By Ben Sillitoe - 12:46PM - Tue 11th January 2011
Supply chain solutions provider Norbert Dentressangle (ND) has been chosen by The Co-operative Group as its transport partner for the retailer’s new 500,000 sq ft Andover distribution centre.
The warehouse, which is set to open in March this year, will ultimately provide jobs for 900 people and serve more than 400 Co-operative food stores in the south of England.
Norbert was picked after a competitive tender process and the company will employ around 350 drivers and operate a fleet of 110 tractor units, 200 trailers and 61 rigids across all temperature bands as part of the arrangement.
The logistics firm will also provide a night service, which will see frozen products from Andover delivered to other Co-operative Food regional distribution centres, but the warehousing operation will continue to be managed by the retailer in-house.
Mark Leonard, The Co-operative Group’s Regional Head of Logistics, remarked: “We are pleased to have concluded a deal with Norbert Dentressangle to undertake the transport operation, on our behalf, at our new distribution centre at Andover, and we look forward to working with them when the site becomes operational.”
Co-op and ND’s collaboration is part of a wider transformation of the retailer’s distribution network following its 2009 takeover of supermarket group Somerfield, which CEO Peter Marks expects to have fully integrated into the business by the first quarter of this year.
Yesterday it was announced that the Co-op will build a new regional distribution centre in the north midlands, creating 900 new jobs in the process, although the plans involve closing two small depots in Nottingham and Alfreton.
The company’s depots at Halesowen, Peterborough and Thetford, employing around 500 workers, will also close, but the Co-op aims to redeploy as many of the affected staff as possible and is confident that changes made to network will ultimately create new job opportunities.