The IBCs of supply chain logistics
If your sole focus is on maximizing profits, you might not mind how intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are commonly used. But if you're keen to take greater responsibility for our planet, the startup Packwise is at HANNOVER MESSE 2019 to show how IBC management can be made much more eco-friendly.27 Feb. 2019
The 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg should neither be exploited as cheap clickbait nor considered the new oracle of the 21st century. In fact, we need to counteract this cult-like focus on one person - which will do no good for our planet and clearly threatens to overburden this young woman with more responsibility than the stranded captains of industry. If we cast the net much wider instead, the Young Tech Enterprises exhibition area at HANNOVER MESSE 2019, which provides a world-renowned platform for the up-and-coming tech startup scene, is sure to fire up your optimism. We just have to hope the sustainable approaches on show - such as intelligent IBC management presented by the Dresden-based startup Packwise - will be put into practice.
Experts estimate that in Germany alone there are approximately 10 million IBCs circulating every year as standardized, efficient industrial packaging for storing and transporting liquid and free-flowing materials in the food and chemical industries. At many companies, the capital tied up in using stainless steel IBCs stretches into the tens of millions. After noticing the huge organizational outlay and massive carbon footprint generated by the use of plastic packaging in industry, Gesche Weger, Felix Weger and Rene Bernhardt founded Packwise GmbH in 2017 to seek answers to two burning issues. Firstly, they were keen to investigate how intelligent packaging cycles could be designed to enable IBCs to be reused in a much more economical and eco-friendly fashion. Secondly, they were determined to find a way of organizing IBCs efficiently that would reduce the heavy administrative burden and enable companies to reliably manage their inventories without losses.
The three founders are attending HANNOVER MESSE - at the futureSAX GmbH stand - to share their findings and explain how intelligent IBCs can pave the way for real-time automated supply chain logistics and customer service. This pioneering startup aspires to offer manufacturers and customers in the food and chemical industries an end-to-end, intelligent IBC management service by combining industry expertise with cutting-edge IT. The smart new process achieves this by digitally networking market operators and linking them to a platform that grants IBC users access to Europe's largest partner network for reconditioning and logistics. Ultimately, Packwise aims to enable companies to deploy IBCs faster and more frequently throughout their service life.
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