Welcome to our quarterly Warehouse & Logistics feature, looking at the latest news in warehouse and logistics products and services for the multiple grocery industry. Update yourself on what’s new in the back of the store in supermarkets and distribution centres: warehouse equipment including pallets, warehouse trucks and materials handling; warehouse IT, including barcode and RFID technology; supply chain technology; vehicle safety and security.
These hardworking items and solutions are all too often taken for granted by consumers, but their groceries’ safe arrival on the stores’ shelves depends on the multiple grocers’ warehouse & logistics function being there 24/7, all year round, come rain or shine.
Motorists complain about delivery lorries ruling the roads and clogging the motorways. No-one likes to be stuck behind a bunch of lorries in the slow lane, but if they weren’t out there working, it would be another story altogether at the shops. The same goes for the grocery industry’s overall warehouse and logistics backbone.
The Met Office is another institution Britain depends on. At present, the BBC is reputed to be reviewing its contract with the Met Office. This is against a backdrop of criticism of the Met Office from all sides, following the non-arrival of last year’s predicted Barbeque Summer as predicted by the forecasters. On that basis, the grocery supply chain is a lot more reliable than the Met Office.
The grocery supply chain came to the fore when snow and ice blighted much of Britain from mid December to mid January, but the supermarkets’ lorries still got through. Yes, there were shortages of some products in some stores, but they were nothing like the drastic outages people feared. In the old Communist era in Easter Europe you would see stock photos of people round the block queuing for bread, and yards and yards of empty shelves.
Here in Britain we expect full fixtures as a right. During the snows, people were panic buying a range of products, but things never hit rock bottom. The fact they didn’t is a credit to the efforts of many different people – the retailers, their distribution people, the third party logistics partners and the manufacturers. It’s also a testimony to the unshakable infrastructure of the grocery industry’s network of distribution centres and the warehouse areas in the back of the stores.
The Grocery Trader