M&S Gateway logistics centre to handle ambient food

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supply chain management Logistics

David Cameron claimed Britain's policy of export-orientated growth was paying off around the world
David Cameron claimed Britain's policy of export-orientated growth was paying off around the world
Marks & Spencer’s (M&S’s) new £200M distribution centre at the London Gateway Logistics Park – which will create up to 700 jobs – will handle ambient foods, a spokesman has told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

The investment – welcomed by the Prime Minister David Cameron at the logistics centre on Monday (June 10) – will handle a proportion of the retailer’s ambient foods, such as biscuits, said the spokesman.

Routing the retailer’s supply chain through London Gateway super port would lead to major efficiencies in its supply chain, including cost and fuel reduction savings, it claimed.

The retailer will build the 83,612m2​ distribution centre in partnership with site owner DP World London Gateway. Subject to planning, construction of M&S’s new facility will begin next year at the new deep-sea container port and logistics park, on the Thames, 25 miles from central London, in South Essex.

The London Gateway port itself is set to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

Move millions of products

The investment will enable the retailer to move millions of products directly from ships to its new distribution centre at the adjacent logistics centre. Improved access to cities will cut millions of road miles from UK roads and thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide, claimed the firm.

Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive, said: “London Gateway will become our third large distribution centre in the UK as we transform our logistics operations into a modern and agile supply chain, fit for the future of M&S.

“As we become an international, multi-channel retailer, London Gateway will help us become more efficient by cutting costs and locating our supply chain closer to our stores and our international markets. It will also help us deliver against our Plan A objectives by removing road miles and emissions from our network.”

Simon Moore, ceo DP World London Gateway, said M&S would have a world-class distribution centre connected to a world-class deep-sea port, which would provide more reliability and efficiency for its business.

Shorten its supply chain

“By bringing ships carrying millions of products closer to the point of consumption we will help M&S to shorten its supply chain,” ​said Moore. “The M&S team is truly leading the way here and we look forward to the next phase of the planning process.”

Meanwhile, speaking at the logistics park, Cameron claimed his government’s policy of growing the economy by boosting British exports was working.

“This policy of engagement, of connecting with the fastest-growing parts of the world, it is starting to pay off,”​ said Cameron. “Over the past three years, our exported goods to Brazil have gone up by half; to India by more than half; to China, almost doubled; to Russia, up by 133%.”

Cameron backed his claim with personal evidence. “I have seen this happening myself; I was there in China when Diageo signed a huge deal; now they are the biggest premium drinks company in the world.

"Today Scotch whisky sales across the world earn £135 every second for our balance of payments. This is how British foreign policy is making the world work for us.”

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