An increasing number of companies in Central Europe, including the supermarket chain SPAR in Austria, are now using CHEP’s pallet and container pooling services, due to the improved efficiency and cost saving benefits that it generates for the whole supply chain.
Martin Gleiss, Logistics Director, SPAR Austria said, "Using CHEP pallet pooling services creates logistics efficiencies and removes the need for manufacturers, producers and retailers to be distracted from focusing on their core business activities. By using CHEP, our suppliers do not have to incur the capital expenditure associated with buying the equipment, not to mention the costs of return transportation, repairs and losses."
In Austria, SPAR operates six regional distribution centres strategically placed to service its 1,468 stores across the country. From its automated central warehouse located in Wels in central Austria, all SPAR stores can order up to 20,000 different products with delivery guaranteed within 18 hours, a considerable logistics challenge. This is a key differentiator for SPAR, explained Mr. Gleiss, "The number of lines we offer and the efficiency of our logistics system are the main things that set us apart from other distributors. We also stand out because of the variety of different store formats we offer to meet the needs of our customers."
Christophe Loiseau, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, CHEP Europe commented, "CHEP is currently handling over 900,000 pallets movements for SPAR is Austria, which is a significant volume when you consider that the equipment pooling solution that CHEP provides is relatively new to the Austrian market. CHEP pallet pooling represents an alternative to the traditional white pallet exchange system which provides limited standardisation with respect to size, specification, material type and quality, resulting in obvious shortcomings."
Ensuring that their operations have minimal impact of the environment is also one of SPAR’s strategic imperatives. Mr Gleiss added, "Compared to the other common shipping platforms – one-way pallets, exchange pallets and corrugated slip-sheets – using the CHEP equipment pooling service for international shipments in which the equipment is continually re-used across the supply chain generates less solid waste, requires less total energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions."
Mr. Loiseau explained, "The use of CHEP pallets allows companies to reduce their capital expenditure and improve the efficiency of their day-to-day operations, as they can dispose of their stocks of white pallets and the costs associated with managing and maintaining them. We are very pleased to be working with SPAR and we are confident that other companies across Central Europe will also elect to switch to CHEP for both their domestic and international shipments, due to the increased efficiencies and cost savings that they will gain as a result."