In keeping with their primary aim to create a more efficient, higher quality and more environmentally friendly supply chain frozen warehouse provider Partner Logistics’ have continued to implement sustainable practices, focused on warehouse automation and all whilst maintaining outstanding performance in warehouse operations throughout 2013.
The design, build and size of all the Partner Logistics warehouses combine to offer a carbon footprint that is considered to be one of the lowest in the industry. 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 than other cold stores one tenth of their size.
Carbon savings also result from the centralised locations of all the Partner Logistics sites, which have had a hugely positive impact in helping customers reduce their food road miles and CO2 emissions in 2013.
In further improvement to their green credentials, this year, Partner Logistics have 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.
Another key focus in 2013 has been on automation, with Partner Logistics working closely with their customers to understand how they can continually improve the supply chain.
In comparison to warehouses in other temperature regimes, cold store warehouses produce the most CO2 per m³. Therefore, having high levels of automation enables the warehouses to be built higher, with a smaller footprint, meaning fewer emissions per pallet space and a benefit to the overall supply chain. With CO2 emissions being a top issue with their customers, Partner Logistics have utilised their high levels of automation effectively to tackle CO2 reduction.
This advanced level of automation, which has been developed in-house, also delivers industry-leading quality and performance metrics. For example, Partner Logistics order picking runs at better than 99.5%. Additionally, due to the levels of automation employed, the workforce employed is still just a third of that compared to smaller conventional warehouses enabling reducing overheads and costs.
As well as improving accuracy for their customers with end-to-end tracking of all items, other benefits of automation include reliable traceability which is invaluable in recall situations, as well as helping to maintain the highest food safety standards and the possibility to work on a 24/7 basis, which helps customers to accommodate the 24/7 schemes that retail and foodservice channels increasingly require.
In order to maximise their potential both now and in the future, Partner Logistics have a complete understanding of their highly automated systems and how they can be adapted for use in situations that may arise. To complement this, they promote innovation to their employees and in turn, this leads to a ‘can do’ attitude. Partner Logistics are currently working on projects which can add value to customer’s processes throughout the supply chain, without being inhibited by the boundaries of storage and distribution.
To top-off a very successful 2013, Partner Logistics have also recently won the ‘Best Warehouse Operations’ award at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Annual Awards of Excellence 2013.
The awards are held to identify organisations and individuals whose performance in logistics and transport has been outstanding and Partner Logistics won the award for the design, build and operation of their warehouse in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire that delivers high quality and best-in-class performance levels for leading names in the frozen food industry.
The award recognises that Partner Logistics’ have made a significant commitment to providing highly automated end-to-end warehousing solutions for their customers, as well as having one of the lowest carbon footprints in the industry. They have been further praised for their fully engaged workforce and appropriate use of equipment and software.
Overall Partner Logistics, who have 6 facilities in the UK and Europe have enjoyed a very successful 2013 and are looking forward to the future, to further strengthen their commitment to sustainability, automation and quality, whilst always providing the best for their customers and the supply chain.