The BDF swap body system
The beginning of the modern BDF system can be found in the early 1950s. The first forwarding companies began to develop interchangeable bodies (swap bodies). The idea was to have a compatible swap body that was available for road, rail and sea transport.
In the 1970s, the transport industry was looking for ways to speed up the handling of goods. In addition to Deutsche Post, the driving force behind this development, other freight forwarders and vehicle manufacturers, who were working in parallel on fully air-suspended chassis, were also involved. This was the birth of the BDF swap body, the great advantage of which was the compatibility and reduction of downtimes of the vehicles used. Gone were also the days when swap bodies were changed with the help of a crane or special forklift trucks.
The standards laid down by Bundesverband des Deutschen Güterfernverkehrs (BDF), now Bundesverband Güterkraftverkehr Logistik und Entsorgung (BGL) e.V., are still the standard today. The BDF system was recommended by the association, so that no other systems could prevail, especially in Germany. The advantages of a swap system are obvious, especially in combined transport (road-rail) and in debris or encounter traffic. More background information and explanations of terms, our BDF system dictionary.