Nestlé has signed a 10-year contract with Innovate Logistics that will see the temperature-controlled storage and distribution provider taking over the operation of Nestlé's 75,000-pallet automated ambient product facility at Bardon in Leicestershire.
Under the deal, the value of which has not been disclosed, workers at the site, purchased by Innovate under a sale-and-leaseback arrangement, will transfer to its employment on July 1.
The site, which handles Nestlé grocery, water and confectionery products, will be extended by 12,821m2 to increase output and enable it to handle multi-temperature products.
"This is a huge win for us," says Pete Osborne, md of Innovate Logistics.
"We have built our reputation on high standards and have a commitment to deliver a service that is second to none in terms of storage, distribution and cost-effective supply chain management."
Innovate specialises in developing client- specific solutions for confectionery storage, chilled and frozen order picking and distribution of convenience meals, meat, fish and fresh produce. It has logistics centres in Birmingham, Chesterfield, Newark, Scunthorpe, Worksop, Bristol and Nottingham, where its HQ is based. It has transport bases in Leeds, Coupar Angus, Eye, Aberdeen, Merthyr Tydfil and Ashford.
l In a separate move, supply-chain provider Wincanton has launched a shared distribution initiative that aims to encourage collaboration between retailers and manufacturers to reduce traffic on roads and reduce emissions.
As part of the initiative, a nationwide transport platform is being created to share regional distribution warehousing and distribution routes to minimise empty trucks. According to Wincanton, research shows that 20% of vehicles are still running empty.
"Road congestion is a massive problem for our industry, which means we must make every effort to improve vehicle utilisation," says Richard Turner, chief executive of the Freight Transport Association.
"The big latent opportunity is the sharing of supply chain assets between users."