Wednesday 28th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

ECR UK sets out plan to cut road miles

A new initiative to cut road miles is being launched by the IGD’s Efficient Consumer Response UK board, to encourage business to work collaboratively to deliver more efficient transport and logistics networks.
Operation StackThe initiative, Reducing Wasted Miles, follows research by ECR UK which found that some 78 per cent of retailers and 71 per cent of suppliers believe cutting road miles to be either “the biggest” or “a significant opportunity” for cost savings in their supply chains.

The survey identified continued pressure on margins as the greatest overall challenge facing supply chain logistics over the next ten years, with 61 per cent of retailers and 46 per cent of suppliers questioned highlighting the issue.

It also found there is a big appetite to share transport, with 55 per cent of those surveyed considering this to be one of the top three opportunities to reduce road miles over the next ten years. Not only that, some 36 per cent of retailers and suppliers believe that designing logistics networks collaboratively will play a vital role in reducing road miles.

More intelligent routing and scheduling was selected as the third most important option to reduce road miles over the next decade, at 31 per cent. ECR UK has identified five important solutions to help businesses develop their transport and logistics strategies in the next ten years:

* Shared services – working towards fewer wasted miles through better collaborative utilisation of assets in the network

* Flexible flow – working towards fewer total miles by designing supply chain networks in a resilient, responsive way, by removing barriers in the chain to keep the network agile

* Data driven – using data to optimise orders and routing through access to more live insight from traffic, the weather and smart products delivered by networked, cloud-based systems

* Tailored transport – ensuring the appropriate vehicle or transport mode is used for each journey, including alternate modes of transport such as rail, and exploring developments to vehicle size and design

* Streamlined stock – ensuring efficient product and packaging design using appropriate models for ownership and customisation of stock in the network

Darren Smillie, supply chain insight manager at IGD, said: “This initiative is not necessarily about cutting overall road miles, although it should help contribute to this – rather, it’s about reducing wasted miles and aiming for efficiencies across the industry, at the same time as encouraging businesses to identify opportunities for their own growth.

“We want these ‘five to drive’ solutions to become the DNA of strategy, helping industry step change its performance. We believe the way forward will consist of a combination of approaches from businesses to help reduce wasted miles. ECR will be fostering and encouraging these co-operative approaches across the supply chain, to deliver the step change the industry needs.”