Tuesday, June 30, 2020

New Age for Fulfilment Operations as Everyday Supermarket Goods See Online Centre Open

eCommerce Home Delivery Contract Hailed as a First for Third Party Logistics
Shipping News Feature

UK – Road haulage and logistics group Wincanton has been selected by Waitrose to create a Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) for the supermarket firm's online grocery home deliveries in what it calls a first for the third-party logistics market.

Wincanton says the contract gives it the opportunity to create 800 jobs and will enable Waitrose to offer its customers an additional 25,000 orders per week. The coronavirus lockdown has had deep seated effects on customer behaviour and delivery spots from all the supermarkets have been on ration. Although there may be some pullback from this position it is likely that demand for home deliveries of everyday essentials is likely to never return to pre-virus levels.

As part of an initial five-year contract, Wincanton will develop and operate the CFC in West London, prime home delivery territory, accelerating Waitrose & Partners’ expansion in online grocery home delivery. The partnership approach with the Waitrose team will accelerate the implementation according to Wincanton, ensuring the CFC is fully operational in the current financial year. James Wroath, CEO at Wincanton commented:

"This partnership with Waitrose to deliver groceries to customers’ homes is a fantastic opportunity for us to combine our existing capabilities in a new way, in order to accelerate Waitrose & Partners’ online growth. We will be the first third party logistics operator to enter an exciting and rapidly expanding market."

The new contract will build on the heritage of Wincanton’s long-standing operations for Waitrose’s supermarkets, and the group’s experience in home delivery, eFulfilment and food logistics. Wincanton will be responsible for operating the CFC (or ‘dark store’) and delivery to Waitrose customers in the West London area, prompting Andrew Murphy, John Lewis Partnership Executive Director-Operations, to say:

"This builds on a 20-year relationship with Wincanton from which we know them to be a collaborative and agile business partner. Our companies' complementary experience will help us further accelerate our online growth and respond well to significant customer demand."