Sainsbury’s cuts 500,000 litres of fuel

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Sainsbury’s rolled out an integrated transport management system across its national distribution network, with the result that store turnaround times were cut by 15 per cent, empty running improved by 12 per cent; and driver productivity by eight per cent, and on-time delivery levels shot up 17 per cent.

The supermarket giant integrated Paragon’s Routing and Scheduling Optimiser and Fleet Controller software with Isotrak’s Active Transport Management System (ATMS) across 16 of its depots in a move to boost transport planning accuracy.

Darren Jones, Sainsbury’s head of logistics strategy, says: “Uncertainties are a fact of life for any transport operation so we build contingencies into our schedules, but they add costs. The more uncertainty that can be eliminated, the greater the control over costs.” 

The Fleet Controller software monitors delivery schedules and the ATMS captures real-time data such as vehicle location and driver tachograph outputs, to provide Sainsbury’s with more accurate data. When vehicle turnaround time at stores emerged as a critical factor, the planned contingency was cut by a consistent 15 per cent by setting store targets.

“Fleet Controller is looking forward all the time, making sure pre-set parameters such as delivery windows are met. If any criteria look like being breached, it will re-spin the schedule to avoid the breach,” says Jones.

For example, if drivers are predicted to return early or late, Paragon automatically re-allocates loads so that they will still meet promised store delivery windows (avoiding curfews and delivery restrictions), within the planned shift, and make sure they are efficient within the overall plan.

Of the 16 depots now using the system, four have undergone the full transport optimisation process. The supermarket has been able to cut 2,000 empty running journeys per week (12 per cent improvement), and has saved 500,000 litres of fuel across the four sites, slashing 1.4 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.

Overall, it has seen a 3.8 reduction in distance travelled per year as a result of the system.


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