Welcome to The Grocery Trader’s first Warehouse & Logistics feature of 2011, bringing you the latest news about the warehouse and logistics products and services available for Britain’s multiple grocers and their supply chains, and customer case studies from key suppliers of equipment and services.

With the economy flat and consumers reining in their spending, manufacturers and multiple grocers are even more reliant on their teams putting in a winning performance, to ensure the goods are there for the shoppers with money left to buy. The closest business equivalent of Man U rallying from 2-0 down at halftime to beat Blackpool 3-2 win is probably our food and drink supply chains coming through triumphantly with the goods in December’s snows.

As the record consistently shows, Britain has some of the most efficient and dynamic supply chains in the world, particularly in the grocery retail sector. Our supply chains are an asset which is going to help drive our economic growth over the next few years, but like the products they deliver they need managing and replenishment.

Year in year out, the UK market for food and drink logistics – meaning the warehousing and logistics products and services specifically bought by food and drink manufacturers, distributors  and retailers – is worth over £12 billion a year, and accounts for an estimated 10% of total spending by these companies.

Along with the trade press, exhibitions offer an important source of inspiration. As previewed in this feature, this month sees the Food & Drink Logistics Show return to the NEC Birmingham from Sunday 27 February to Tuesday 1 March. Unlike other materials handling and logistics shows, the Food & Drink Logistics Show has an exclusive grocery focus. Building on the highly successful launch in 2010, the 2011 show is a must-attend event for everyone involved in the unique supply chain environment that exists in the food and drink sector.

‘FDLS’ will showcase the latest products and services tailor-made to help you improve efficiency and cut costs. These include supply chain solutions, third party logistics, palletised transport, warehousing, IT and much more. At the NEC you’ll also be able to hear from top speakers including Tate & Lyle, Cadbury and The Co-Operative Retail Group, get free advice in the OPS Advice Clinic, and test your skills in a bite-sized version of The Fresh Connection, presented by SCALA Consulting and much, much more.

Have a good month.

The Grocery Trader

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