Logistics UK (formerly the FTA) are one of the biggest business groups in the UK, representing the entire logistics industry. On November 13 they held their 4th Annual Awards Event for the logistics industry, a unique awards event as shortlists and winners are selected by fellow industry peers.
Menzies Distribution entered, was shortlisted and proudly won the most innovative company of the year category for 2020.
Menzies Distribution was challenged to showcase how we have demonstrated industry leadership and excellence that generated exceptional results, impact and is truly class leading. Based on these prerequisites, we submitted a response that encapsulated how we have and continue to rise to two very current challenges, climate change and Covid-19.
The Menzies Distribution team has continued exceptional service delivery and supported local communities and the NHS. There have been several projects during lockdown that have been vital to maintaining healthcare supplies and essential services, as well as boosting morale. These include providing essential PPE to the NHS frontline, making deliveries to new Nightingale and Louisa Jordan field hospitals, and delivering care packages and gifts to NHS staff and patients.
These initiatives required a flexible and innovative approach to mobilise and scale up quickly. For example, Menzies Distribution expanded its healthcare logistics service, with teams now serving the NHS, pharmacies and care homes across the UK, as well as community retailers. Over just a few days in April, Menzies delivered 10 million items overall of critical PPE, consisting of; aprons, gloves and masks to 1094 care homes and 14,272 individually sorted & labelled parcels containing essential medical equipment (4.5 million items in total of aprons, masks, frames and lenses) to 947 GP locations across Scotland, stretching from the Borders up to the Highlands & Islands.
Some customers, such as One Stop the convenience store chain, also experienced a surge in demand. Menzies Distribution mobilised its delivery service at incredible speed, helping ensure One Stop could continue to provide essential supplies to its local communities.
Being able to scale-up quickly means Menzies Distribution was also able to seamlessly meet customer demand as the high-street reopened following three months of lockdown.
Climate crisis response
Menzies Distribution hit its 10 millionth item delivered emission free in 2019, saving a total estimated 2.3 million kg of CO2 compared to standard diesel delivery vehicles. It is proud to state that as of 2020, it travels over 300,000 emission-free miles annually.
Menzies Distribution has an electric fleet of over 120 vehicles which are based across the country. This fleet has been particularly valuable in London where, as pioneers in electric delivery, it was well positioned to operate amidst the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). The EV fleet has delivered over ten million parcels, reducing CO2 emissions by 67% per parcel.
Menzies Distribution has also been working on the aerodynamic efficiency of its vehicle bodies. Through tweaking van designs, it has reduced vehicle drag by 30% and increased fuel efficiency by 10-15%. Similarly, a number of the vans have also been wrapped using an environmentally friendly, non-PVC material to be in-keeping with the sustainable outlook which the firm is working towards.
To support its EVs, Menzies Distribution operates the largest commercial charging infrastructure in the UK and has implemented innovations such as Vehicle to Grid (V2G). To reduce demand on the local grid at peak times the V2G solution maximises efficient use of the grid’s power in a “smart” way by feeding energy from the vehicles back to the grid at peak times and charging the vehicles during off-peak times. The depot in Bow is home to 80 smart inter-connected chargers, the largest of its kind in London. This means that it is not reliant on public infrastructure and the constraints it presents. Menzies Distribution is now also charging with energy derived from renewables across its entire operation.
Menzies Distribution has optimised routes to deliver as much as possible, as far as possible, on EV. Using leading technology it optimises all routes and monitors driving patterns and performance through Microlise telematics, conducting regular training programmes to ensure that the fleet is driven to optimum efficiency.
For the diesel fleet, Menzies Distribution uses a fuel partner that offsets the carbon from pipe to pump by worldwide tree plantation schemes.