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Merger creates a new force in food and drink logistics

Two of the country's leading food and drink supply chain specialists have announced they are merging into one business with effect from 1st January 2008, creating a dynamic supply chain platform for food and drink manufacturers across the UK.

Culina Logistics and Baylis Logistics will merge in a new company, which will be known as Culina Logistics Limited and which will be part-owned by Luxembourg-based TML Invest – the investment arm of Theo Müller, owner of the Müller Dairy Group.

The new, independent Culina will provide customers with a broad range of ambient and multi temperature services, a comprehensive national warehousing and transport network and an enhanced range of quality systems and services.

“Our aim is to be the UK's leading food and drink logistics specialist,” says CEO, Thomas van Mourik.

“Our enhanced service offering will include a cross-fertilisation of ideas, experience and best practice from across the original Baylis and Culina operations. We'll be working even closer with our customers on their strategic requirements and using the greater strengths of the new business to deliver more comprehensive supply chain solutions.”

The new operation has a starting turnover of £125 million.

Group operations director Rien Brakel says the new business employs 1,300 people, will operate from nine sites (including the new site at Haverhill) totalling 1.45 million square feet (135,000 sq m) and has a vehicle fleet of 250 vehicles and 550 trailers.

“Customers will benefit considerably in a number of new ways,” he says. “Chilled customers will see potential economies of scale in our ability to offer a combined solution incorporating their ambient ranges. Ambient customers will have a readymade solution as their sector moves towards chilled disciplines, including daily ordering, as well as stockless RDCs with 24/7 customer services and SOP teams.”

Culina believes the integration of its systems will help customers to speed up administration, optimise inventory and cut associated costs. The increased network capability provides a wealth of storage and delivery options.

A range of value added services, including product customisation, will help to meet the increasing demand from retailers for shelf-ready products and the growing use of promotional activity by manufacturers to drive sales volumes.

Culina is already in serious negotiations with several multi-temperature food and drink manufacturers seeking the best of both worlds for their product ranges.

“The transition from two organisations to one will be gradual and smooth,” says Thomas van Mourik. “We have the capacity, flexibility, resources and financial clout to deliver unbeatable supply chain solutions to the food and drink industry. That's what we intend to do.”

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