In response to one of its partners increasing its grocery convenience store footprint across London and the South East by 25%, Wincanton revolutionised its warehouse flow. The changes increased productivity by 14% and contributed to a 93% drop in on-site accidents.

Wincanton provides supply chain operations for supermarkets and convenience stores across England and Wales for a major grocery retailer. One site in this network is a 250,000 sq ft warehouse in London that supports its convenience network across the region. This area contains 240 stores, covering Brighton to Cambridge, with an extensive footprint throughout the capital. 

Delivering more for less

In August 2019 we incorporated the pick, pack and delivery of groceries from the London warehouse to branded service station outlets across London and the South East. With the retailer continuing to expand its footprint across the region, the additional service requirement amounted to a 25% increase in the number of convenience stores receiving deliveries every night of the year. 

Warehousing innovation and excellence

The Wincanton team identified where efficiency and performance improvements in the London warehouse would increase picking accuracy, reduce costs and raise safety levels for colleagues. This process resulted in a major change in the layout of picking zones in the warehouse. It also saw the introduction of a one-way ‘horseshoe’ picking route to reduce congestion and streamline the picking process.

The changes took five-days to implement, during which the warehouse team continued to run the operation with no disruption.

Delivering success, staying safe

Changing the workflow and working practices in the warehouse meant that more orders were processed on-time and with improved accuracy.  The efficiencies driven by the layout change also resulted in significant decreases in labour costs, as the warehouse now requires fewer working hours-per-week to meet service level targets.

The increase in picking activity in the warehouse, as a result of the expansion, was also causing congestion in picking zones, meaning that safety issues needed to be addressed. Changing the warehouse layout and picking process optimised space and resulted in a 93% fall in on-site accidents and a 65% reduction in near miss incidents.


increase in the loading rate of roll-cages for outbound delivery


increase in the receiving rate (measuring the number of inbound cases tipped)


increase in the transhipment receiving rate (measuring inbound goods headed for immediate outbound delivery)


fall in on-site accidents


reduction in near miss incidents