Whitbread speeds supply chain expansion

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Whitbread has accelerated plans to increase capacity in its supply chain network to support the growth of its brands, particularly Premier Inn and Costa Coffee.

It has extended its  relationship with Kuehne + Nagel for a further five years, increasing supply chain capacity with new operations at a distribution centre at Trafford Park some two years ahead of schedule.

Brodie McMillan, logistics director for Whitbread, said: “Whitbread requires a supply chain model that not only adapts to meet the needs of our growing business, but that also supports our environmental objectives. We have invested in developing our partnership with Kuehne + Nagel and we trust them to deliver.”

Kuehne + Nagel is converting an existing ambient distribution centre at Trafford Park into 165,000 sq ft of multi-temperature multi-user warehousing focusing on the foodservice sector. Whitbread will use space at Trafford Park to service the north of the UK.

The existing operations at Wellingborough will be dedicated to servicing the south of the UK for Whitbread. Both the Trafford Park and Wellingborough distribution centres are supported by radial cross-dock locations.

Whitbread’s logistics system handles some 34 million cases per year on a 24/7 basis to supply over 1,000 food and 1,000 non-food product lines.

The removal of a majority of bulk trunk vehicle movements between the north and south of the UK, and re-planning of the radial route network reduces transport costs and environmental impact.

* Whitbread and Kuehne + Nagel have introduced tractor units that run on both standard diesel and liquid natural gas to reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption.

Trials of the dual fuel vehicles, which replace up to 65 per cent of diesel with LNG, showed savings of 16 pence per mile based on 160,000 miles a year.

A limited number of tractor units have been introduced initially, with scope to increase. Strategic re-fuelling locations have been identified within the trunking network that Kuehne + Nagel operates for Whitbread, and LNG supplies have also been set up at Kuehne + Nagel’s distribution centre in Wellingborough.

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