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Bibby wins Morrison’s consolidation deal

Liverpool, UK: Bibby Distribution has signed a consolidation deal with Morrisons, the supermarket chain, which will see Bibby manage five UK regional consolidation centres (RCCs) for the food retailer.

The deal follows the introduction of In Motion – an initiative developed by Morrisons in June last year to improve efficiency in the supply chain and reduce costs by utilising empty legs with full truck load returns on Morrisons own fleet, as well as offering suppliers with smaller consignments a more cost-effective route to market through regional consolidation.

Bibby Distribution is to manage Morrisons' five UK regional consolidation centres

Morrisons believes this method of supplying its distribution centres will improve stock availability, reduce throughput of vehicles at its distribution centres and reduce the environmental impact of its transport operations.

“This is a new concept for Morrisons, and we have worked with Kevin Yapp and the In Motion team to develop a solution which will streamline their distribution centre network and offer benefits to all involved,” says Ian Firth, business development director, Bibby Distribution.

“The emphasis is on helping Morrisons maximise vehicle utilisation – whether that be back-loading existing store delivery vehicles with collections from local suppliers and RCCs, or collecting consolidated loads to deliver into its distribution centres nationwide.

“Fewer numbers of deliveries into Morrisons’ main distribution centres will offer more efficient unloading of goods and also reduce the cost to market for smaller suppliers which currently incur significant costs by transporting part-loads. The benefits to all involved are significant,” Firth says.

Bibby will commence RCC operations on behalf of Morrisons from sites in Yorkshire, East Midlands, South East, Staffordshire and the South West. The company says the first to get off the ground will be Yorkshire and the East Midlands which will begin operations in the next three months.

Ross Eggleton, head of national transport, Morrisons, says: “We believe Bibby has a physical infrastructure which is geographically suited to our supplier base. Throughout the process, the Bibby team has demonstrated that it has the best interests of Morrisons and its suppliers at heart, and we look forward to seeing In Motion really come to life with this new way of working.”

A dedicated contract service team within Bibby will assume responsibility for the initial implementation period and the subsequent live operation. The company says that whilst existing road assets will initially be used to fulfil the requirements of the various RCCs, it will invest where necessary as further sites commence operations.

“This is a strategic business win for Bibby Distribution with a well-respected, forward thinking, retailer. We look forward to starting off with this significant consolidation initiative and further developing our relationship and business with Morrisons over the coming years,” says Iain Speak, chief executive, Bibby Distribution.

• Bibby Distribution is part of the £1bn-turnover Liverpool-based Bibby Line Group, a family-owned business-to-business services specialist.  It is involved in ship-owning and operation, shallow water accommodation, offshore oil and gas services, contract logistics, financial services, memorial parks, employment law, health & safety advisory services, specialist plant and equipment hire and retail.