Port centric logistics delivers retail supply chain advantages

Panalpina has provided a port centric solution for its major home wares retail clients by outsourcing to TNT and Import Services

Panalpina’s clients previously managed their own supply chain once product arrived at the UK port of entry; however this was proving to be unnecessarily complex and costly. In consultation with its clients Panalpina has taken charge of the final stage of the journey and, with its partner’s expertise, is producing astonishing results.

Import Services and TNT provide two distinct services once Panalpina has moved product in sea containers, from origin to Southampton port.

TNT, the UK’s leading business to business express delivery service specialists, collects store ready consignments from the containers at its Southampton port based depot, before putting them into its national distribution network in readiness for next day delivery to high street retailers throughout the UK.

Import Services takes the residual bulk stock into its adjacent distribution centre where storage, order processing, high volume pick/pack and distribution of replenishment orders are effected.

Robert Muir from Panalpina said: “This operation streamlines the supply chain for our clients who previously managed their own UK logistics by a fragmented process. By taking charge of the door to door process on behalf of our customers and using TNT and Import Services in Southampton, we provide an efficient solution, cutting up to one week out of the supply chain. This reduces both costs and cuts the road miles clocked up when shipping containers are moved inland and returned empty to the port.”

Portcentric is the distribution to an end recipient straight from the port. A distribution model which is fast becoming the smart option as it offers impressive cost and time savings as well as attractive green credentials.

“We have developed port centric distribution successfully for our clients such as Flair and Carte Blanche in the toy and gift sector,” said Mike Thomas of Import Services, a company recently awarded the accolade of ‘Best cost-effective 3rd part logistics business 2007’.

“Our clients demand swift movement of their products to market and retail trends also show smaller volume orders are required in store more frequently. The savings gained from port centric distribution simply outperforms traditional models of moving goods inland to distribution centers.

“Also driving the case is e-tailing and home shopping. Carton based distribution, direct from port of entry fits this model perfectly,” said Mike.

Mark Roscoe, depot general manager for TNT Express Services in Southampton, said the partnership produces optimum results because it harnesses the individual strengths of each player: “We utilise our strengths in next day express delivery and combine these with Import Services’ expertise in storage, order processing and fast response pick/pack. Our systems are integrated and information is managed seamlessly and on a global scale via Panalpina to its clients.”

Portcentric distribution takes at least 10 percent of time out of the supply chain from the Far East and in Panalpina’s experience a significant percentage of cost. This saving plus a reduced carbon footprint, adds up to an exciting proposition which is starting to grab the attention of UK industry.

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