HTA and DHL moot plans for streamlined supply and distribution

Solutions to logistical problems in the supply chain and blueprints for a possible integrated distribution service between growers and retailers have been presented by DHL in collaboration with the HTA.

Speaking at the HTA Bedding Focus Conference at Ball Colegrave in Oxfordshire, DHL development director Nigel Spooner said: "We have looked into where the distribution issues are and over the last two to three years the ability to work together has become greater and greater, even with fierce rivals."

On improvements to the supply chain, Spooner said: "It should be a grower-led solution for what we are looking to do, which is an integrated distribution service."

He said the main incentive was to bring down the cost of every individual trolley. "If you work by yourselves you won't do it as cheaply. The more you deal with volume, the cheaper it will get," he advised.

The proposed service would link up growers and retailers through a "Sortation Hub" co-ordinated by DHL and using regional hauliers.

Spooner said: "We want to bring the existing hauliers in as part of the network solution. What we want to do is act as the control operations and then work with service providers - it does give you a singular UK delivery schedule."

He compared the proposals to existing palette networks and the Open Field operation DHL currently runs in the agricultural industry, where it acts as the control operation for harvests and distributes grain to mills.


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