Recent reports in the national media have shown that big players in the food and drink retail industry are joining forces with their competition regarding transport in an attempt to reduce their impact on the environment.
Matt Humphreys, Practice Head of Logistics and Supply chain at Ellis Fairbank, discusses the advantages of working with, and not against, your industry rivals and the positive effect on the logistics industry.
Sharing lorries and logistical expense with other companies is not a new thing as the industry has been doing it for some time. Its a positive move for the food and drink sector as it not only saves a company money but ultimately it reduces the number of lorries on the road. Fewer lorries means less traffic and a reduced need for distribution centres. Overall, it is seen by many as a much more economical way to run a business.
As a result, independent and impartial firms are being tasked with the job of managing logistics to ensure the process runs smoothly. With so many businesses involved, there is an increased need for expert logistical managers who have the experience and capabilities to manage multiple companies across a variety of sectors. The rising cost of fuel and basic cost of living has a knock on effect for the logistics industry as retailers need to ensure they can offer consumers the best products at the best prices. The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) has outlined that sustainability is racing towards the top of the commercial agenda and as it does it is also quickly rising up the consumer agenda.
Consumers realise that if a company can save money on distribution not only are they being more environmentally conscious they are also saving money, monetary savings which ultimately could be passed onto them.
With companies such as Tesco delivering over 1.93billion cases in 2007, using over 2000 lorries which travelled over 659 million kilometres its imperative for businesses to ensure they pick the best logistical teams. There is already a great need for experienced logistics managers as individual companies update their operations and now that companies are working together on their transport activities, the demand is set to increase.