Transport and storage sharing

The Sustainable Distribution Initiative, a cooperation scheme aimed at responding to spiralling energy costs and the demands of consumers to reduce the number of food miles in product distribution is being initiated by IGD, a food and grocery think tank. Currently, 37 of the UK's largest companies have signed up for the initiative, including Coca-Cola and Heinz. IGD claims it will result in the removal of 800 trucks from UK roads this year, cutting energy use by about 23 million litres of diesel per year. Similarly, on a European level, a Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) working party presented the results of its "Future Supply Chain," an even more ambitious project at the ECR (European Conference Review) conference in Berlin in June 2008. This new supply chain solution is a distribution and storage network - including amongst others, Wal-Mart, Nestlé, Carrefour, Crown Holdings Inc, Kraft Foods, Ahold, Procter and Gamble, Metro Group, Loblaw and Unilever. Each warehouse and truck is being used by several competitors, and it is hoped this could potentially save up to 25% emissions per pallet. Participating suppliers would relinquish their own warehouses and deliver directly from the manufacturing facility into a collaborative warehouse that is run jointly with other suppliers. From there the goods would be shipped either to city hubs that supply urban stores or regional centres that deliver to rural zones.