DIY chain B&Q is using demountable bodies for the distribution of kitchen units direct to customers’ homes. The retailer is using the Ray Smith Group’s system of quick transfer of short van bodies, already containing the deliveries, to compact trucks from long-distance lorries towing trailers.
Each night, 15 truck-and-trailer outfits based at local depots and stores nationwide take two demountable bodies to the 93,000sq m distribution centre at Burton-on-Trent. They leave the bodies there to be loaded the next day while they take two bodies that the warehouse has filled the previous day.
The system means that lorries in the long-distance supply chain waste no time being loaded – they do the return trip in a night, unhindered by dense traffic.
The main advantage of the new system is that deliveries to homes are more reliable and quicker.
B&Q has 90 Ray Smith demountables vans so far which are moved by 56 Scania chassis and 15 trailers. With each lorry and trailer outfit costing about £100,000, B&Q logistics director David Lowther expects the outlay to be justified within a year through the gain in efficiency.
B&Q specifies and owns its fleet while the warehousing and transport are managed by TNT Logistics.