Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is our equipment back where it belongs

More returnable transit packaging (RTP) equipment goes missing during the festive season than any other time of year. But with multiple external forces continuing to wreak havoc across the food industry supply chain in 2021, this year should be the season for giving back. Paul Empson, general manager, Bakers Basco, explains why and how.

The festive season has traditionally been a time for giving, but with supply chains facing additional pressure due to the ongoing national driver shortage, the cogs (companies) that keep the food industry engine running to deliver food from source to supermarket shelves, need to reverse this trend in 2021 and encourage everybody to start giving back.

By everybody, I mean everyone – from the general public to warehouse staff, logistics managers and supermarket workers – and by giving back, I mean ensuring the safe return of equipment that might be lost or clogged up at distribution centres, in warehouses, delivery bays, Recycling & Reclamation Units (RRUs), abandoned on the street or elsewhere.

Anyone who works in the food logistics industry knows that the demand for safe, secure and efficient returnable transit packaging (RTP) hits an all-year high during the festive season. Thanks to a spike in food sales, those working behind the scenes face increased pressure to ensure additional equipment is available to transport goods across the UK to ensure that everyone gets what they need in time for Christmas Day.

But that’s easier said than done. Just as Santa has to deliver gifts across the world in just one night, that same miracle has to happen in the days leading up to Christmas to ensure that suppliers can deliver their fresh goods in a timely and efficient manner.

The problem is that, particularly in our corner of the food industry – baking – the memo alerting people to return any equipment that has been diverted out of the supply chain seems to have gotten lost in the post. Bakers Basco equipment – which includes our plastic bakery trays and dollies – carry an embossed label stating who the owner is. All of this equipment is designed to be reused again and again for a life span of up to 10 years and is then recycled once it has come to the end of its useful life. 

It might not be a diamond ring or the latest tech gadget, but this vital piece of equipment has value. It is relied upon daily to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of fresh bread and baked goods across the UK – even more so during the busy festive season – plus, it’s designed to be environmentally friendly as part of the circular economy.

When any piece of equipment goes missing from the supply chain, it can be costly to replace – not just from a monetary value but to the detriment of the environment. After all, who wants more unnecessary plastic out in the world if it’s not being returned and reused responsibly?

It’s not a shortage issue, it’s a stuck issue. There is plenty of equipment in circulation to keep the festive spirit alive – but not if it’s stuck in the wrong place or in the wrong hands.

So, as I’m writing my wish list to Santa for Christmas this year, it’s to send this important message to everybody, raise awareness of what people should do if they come across any of our equipment where it shouldn’t be, and know that all they have to do is give us a call and Bakers Basco will come and collect it for free, wherever it is in the UK.

And while ‘Basco’s little helpers’ – our national investigations team – are working harder than ever to track down and reclaim equipment that has been diverted out of the supply chain, today it’s on everyone to play their part to ensure that everyone gets a gift they deserve this Christmas. 

If you are aware of a build-up of equipment or come across any abandoned equipment, please contact Bakers Basco on 0800 032 7323 to arrange a free collection. For more information, visit www.bakersbasco.com.

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