bekuplast, a container manufacturer based in Germany, has been producing plastic containers for the food industry for many years. However, the BÄKO partner not only manufactures bread baskets but also specializes in the development and production of hinged containers. Folding storage and transport containers have been standard in the field of fresh fruit logistics for many years, however, they have not yet made inroads into the logistics of bread and baked goods. As Gerold Wilms, who is responsible for the bread and baked products division at bekuplast, states, “Our goal was to transfer our many years of experience in the field of folding containers to the bakery industry and to develop the first foldable transportation basket for bread and baked products.”
“In the course of developing the folding bread basket, we took the special requirements of the bakery industry into account,” Wilms continues. The result is a folding basket for bread and bakery products which, in terms of quality and stability, is in no way inferior to a rigid transportation basket. Furthermore, it offers clear advantages in the field of logistics due to the high reduction of volume.
Because bakeries deliver freshly baked products from the bakery to the individual branches on a daily basis, practical and efficient logistics are particularly important. After the products have been sold, the volume of the container can be reduced by simply folding it up. This means that when the empty containers are returned, space and transportation costs are saved. In addition, empty containers are often a problem because there is hardly any place to put them in the branches. The use of folding baskets frees up surface areas and allows them to be used for a different purpose.
“Calculations have shown that during transport, the use of volume-reducing transportation baskets can save many kilometers and significantly increase space efficiency in production sites and branches,” Wilms says.
When folded up, the volume of the bread basket is reduced by around 70%. With the patented ergonomic locking/unlocking mechanism, the so-called lift-lock closure, the baskets can be folded up and unfolded with lightning speed. The folding mechanism ensures optimum stability and safety. The folding containers are very easy to clean and hardly retain any residual water after washing and drying. The bread folding basket has already been successfully tested in practice and is already in use in large bakeries. It offers the same stability as a high-quality, rigid bread container and is designed so that it is suitable for manual and fully automatic handling. Upon request, the containers can be adapted to the design of the company and also finished with an engraving or print.
The folding bread baskets are compatible with all common basket systems in the euro size 600 x 400 mm. Existing stocks of baskets can continue to be used and it is not necessary to replace the entire stock. A gradual changeover to the volume-reducing foldable container is possible.