13. July 2022 | Background

Beri & Jasmine on Tour: Use of swap bodies

We tested our exoskeletons in Wittenwil for our last blog post, in what proved to be an immensely exciting and completely novel experience for us.

For the second episode of ‘Beri & Jasmine on tour’, we took a closer look at a few processes relating to the swap bodies at our hub in Buchs in the canton of Zurich, from the parcel infeed system to the loading of the swap bodies to transport parcels to another DPD depot. But first of all, let us start with a bit of terminology.

What are swap bodies?

A swap body (also known as an exchangeable container or interchangeable unit) is an exchangeable freight container that we attach to a truck or trailer.


DPD facts about swap bodies at our hub in Buchs:

  • We unload 60 swap bodies a day in Buchs.

  • We load 50 swap bodies a day in Buchs.

  • Most of them are from depots in Germany (ten swap bodies) and our hub in Möhlin (twelve swap bodies).

  • Most of them go to our hub in Möhlin (seven swap bodies), our depot in Rothenburg (nine swap bodies) and our depot in Wittenwil (seven swap bodies).

  • A swap body holds around 700 parcels on average.

  • Every afternoon, 11 employees work to load the swap bodies.

  • Parcels are sorted by 46 employees working in two shifts



What does infeed mean?

An infeed is a smart system which scans and sorts parcels. Every consignment that arrives in Buchs goes through this process and is then either sorted automatically for final delivery by our drivers in Buchs or loaded into a swap body which is then transported to another depot. The infeed system and sorting process are either controlled by software or the parcels are scanned manually by employees.


Our summary of our tour:

Beri & Jasmine meet Shefik, our shift manager in Buchs, Zurich for a brief introduction and to collect our hi-vis vests. Our machines are already running at full speed and the depot staff have been at work since the shift started at 14:30.

At the infeed, nine employees are busy unloading the swap bodies or our vans. The sorting process is largely automated, although not every parcel can be sorted automatically.

Some parcels might be oversized or bulky, the label might not be clearly readable etc.

At any rate, the parcels meant for delivery to another depot are sorted and loaded into the swap bodies. The Buchs depot has 14 exits where Beri & Jasmine lent a hand and loaded part of a swap body. It was another interesting experience for us and we even drew a few parallels with Tetris.

Who still remembers that cool-yet-tricky game from the 80s?

Either way, we needed help to pack everything properly because although Beri and Jasmine combined are just under 3 metres (10 feet) tall, individually they come in at just over 1.6 metres (5 feet 2 inches).

Thankfully, the guys who work in the depot were extremely helpful and offered their assistance. It is not every day that you see the ‘girls from Marketing’, as we were called, in action 😜.

Beri & Jasmine already have a topic in mind for the next episode. Don’t despair – our new blog article is coming soon with a video and, of course, our own indispensable personal summary.


Do you have anything to add? We look forward to hearing from you: [email protected]

With warm regards,

Beri & Jasmine


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