CHEP plans to reshape supply chains

An initiative to enable greater collaboration between retailers and manufacturers to create more sustainable supply chains has been launched by CHEP.

End-to-end supply chain specialist CHEP, which is part of the Brambles Group with sites across North America and Western Europe, has created Zero Waste World to focus on three shared challenges within the supply chain: Eliminating physical waste such as packaging and food waste, eradicating empty transport miles caused by poor weight loading or empty freight transport, and cutting out inefficiency such as product leakage and stock movements.

CHEP’s vice president for Northern Europe Matt Quinn

CHEP’s vice president for Northern Europe Matt Quinn, said: “We want to enable our customers to tackle the three big issues which they tell us are important and respond to the demands of their consumers, employees, investors and social stakeholders. The question is, how can manufacturers and retailers eliminate waste, eradicate empty transport miles and cut out inefficiency?

“The scale of these challenges, such as 91 per cent of the world’s plastics packaging not being recycled, is monumental. The only way that we can be successful in tackling these challenges is by working collaboratively, sharing knowledge, data and assets.

“Progressing towards a Zero Waste World represents a specific commitment by CHEP to all stakeholders in the supply chain that we will tackle those shared challenges to create greater value for society, and save our customers time, money and resources.”

In Europe, CHEP’s Transport Collaboration solutions have already helped more than 200 customers save 6.6 million kilometres of empty truck journeys, avoid 6,500 tonnes of carbon emissions, and save millions of euros.

But there is more to do. The development of technology and harnessing innovation with concepts like open data sharing, tracking and smart pallet, and how they can combine, is critical.

Peter Murphy, CHEP’s UK & Ireland transport solutions manager for Northern Europe added: “CHEP is part of the EU ‘Horizon 2020’ Logistar project, working with universities across Europe and the manufacturing industry to examine how horizontal collaboration can unlock live fleet visibility, vehicle utilisation and asset tracking amongst other factors via trailers. This will help us to identify methods to cut ‘empty running’.”

Zero Waste World is being launched initially in the UK as an indicator market. Matt Quinn added:“If we can understand the challenges for the supply chain in the UK and find the solutions, we hold the possibility of reshaping supply chains across the world.”

Examples of CHEP’s Zero Waste World in action include the creation of a simple tracker that fits between the slats on a pallet, which enables product pickers, delivery drivers and stores to work as normal.

“But the key innovation is held within software that is connected to our tracker,” explained Quinn. “This is a cloud-based ‘network of networks’ developed by Brambles company BXB Digital – which allows us to turn data into valuable insights and information about where there is loss, inefficiency, and spoilage in the system. As a result, we can see the pallet destination and avoid the pallet / product loss and subsequent customer claim. We can also come to data driven conclusions, which inform a proactive action plan to recover resources and extend product life in the supply chain. One of our customers who used this technology was NISA Retail.”

CHEP was able to identify a 10 per cent pallet loss in NISA’s supply chain and planned to cut that to practically zero.