UK Import Centre (Break Bulk Facility)
Sector: FMCG – Major International Retailer of Consumer Electronics
The handling practices of our client’s DC’s in the UK required that large bulk items be presented on pallets, to facilitate fast unloading by clamp truck, and for loads to be delivered by articulated vehicles, not containers.
For one of our client’s high volume Vendors based in Turkey, both; palletizing and shipment by road was not an option, through operational and commercial cost reasons. Sea freight rates five times more competitive than road freight. Along with the use of containers allowed twice the amount of product to be shipped than by road vehicle.
This presented our client a considerable challenge to find a cost effective solution.
To ensure the resultant solution did not significantly increase the landed cost price of the product, rendering it uncompetitive to range.
Another factor to be incorporated was to ensure the time frame of shipment to delivery at DC could not be significantly increased.
A feasibility exercise was carried out for the introduction of a close to port of entry handling facility in the UK, allowing the breaking down of bulk containers and re configuring product on to pallets for onward delivery by articulated road vehicles to DC.
Each inbound load was to be received, handled, and available for onward distribution (RH&D), with one working day of receipt.
The operational solution was tendered both on the open market as well as inviting our client’s own distribution facility to quote.
Unsurprisingly, the most competitive and service driven quote was received from a 3PL, where this type of operation had been their core expertise.
The exercise revealed that the landed cost of the products would have to absorb an increase of minimal proportion, when compared to the commercial proposition of the products in retail price point and availability.
- Inbound volumes on average were four loads per week, rising to ten during peak periods
- Each inbound container decanted in to two outbound taut-line road vehicles, as palletised loads
- Presentation of loads fully compliant with our Client’s DC’s receiving procedures
- Auditable records to reconcile each load by road back to originating sea freight container
- KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) implemented to monitor the service level milestones
- Solution was scalable with a minimum of three week forecast of volumes
- Facility become responsive and flexible to accommodate other value add activities; promotional bundling, reacting to changes in demand, buffering the flow of product & off dock storage of containers
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