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My View: Logistics matter to the trade

Published:  30 November, 1999

Smart logistics is the science of cost efficiently getting products to the right place, at the right time and in the right quantities.

Getting even smarter when it comes to the supply chain also holds the key to tackling the greatest challenges facing the drinks sector today - spiralling fuel and commodity costs, and the tightening of belts in the current economic climate.

Technological developments will continue to drive further cost efficiencies in logistics operations. However, arguably there is a major opportunity to reduce costs and increase the bottom line, which will require little investment but instead will focus on an attitudinal and culture shift by supply chain partners.

While producers' drinks products are consolidated to maximise vehicle utilisation and minimise empty running, there needs to be much more cooperation between the logistics providers. By pooling our resources, we could find more efficient routes to market, as well as optimising vehicle productivity.

At LCB we are continuously looking at building new efficiencies into the supply chain for our customers and we see cooperation as playing a key role. We are already in talks with another transport company in the drinks sector about combining forces for customer deliveries.

Looking ahead, the message is clear for logistics provision in the drinks sector in the future: cooperate to accumulate.

Jeff Stanton, is non-executive chairman at London City Bond