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Cold Storage Space Will Be Facing High Seasonal Demand This Winter
With Christmas just over six months away, many frozen food manufacturers, importers and suppliers will have completed their supply chain resource plans and booked their cold storage space as stocks build towards the Christmas peak.
If so, congratulations. You have been very wise, as it is becoming clear that for the first time over the last decade, cold storage space to cover seasonal peaks is going to be at a premium. The reasons are threefold:
Refrigerants: The F – Gas Regulation phase down provisions to reduce the availability and use of high Global Warming refrigerants such as R404A and R134A are beginning to bite, with reduced availability, production being wound down and prices increasing exponentially. Whilst drops ins are being developed, and are available for some stores, for others it means a new set of kit, more than likely ammonia, at considerable capital investment cost.
Property: Consolidation of cold store services companies, the sale of facilities for demolition and redevelopment (often for housing) because renovation and upgrade is not economically viable and demands for higher rents when leases coming up for renewal of facilities sold and leased back has seen some significant reduction in capacity during 2017 so far. It is firmly believed that this reduction will continue.
Investment: Whilst two new more specialist facilities in UK have been announced and are in the development process, these are not due for commissioning for at least 18 months. Otherwise, there is a lack of new development to replace that which is disappearing, due mainly to a demand for a reasonable return on Investment – something that has been sadly lacking over the last ten years as well.
Whilst some may say “he would say that, wouldn’t’ he?, if you have not yet booked and confirmed your space commitments for Christmas 2017, you would be wise to contact possible suppliers and do so sooner rather than later.
If not, you may be disappointed – and embarrassed! Also, please do not be surprised if the commercial conversation is more difficult this year too.
Chris Sturman is the CEO of FSDF, the sole UK trade body that focuses on representing and supporting the interests of the entire food and drink logistics industry. www.fsdf.org.uk
For the fourth consecutive year, La Palette Rouge (LPR) Group, Europe’s leading pallet pooling specialist, has increased its EcoVadis rating, a CSR score awarded by Europe’s leading provider of supplier sustainability.
LPR now has ‘Advanced Gold’ status, putting it among the top 1% of the companies audited. This latest recognition from EcoVadis follows LPR achieving Gold status in 2016, the first pallet pooling company to achieve this rating.
The development means that LPR has increased its ranking each year, growing from Silver to Advanced Gold in just four years. To achieve this ranking, LPR was audited across 21 criteria, grouped into four main categories – environment, labour practices, business ethics and sustainable procurement.
Steps taken by LPR to meet these criteria include sponsoring an agreement in support of reforestation and developing a set of personnel materials to fight against corruption and fraud.
Adrian Fleming, regional director for LPR UK and Ireland, said: “Four consecutive years of continued improvement in our EcoVadis rating is a fantastic testament to the entire LPR Group team.
“This ongoing success demonstrates the power of collaborative working, with LPR UK working closely with our European counterparts to help shore up sustainability and commitment to first-rate CSR standards across the business.”
Following the Easter break, LPR UK, part of Europe’s leading pallet pooling specialist, looks back on a busy and successful quarter one.
Throughout the first three months of the year, the business has grown its pallet movements by 7% compared to the same period last year, and has announced a number of contract wins, new appointments and industry awards.
Alongside its ongoing work with some of the world’s leading FMCG blue chip businesses, including Nestlé, Kellogg’s and Carlsberg, LPR UK has also secured a raft of new business wins. These include contracts with FMCG specialists Dale Farm, Kanes Foods and Shepley Springs, as well as new agreements with technology specialist Exertis and paper giant EuroVast.
To complement their continued growth, LPR UK recently invested in a brand new business contracts director, Stephen Ambroziak. With more than 30 years’ experience in the logistics service sector, Ambroziak will assume the specially created role to help support LPR’s existing business development team and further boost its service offering.
Fresh from record-breaking success in 2016, LPR has continued to break new ground in the first quarter of this year. In February, the business announced it had been awarded ‘AdvancedGold’ status by EcoVadis. The accolade recognises LPR’s ongoing investment in its CSR practices, most notably a commitment to sustainability and ongoing investment in people and processes.
Adrian Fleming, regional director of LPR UK and Ireland, said: “One of our key objectives at the end of last year was to continue building on our successful growth platform. Looking at what we’ve achieved since January, we’re on track to break further records. It’s been great to see the team secure so many new contract wins, alongside bolstering relationships with our existing clients, and I hope to see that continue across Q2. Elsewhere, it’s been great to welcome some new faces to LPR – as well as celebrating the long-service achieved by a number of the team.
“With summer just around the corner, we’re gearing up for a very busy few months and I hope to be able to look back on the next quarter with the same degree of pride and expectation as I have on this one.”