Wincanton and Ella’s Kitchen’s relationship stretches back to 2012. As the organic baby and toddler food business’ supply chain partner, Wincanton handles stock storage and despatch - including inbound deliveries from suppliers – to its facility in Wigan.
Doing more with less
With a common goal of reducing the environmental impact of supply chain activities, Wincanton and Ella’s Kitchen collaborated to decrease the number of journeys needed for inbound goods from a major supplier to its distribution centre.
By altering pallet specifications to maximise the use of trailer space, the two companies reduced inbound loads by almost 50% throughout 2019/20, saving thousands of miles and preventing 115 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
Rethinking each load
To achieve this Wincanton, Ella’s Kitchen and the supplier worked together to identify lower demand SKUs that could be consolidated into single pallets. These new pallets have a lower overall height, but still meet criteria around weight and size.
By reducing the height of each of these newly configured packed pallets, trailer space is now better utilised. In collaboration with Ella’s Kitchen’s chosen haulier, Wincanton was able to provide trailers able to accommodate double stacking, maximising available space. These double-stacked pallets can be transported alongside traditionally packed pallets, creating a hybrid solution that does not require additional warehouse process to reconfigure all loads.
Given that each journey between the supplier and Wigan site is 250 miles, the reduction in trips through better utilisation of each trailer load has had a significant impact. Typical trailer fill now averages 48.7 pallets-per-load - a 91% improvement - resulting in 48% fewer trips needed to transport the same quantity of goods.
This was achieved without any compromise to the safety of all involved. With a full consultation between Wincanton, Ella’s Kitchen and the supplier, measures were put in place to ensure double-stacked pallets could be effectively loaded and unloaded, and that all necessary equipment was in place.
Away from the physical journey reduction, the alterations have resulted in further energy savings across the process. With fewer individual loads arriving, less resource is needed through the goods-in process, while adjusted pallet sizes have allowed for in-warehouse storage space to be fully optimised.
This initiative was recognised at the 2020 Supply Chain Excellence Awards, winning the ‘Sustainability Award’.
Amanda Holland, Runs Lorries Like Clockwork (Logistics Manager) at Ella’s Kitchen
"Our friends at Wincanton, our manufacturer, and our haulier have all collaborated to help us to unlock a clever way to reduce our environmental impact. We can’t do this work alone, so collaborating with partners that can support us to make this a reality is really important for protecting our planet."