Within the supply chain there is an ever-increasing emphasis on the importance of sustainability and deliverance of efficiency savings across many areas.
Frozen warehouse provider Partner Logistics’ key driving force is to create a more efficient, higher quality and more environmentally friendly supply chain. The company have, and continue to, implement sustainable practices on an everyday basis as well as continue to monitor the latest green technology in order to be more eco-friendly in the future.
Partner Logistics, established in 1998, is a market leader in Europe for the provision of state-of-the-art warehousing for frozen foods and builds and operates best-in-class warehouses for leading names in the frozen food industry. It currently operates six facilities – two in the UK, three in the Netherlands and one in Belgium.
The organisation’s £42million facility in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, is the UK’s largest deep freeze warehouse and prides itself on high levels of energy efficiency, automation, accuracy and a value engineered service. In recognition of this, it has recently been named as a finalist in the competitive ‘Warehouse Operations’ category in the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Awards, which recognises pioneering work in the logistics and transport industry.
The design, build and size of the Partner Logistics warehouses combine to offer a carbon footprint that is one of the lowest in the industry and energy conservation was a key priority within the planning and building process for the sites. For example, the facilities are custom built with insulated panels to prevent heat loss and the heat created from cooling the main store is recycled to heat the underground piles that are specially designed to prevent cold leakage. Furthermore, the size of the warehouses makes for significantly greater efficiencies as the volume to surface area ratio increases. The facilities are well ahead of The European Cold Storage and Logistics Association (ECSLA) standard using 50% less energy than the ECSLA best standard and only 50% more energy per year than other UK cold stores one tenth of their size.
Carbon savings are also generated from the centralised locations of all the Partner Logistics UK sites, which have had a hugely positive impact in helping customers reduce their food road miles, and their CO2 emissions.
In further improvement to their green credentials, Partner Logistics has recently partnered with Nomad Power, a cost-saving electrical power supply system that contributes toward sustainable refrigerated transport. Using Nomad Power, HGV drivers are able to refrigerate their load whilst unloading at the Partner Logistics warehouse, using sustainable electricity rather than their less-economic diesel engines. This new solution helps to reduce the overall supply chain’s carbon footprint at the same time as saving the customer valuable fuel costs. The power units were positioned at the Bergen op Zoom facility in the Netherlands in April and Partner Logistics are aiming to increase the number of units installed over 2014.
As well as their commitment to sustainability, Partner Logistics also pride themselves in their high levels of operational standards and world class performance levels that allow them to remain extremely competitive on cost. These are produced through the use of highly automated systems and sophisticated management IT and software.
This year, both loading and departing vehicles on time and order picking achieved the 99% Key Performance Index targets. In addition to this, order picking and order fill are also above 99%, showing efficient operating processes, a skilled pick floor system and a high level of accuracy in order fulfilment.
With an expanding frozen food market the pressure is on warehousing and logistics companies to continually demonstrate that the service they offer will provide an end to end solution, with a proven commitment to carbon reduction and added value to ensure they really are helping their customers to save on costs, while delivering ever greater performance and sustainable benefits.