Status quo not an option for utilities’ supply chains

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Maintaining the status quo is not an option for the UK’s utility companies, according to a new study of the sector by Ceva Logistics, which suggests that the supply chain can often be the catalyst to helping modern utilities respond to external pressures.

Cost reduction remains a priority for modern utilities, while price control, changes in regulation, weather patterns, and environmental pressures make a big impact on the sector.,

Ceva points out that high on the utilities industry agenda are the price determinations set by the regulators Ofwat and Ofgem. “The media predicts these external pressures will lead to jobs being cut and supply chain contractors being harder hit.”

The study involved in-depth interviews with senior executives, as well as a study of the macro environment and factors which affect the sector from a strategic and operational viewpoint.

It identified nine themes as having significant potential to deliver the kind of performance benefits now being demanded to optimise efficiency without compromising on quality:
• Efficiency through outsourcing and core competency focus
• Logistics, alliances and collaboration in a complex supply chain
• Supply chain configuration
• Managing the future – inventory and people
• Carbon footprint measurement
• Maintaining an expanding infrastructure
• Globalisation
• Recessionary impact
• Regulatory context

Sean Kelly, Ceva’s senior general manager, for the UK & Ireland’s Industrial sector said: “A planned holistic approach towards end-to-end supply chain management can deliver significant cost and performance efficiencies from procurement and stock management right through to operational delivery on site.”

NOL reports 34 per cent rise is container volumes

Neptune Orient Lines has reported a 34 per cent increase in container shipping volumes for the four weeks to 28th May compared with last year, mainly due to higher volumes carried from the Intra-Asia and Transpacific trade lanes.

Average revenue per forty-foot equivalent unit was 19 per cent above the same period last year, largely due to improved core freight rates in a number of trade lanes.

For the year to date container shipping volumes increased 41 per cent on 2009 while average revenue per FEU increased seven per cent over 2009 levels.

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