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A tour through Eichholtz's coffee handling operation.

In 1991, Eichholtz of Hamburg, Germany, owned by Rainer Kraupner, invested DM 3.5 million and introduced a relatively simple, but extremely innovative new concept in coffee handling.

Coffee shipped in bags (break bulk or container) or shipped in bulk containers is efficiently transferred to specially designed bulk storage containers and stored outside. These bulk storage containers can either be shipped directly to the roaster or easily emptied into the roaster's own vehicle.

If coffee arrives in bags, either from a break bulk ship or in containers, the bags are cut open in a specially designed bag opening platform that sits atop the specially designed bulk storage container (see photo 1 and 2). The platform is moved and placed m top of the bulk storage container with a large forklift (see photo 3).

The bulk storage container has two or three funnels on top to accept the coffee, as well as two end doors to allow discharge of the coffee when it is tipped. The container is lined on the ceiling with a moisture-absorbing liner. The company owns 600 of these unique containers, and the moving, stacking, and tipping of the container is done with the patented Reach/Stack machine (see photo 4 and 5).

If the coffee arrives in bulk in a sea container, the Reach/Stack machine empties the container into an open top intermediary filling container which sits atop and funnels the coffee into a bulk storage container (see photo 6). The filling container is moved by forklift, and all these activities can be done inside or outside.

There are a number of advantages of utilizing this new system. Bag and pallet disposal is becoming a major difficulty with the new environmental laws in Germany and probably soon coming to the rest of Europe. With this system, the roaster does not have to worry about the problem, it is instead the warehouse's problem.

Storage is much cheaper as it is stored outside, about DM 7.5 per ton per month versus DM 11 inside. There is a saving of about DM 20 per ton in handling and transportation versus bags. Of course, there is a better utilization of space, as the coffee can be stored outside whether at the warehouse or at the roaster. Also a roaster can empty a bulk container in about five minutes as opposed to 90 if he received a container with 350 bags.

Eichholtz has a wharfside space with crane and a rail siding so ships can call directly. The container can be shipped by rail or road whether in the bulk container or in the customer's vehicles. With 300,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space and a 18,000 ton silo, the company offers traditional bag and bulk storage facilities.

In 1992, Eichholtz moved 130,000 tons under the new system and 200,000 tons in the tradition bag and bulk method.

The firm can be reached at: Eichholtz & Cons. GmbH, Rosshafen Terminal, Rossweg 20, 2000 Hamburg 11, Germany. Tel: (49)(40) 74 01374, Fax: (49)(40) 7401676.
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Title Annotation:Eichholtz & Cons. GmbH
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:May 1, 1993
Words:507
Previous Article:Bremen Coffein Compagnie expands.
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