bibbyBibby Distribution has announced the signing of a major new consolidation deal with Morrisons, which will see the company manage five strategic Regional Consolidation Centres (RCCs) throughout the UK on behalf of the food retailer.

The deal follows the introduction of ‘IN MOTION’ – an initiative developed by Morrisons in June 2011 to improve efficiencies in the supply chain and reduce costs by utilising empty legs with full truck load returns on Morrisons own fleet, as well as offering suppliers with smaller consignments a more cost-effective route to market through regional consolidation.

Morrisons believes this method of supplying into its distribution centre infrastructure will also help improve stock availability, reduce throughput of vehicles at its distribution centres and, importantly, serve to reduce the environmental impact of its transport operations.

“This is a new concept for Morrisons, and we have worked with Kevin Yapp and the IN MOTION team to develop a solution which will streamline their distribution centre network and offer benefits to all involved,” said Ian Firth, Business Development Director, Bibby Distribution. “The emphasis is on helping Morrisons maximise vehicle utilisation – whether that be back-loading existing store delivery vehicles with collections from local suppliers and RCCs, or collecting consolidated loads to deliver into its distribution centres nationwide.

“Fewer numbers of deliveries into Morrisons’ main distribution centres will offer more efficient unloading of goods and also reduce the cost to market for smaller suppliers which currently incur significant costs by transporting part-loads. The benefits to all involved are significant,” added Firth.

Over the coming months, Bibby will commence RCC operations on behalf of Morrisons from facilities in Yorkshire, East Midlands, South East, Staffordshire and the South West. The company says the first to get off the ground will be Yorkshire and the East Midlands which will begin operations in the next three months.

Commenting on the contract, Ross Eggleton, Head of National Transport for Morrisons, said: “We believe Bibby has a physical infrastructure which is geographically suited to our supplier base. Throughout the process, the Bibby team has demonstrated that it has the best interests of Morrisons and its suppliers at heart, and we look forward to seeing ‘IN MOTION’ really come to life with this new way of working.”

A dedicated contract service team within Bibby will assume responsibility for the initial implementation period and the subsequent live operation. The company says that whilst existing road assets will initially be used to fulfil the requirements of the various RCCs, it will invest where necessary as further sites commence operations.

“This is a strategic business win for Bibby Distribution with a well-respected, forward thinking, retailer. We look forward to starting off with this significant consolidation initiative and further developing our relationship and business with Morrisons over the coming years,” added Iain Speak, Chief Executive, Bibby Distribution.

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