Bakers Basco warehouse

Source: Bakers Basco

More than half of delivery drivers responsible for transporting bread want more support from warehouse managers and supermarket workers on the issue of missing equipment, according to a new survey by Bakers Basco.

The research also shows that 93% of the drivers feel they have a responsibility outside of their daily duties in ensuring the safe return of equipment.

Millions of bread baskets and other food delivery equipment goes missing every year, presenting a growing problem for the UK’s transport and logistics industries – particularly in the bakery sector.

Bakers Basco was set up in 2006 by five of the UK’s biggest plant bakers to manage the flow of baskets used for transporting bread across country. Today the scheme manages more than 55% of the UK’s bakery basket stock, while national bakers typically also hold and manage their own stock of baskets.

The organisation’s study of more than 100 delivery drivers at bakery sites across the UK from Warburtons, Fine Lady Bakeries, Allied Bakeries and Roberts set out to understand how the issue unfolds on the front line, and what drivers are doing to help.

Almost half (44%) of the delivery drivers surveyed said they have come across equipment belonging to Bakers Basco in places where it shouldn’t be. The majority (20%) is found in markets, while others stated convenience stores displaying fruit and veg, florists, on the side of main roads, at service stations, at car boot sales and garden centres as areas of interest.

A further 42% revealed that on multiple occasions they have turned up at a location to collect Bakers Basco equipment, only to find that it’s not there, and have been advised by the store that the equipment has been taken or stolen. For a tenth of drivers, this happens regularly.

When it comes to reporting equipment that’s ended up out of the supply chain and found somewhere it shouldn’t be, 60% will report immediately to their manager while more than a fifth (22%) said they ‘don’t think anything of it’. Of those who felt it is their responsibility to take action, 27% would report to their manager or Bakers Basco directly.

While 47% of drivers stated that they receive support from warehouse managers and supermarket workers to approach the issue of missing or misappropriated equipment – ranging from management investigations to reminders to collect equipment and numbers to call – as many as 52% feel that they could get more support.

“Delivery drivers will often work on different shifts and routes from one day to the next and being on the frontline, they will often see things that others won’t,” said Paul Empson, general manager of Bakers Basco. “That’s why it was important for us to understand how this issue of equipment misuse unfolds from their perspective.

“We will use these findings to help improve how we engage with delivery drivers on the ground as we work towards greater collaboration across the industry to stamp out any unlawful activity relating to delayed, lost or stolen equipment,” Empson added.