Road rave

16 May, 2008

Logistics companies are the silent force behind the UK drinks industry. Surprisingly little is said or written about them, so OLN asked four of the biggest to explain their vital role

London City Bond

Size of the business: Turnover in excess of £25 million, operating from seven sites handling more than 12 million cases each year.

Key personnel: Alf Allington, managing director; Jeff Stanton, non executive chairman; Neil Cowie, operations director.

Key clients: Coe Vintners; Bibendum; more than 900 wine and spirits merchants, and 10,000 private clients through the Vinotheque operation.

What can you offer major off-trade retailers? "In excess of 1 million sq ft of bonded storage space to enable just-in-time delivery to the UK's major cities. The Tilbury Docks warehouse also ensures products can be quickly imported or exported. Stock can then

be delivered straight to distribution centres."

What can you offer independents? "A consolidated warehouse and distribution solution. Customers can open a trade account and amalgamate purchases from other UK merchants or overseas producers. The stock is then delivered as a composite order."

What are the key issues in drinks logistics today? "LCB is committed to reducing empty mileage running and has invested in fuel-efficient vehicles to ensure a positive impact on the environment, and a recycling programme."

"There is a growing trend by gangs to work scams in which vehicles are diverted before arriving at warehouses, with the consequent loss of their loads.

"LCB has responded by investing in leading CCTV systems, robust CRB checks on all employees and

advanced security systems in all its warehouses."

Cert Octavian

Size of company: Operating from nine locations across the UK - with plans for a 10th this year - Cert Octavian has a turnover of £45 million and 550 full-time staff. It distributes more than 44 million cases

a year to 30,000 delivery points .

Key contacts/personnel:

Anthony Finlayson-Green, managing director; Michael Lainas, executive director.

Key clients and brands: Diageo;

Foster's EMEA; Bollinger; Taylor's; Maisons Marques & Domaines; Louis Roederer; Pol Roger; LVMH; Croft Original; Gonzalez Byass; Red Bull; Louis Latour.

What can you offer major off-trade retailers? "Cert Octavian's service centres are optimally placed for end deliveries," says Lainas. "The total miles travelled are minimised, as is the number of vehicles needed.

"Cert Octavian's Lutterworth site is ideally placed for supermarket deliveries, and by using a hub and spoke system for its national distribution, Cert Octavian can combine 100 orders on a large vehicle and then trunk them to a closer network site."

What can you offer independents? Lainas: "Cert Octavian has a national delivery network of different sized vehicles and offers next-day delivery into central London. We are currently trialling electric vehicles produced by Modec, which have a payload of two tonnes, a range of 100 miles, a speed of up to 50mph and zero emissions."

What are the key issues in drinks logistics today? "Delivery consolidation offers massive opportunities to reduce environmental impact while also realising efficiencies," says Lainas. "The greatest scope for consolidation lies outside London as, where possible, deliveries are already manually and reactively consolidated at Cert Octavian's Hoddesdon site."

JF Hillebrand UK

Size of company: In the UK, JF Hillebrand employs 150 people in two offices - West Thurrock and Dover. In 2007, JF Hillebrand was responsible for the logistics of about 40% of all

wine imported into the UK and had a turnover of £70 million.

Key contacts/personnel: Tom Yusef, chairman and joint managing director; David Mawer, joint managing director; Roger Preston, sales director.

Key clients: Leading supermarket and off-licence chains.

What can you offer major off-trade retailers? "Innovative shipping alternatives - our bulk division, Hillebrand Bulk, enables us to be extraordinarily flexible in this regard," the company says. "We also offer wine-only less-than-container-load services, allowing clients to ship exactly what they need to manage stock levels more precisely." The company has


advances with

supply chain management, sharing business intelligence such as forecast data and replenishment planning on a greater level.

What can you offer independents? A†complete logistics service, working closely alongside importers to ensure smooth movements of products. Porter & Laker is the division which provides shipping, forwarding and logistics services to this sector."

What are the key issues in drinks logistics today? " Concerns about carbon footprint, transportation and packaging. JF Hillebrand initiatives include the Wine Train, a rail service between Tilbury and Daventry, and the Wine Barge, which uses the Manchester ship canal to transport wine.

"Other issues include volatile oil prices and a shortage of vessel space due in part to the booming Chinese economy and Asia-Pacific trade lanes."


Size of company: TDG has 133 sites across the UK, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Germany and Belgium, and employs around 7,200 people. It has more than 1,170,000sq m of warehousing space, 1†million pallet locations across Europe and around 1,600 vehicles covering more than 150 million miles a year.

Key contacts/personnel: Barrie Brackstone, business director.

Key clients: TDG provides transport to all Oddbins and Nicolas retail outlets in the UK. It provides storage for Vinoceros and†has run the national warehousing forDirect Wines and the Christmas home delivery operation for Oddbins. TDG has a number of other drinks customers .

What can you offer major off-trade retailers? " A total supply chain service, from import through bonded warehousing and the delivery of goods and handling some of the retailers' environmental responsibilities."

What can you offer independents? "TDG

can help smaller retailers benefit from the supply chain knowledge of a large logistics business, allowing the m to focus on sourcing and purchasing.

What are the key issues in drinks logistics today? "The requirement to reduce costs and to deliver a tailored service to allow them to compete

with the large supermarket retailers - a ll† within the constraints of the environmental expectations of an ethical†retailer."

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