appropriate card. Hand:punches were provided for this purpose.

Several methods were used when the records were kept by someone other than the







packer. One of these was the use of a set of numbered tickets for each packer. Upon

completion of packing a unit, one of the tickets with the packer's number on it was

placed on the box. Tickets of different colors were used to designate different types

of packs. The tickets were removed from the boxes by the lidders and turned over to

a clerk who counted them and recorded the output of each packer.

Another method for recording output was to have the packers stamp their number

on each container they pocked. This system was used only when the packed fruit moved

through one central location for counting by grade and size of fruit. At this tally point,

the clerk noted the number of the packer stamped on each box. At the end of the day,

the clerk had a complete record of the output of each packer. This system is best

adapted to packinghouses which do no bagging and those which bring all the packed

fruit by one central point.

One packinghouse followed the practice of pooling the output among teams of

packers. The packers were divided into teams of three packers each. The teams were

rotated between rows of bins to equalize the opportunity for each team to pack fruit of

all sizes, Within the rows, the packers rotated among bins with large and small fruit

to spread out the work load. Idle time was rotated in the usual manner. All packers

kept individual records of their output through the use of punch cards. At the end of a

pay period, however, the output for the three packers on each team was added together

and divided equally to each. Where this system was used, the packers themselves had

suggested its use, and seemed to wholeheartedly endorse its continued use.

LABOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PACKING VARIOUS CONTAINERS
Data in Tables 3, 4, and 5 show the average minutes of labor required by job
elements for packing Florida oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and temple oranges in the








various types of containers. The most time consuming element in each case was that of

placing fruit in the container. This was higher for placing fruit in standard nailed

boxes than in other types of containers because of the extra time required to wrap indi-

vidual fruits and the two compartment box. The data on standard nailed boxes were for

the "blind pack" in which only the upper two layers of fruit were wrapped. This means

that from one-third to one-half of the fruit was wrapped, depending on the size of the

fruit and the pattern used. The packer was able to wrap and place only one fruit at a

time, while two or more unwrapped fruits could be placed in one motion. This accounted

for the considerable difference in labor requirements. Furthermore, indications are that

the two compartments in a standard nailed box result in slower packing. This showed up

also in the time required for packing oranges in 4/5 bushel wirebound boxes, because to

pack a 1-3/5 bushel box equivalent, the packer must fill two boxes, just as two compart-

ments must be filled to pack a 1-3/5 bushel standard nailed box. More time is required

in placing fruit at the start.

The delay time added to the actual work time required was calculated by adding

10 percent of the work time. Delay consists of three components. One component is

incidental duties which must be performed. It was estimated that these duties, such as

raking bins to prevent overflowing, tallying packed boxes, and incidental moving from

one location to another, require about 2 percent of the time. The second component was

made up of unavoidable delays when the packer was ready to work but must delay.

Examples of this type of delay are delay in pushing a packed box onto the conveyor

because the conveyor is full, delay in waiting for boxes to be supplied, or delay caused

by lack of fruit to pack. The third type of delay was necessary rest time (or personal

time).








TABLE 3
LABOR REQUIREMENTS BY JOB ELEMENT FOR PACKING ORANGES ACCORDING TO
TYPE OF CONTAINER, FLORIDA CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES, 1954

Type of Container
1-3/5 Bu. 1-3/5.'Bu. 4/5 Bu. 8-lb, 5-1b
Job Element Wirebound Nailed Fiberboard: Bag Bag
Box Box Box

- minutes per 1-3/5 bus el equivalent - -
Obtain container 0.14 0.11 0.40 0.40 0.64
Obtain wraps a 0.06 a a a
Place liners 0.06 0.12 a a a
Stamp container 0.09 0.09 0.19 a a
Place fruit 1.92 4.06b 2.45 3.31 3.46
Aside container 0.13 0.18 0.18 0.51 0.82
Total work time 2.34 4.62 3.22 4.22 4.92
Delay 0.23 0.46 0.32 0.42 0.49
Total 2.57 5.08 3.54 4.64 5.41

aNot applicable
bPlacing time for "blind pack" packing, where the two top layers only were
wrapped.

TABLE 4
LABOR REQUIREMENT BY JOB ELEMENT FOR PACKING GRAPEFRUIT ACCORDING TO
TYPE OF CONTAINER, FLORIDA CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES, 1954

Type of Container
1-3/5Bu. 1-3/5 Bu. 8-lb. 5-lb.
Job Element Wirebound Box Nailed Box Bag Bag
minutes per 1-3/5 bushel equivalent - - -
Obtain container 0.14 0.11 0.40 0.64
Obtain wraps a 0.02 a a'
Place liners 0.06 0.12 a a
Stamp container 0.09 0.09 a a
Place fruit 1.22 2.46 2.83 2.96
Aside container 0.13 0.18 0.51 0.82
Total work time 1 .64 298 374 4.42
Delay 0.16 0.30 0.37 0.44
Total 1.80 3.28 4.11 4.86
aNot applicable
bTime requirements for packing the "blind pack" in which the upper two layers
were wrapped.








