Few consumers are aware of what is going on behind the scenes of the local supermarket's fruit and vegetable department and along the supply chain. Transparency, not only towards customers, but also towards consumers, is becoming increasingly important. Euro Pool System, headquartered in Bornheim, therefore used the opportunity to introduce itself to the public during the "Night of Technology" in the Rhein-Sieg district.
During the afternoon and until late into the night, guided tours for employees, their families and interested people from the region were organised at the depot in Bornheim. A success, says Dr. Kurt Jäger, Managing Director. "Almost everyone has already seen our crates in action, but only a few are aware of this. In the fruit and vegetable sector, our crates are also used for presentations, in many other sectors it is impossible for outsiders to determine whether the goods have been transported in Euro Pool System crates.
This is how consumers know the boxes: an example of a retail display as it was shown at the Night of Technology.
Since 1992, Euro Pool System has been a logistics service provider for reusable packaging, with 43 depots, washing facilities and service points throughout Europe, and thus moves around 1.2 billion boxes annually. With such an envelope and the associated logistics, the sustainability and efficiency of the processes must be ascribed special value. "We want to show our customers how they can improve their sustainability in cooperation with us."
Dr. Kurt Jäger gave FreshPlaza.de a tour through the depot and the washing facility in Bornheim.
Maximise circular value.
Jäger explains: "98% of our crates can be recycled into crates again and have a service life of 10 to 20 years. This means that our materials can ideally remain in use for up to 120 years. This definitely makes us superior to disposable solutions." And he has science on his side. "A study by the Fraunhofer Institute (peer reviewed) has shown that reusable packaging is ecologically and economically more sensible. In addition to the resource-saving properties, there is a much lower breakage rate along the supply chain, which additionally counteracts food wastage."
In addition to the sustainability of the crate itself, work is also being done on logistics that are as efficient as possible, starting with the strategic locations of the depots and washing facilities. "Bornheim is the largest fresh produce cluster in the whole of Germany in terms of pallet handling. As a result, we make it possible for very few, and ideally none, empty runs to be made." Used crates are delivered and loaded clean with the same truck and delivered to the producers, for example. The same applies to other company locations, such as the drop-off point on the grounds of the Munich Wholesale Market.
Cool Rail: If necessary, line extension
Logistics on the other side of the ridge has also become very involved. For short distances you have to rely on forwarding services and trucks as much as possible. A new concept was launched this year for long-haul routes, for example between Spain and the Netherlands: Cool Rail.
"Every week, two to three trains run refrigerated containers between Valencia in Spain and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. That means a good 150 trains with 42 containers each per year and a CO2 saving of 80-90% compared to transport by lorry," explains Jäger. The train is always full - either with goods from Spain or with empty crates for return to Spain. "In the future, we would also like to expand further routes. Especially in Scandinavia this idea is already being accepted".
Challenges for the future
"We have international goals which we have worked out together with our partners and which we would like to implement for Euro Pool System in Germany and Europe. Sustainability remains an important issue - especially with the big goal of reducing our CO2 footprint by 20% by 2025". Nevertheless, we would like to continue to optimize the network as a reliable partner for the company's customers. Jäger concludes: "Our motto for these concerns is 'Follow Your Customer'. Within the framework of this cooperation and in close coordination with our customers, we continue to guarantee the availability of clean, high-quality multi-use crates."
For more information:
Mario Winter - HR Manager Region Central
Euro Pool System International (Deutschland) GmbH
Rosental 853332 Bornheim - Deutschland
T +49(0)2222 911 313
M +49(0)172 2661820