Growing demand has forced a food manufacturer in Spalding to order an extra 400,000 wooden pallets to meet a tight timetable for deliveries to shops.
The move by fresh food maker Bakkavor, of West Marsh Road, brings to two million the number of pallets its uses to transport its soups, salads and dips.
Bakkavor, which has about 2,000 staff, has placed the order for extra pallets with Holland-based Pooling Partners, which manufactures and repairs 20 million pallets a year and has retained its contract with Bakkavor since 2009.
Pooling Partners also provides a ‘trade direct’ pallet service to help Bakkavor cost-effectively move products to its retail customers.
This involves taking pallets directly from retail units to Bakkavor to speed up the process and eradicate so-called ‘empty running’, the wasteful transport miles used on the return leg.
Terry Moore, Bakkavor’s logistics general manager, said: “We have been very satisfied with the Pooling Partner model of ‘trade direct’.
“They manage it to minimise the rejection rate whilst ensuring we can maximise deliveries to meet time-sensitive deadlines at a cost-effective rate.”
Carl McInerney, UK country director for Pooling Partners, said: “Bakkavor knows from time to time it will get pallets it cannot use, but the strategy is to minimise such instances so as to constantly keep the supply chain moving.”
“We take a holistic approach to Bakkavor to deliver a quality product and service at a reliable and realistic price with no surprise invoices – everything is transparent about the relationship.
Using Pooling Partners, Bakkavor - which has a portfolio of over 5,000 different fresh food products - says it has reduced its pallet rejection rate to just 1.3 per cent meaning that more fresh produce gets through to customers on time without any supply chain delays.