Food and drink logistics are a crucial part of the UK multiple grocery industry, with their own dedicated exhibitions. So welcome to the Grocery Trader’s quarterly look at the latest stories from the warehouse and logistics industry relating to the multiple grocery supply chain.

Early on Good Friday morning, logistics lorries outnumbered cars on the M25’s northern stretches. Clear proof – if anyone needed it – that while Britain enjoys a break the grocery supply chain never sleeps.

After the gloomy winter and matching economic chill, the four bank holidays and spring weather have been the perfect stimulus to get Britain spending: relaxed punters with time to spare are happier to spend than stressed ones grabbing fleeting moments to shop.

It’s one thing for marketers to create products and get the multiples, co-ops and c-store chains to list them, and then advertise them. To realise the products’ sales potential, the stock must be there to satisfy demand. And that’s never more true than in a recovery situation like we’re in at the moment. You need fully stocked stores, backed by a fully functioning supply chain.

At the same time it costs money to get products to the consumer in perfect condition, non-value adding costs which must be either reduced or ideally, eliminated. One option is to reduce the number of times products are handled in the chain. This means equipment suppliers leading the process, working with manufacturers and, vitally, retailers and third party logistics providers to come up with solutions that meet the differing requirements of everyone in the chain.

In this issue we’ve an exclusive interview with Danilo Oliynik, LINPAC Allibert’s General Manager, UK, Eire and Scandinavia. LINPAC Allibert’s world leading plastic Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) has done much to cut down product handling over the last few years. One of many LINPAC innovations in this area is their Omega bread crate. Now a familiar sight in many supermarkets, Danilo explains in the interview that Omega started out as a project LINPAC developed in conjunction with Tesco and various bakeries and was so successful that other bakers and retailers were keen to have it too. Omega has transformed the way bread is merchandised in grocery, and inspired the use of retail ready ‘RTP’ for a host of other fresh products like eggs and fruit and veg.

In our feature you’ll also find plenty of other examples of equipment suppliers and service providers working closely with customers to analyse their operational problems and come up with solutions specifically for them initially, but with the benefits then made available to the industry as a whole.

Happy reading!

The Grocery Trader

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