TABLE 5
LABOR REQUIREMENTS BY JOB ELEMENT FOR PACKING TEMPLES AND TANGERINES
IN 4/5 BUSHEL WIREBOUND BOXES, FLORIDA CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES, 1954

Job Element Temples Tangerines

-- minutes per 1-3/5 bushel equivalent - -
Obtain container 0.25 0.25
Stamp container 0.17 0.17
Place liners 0.17 0.17
Place fruit 3.13 3.44
Aside container 0.19 0.19
Total work time 3.91 4.22
Delay 1 0.39 0.42
Total 4.30 4.64


LABOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PACKING BY SIZE OF FRUIT

Data in Tables 6 and 7 show the average minutes required for packing according

to size of fruit. With few exceptions, more time was used in packing each successively


smaller size.


These data are shown graphically in Figure 2.


TABLE 6


VARIATIONS IN TOTAL LABOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PACKING ORANGES IN
VARIOUS TYPES OF CONTAINER ACCORDING TO SIZE OF FRUIT,
FLORIDA CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES, 1954

Type of Container
Size of 1-3/5 Bushel 1-3/5 Bushel 4/5 Bushel
Fruit Wirebound Box Standard Nailed Box Fiberboard Box
- - -minutes per 1-3/5 bushel equivalent - -
126 1.80 a a
150 2.10 3.97 2.72
176 2.15 4.32 3.06
200 2.86 4.71 4.06
216 2.66 5.94 3.76
252 2.83 5.48 4.46
288 a 6.94 a

insufficient observations to make estimates.

















Oranges


I -


~4.
126 150 176I


'I





i, I_


,I'
1'*(


I i.








0"''


200 216


'I [.

i~i



252


,-,i. Wirebound box
'-.:;^.:Std. nailed box
F-.Fiberboard box




Grapefruit


-~l ;.1 t '" ,i
"o ;'.* | !*
46 '5*
"46 54r


Size of Fruit
Fig. 2.--Labor requirements for packing Florida oranges and grapefruit in various containers according to
size of fruit, 1954.


UI"U


--








TABLE 7

VARIATIONS IN TOTAL LABOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PACKING GRAPEFRUIT IN
VARIOUS TYPES OF CONTAINER; ACCORDING TO SIZE OF FRUIT
FLORIDA CITRUS PACKINGHOUSES, 1954

i Type of Container
Size of 1-3/5 Bushel 1-3/5 Bushel Standard
Fruit Wirebound Box Nailed Box
- minutes per 1-3/5 bushel equivalent- -- -
46 1.46 2.68
54 1.56 2.61
64 1.79 3.11
70 1.72 3.17
80 1.86 3.30
96 1.97 4.02


The labor requirements do not increase along a straight line as size of fruit

decreases (Figure 2). These deviations are caused by labor requirements being

affected by differences in the effort required to pack the various sizes. The design

of some patterns may be such that they require more time to pack than may be expected.

Factors which may contribute to this situation are: (1) difficulty in starting the pattern

at the bottom of the box, (2) difficulty in finishing the individual layers of fruit, or

(3) number of layers in the pattern.

The experiences and opinions of packinghouse personnel support the irregular

curves for labor requirements by size of fruit. For example, size 200 oranges were

found to require more time for placing than size 216 oranges. The reason advanced

for this was that each layer of size 200 oranges exactly fills the box, and the last row

placed in each layer must be forced to a greater extent than is required for size 216.









COMPUTED PIECE RATES

For comparative purposes, piece rates which would result in equal hourly

earnings are presented in Table 8. The hourly earnings selected for comparison were

$0.75, $1.00, and $1.25. The piece rates were computed from actual work time

observed plus the observed delay time.


TABLE 8

PIECE RATES COMPUTED TO GIVE SPECIFIED HOURLY
RATES OF EARNINGS FOR PACKERS

Rotes Required to Give Hourly Earnings Of:
Container $0.75 $1.00 $1.25

- cents per 1-3/5 bushel equivalent -- -
Oranges:
1-3/5 bu. wirebound box 3.8 5.1 6.4
1-3/5 bu. standard nailed
box 7.5 10.1 12.5
4/5 bu. fiberboard boxa 5.3 7.0 8.8
8-pound bag 6.9 9.2 11.5
5-pound bag 8.0 10.7 13.4
Grapefruit:
7-~75- u. wirebound box 2.7 3.6 4.5
1-3/5 bu. standard nailed
box 4.9 6.5 8.1
8-poundxbag 6.1 8.1 10.2
5-pound bag 7.2 9.6 12.0
Temples:
-475Tu. wirebound box 6.4 8.5 10.6
Tangerines:
47b5 -. wirebound box 6.9 9.2 11.5


aRates given are for the flat type box.


There are circumstances under which these computed rates may not apply,

Rates may need to be higher for some containers which are packed infrequently, in a








specific packinghouse, and which differ substantially from the more common packs

used by the house. For example, many packinghouses commonly pack the major

portion of their output in 1-3/5 bushel wirebound boxes. For packers in these houses,

the packing of 1-3/5 bushel standard nailed boxes is an unfamiliar task. The output

of standard boxes by these packers could not be expected to be as high as that for

packers who are accustomed to packing standard boxes. Consequently, a schedule

of rates which provided a relatively higher rate for packing standard boxes would be

justified. Packinghouse managers and the packers can determine when this situation

exists.



























GLC/es
6/25/57
Dept. Ag.Econ. 800




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