Kerry Logistics’ perfect fit for Debenhams

A UK regional rather than Heathrow-centric approach to airfreight helped Kerry Logistics Network secure a contract with Debenhams that cuts by two days the outbound supply chain process to growing markets in the Middle East.
Kerry Logistics will handle all airfreight from Debenhams’ UK distribution centre in Peterborough to various destinations in the Middle East, including Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.
Steve Bowkis, director of imports and exports at Debenhams, said: “Kerry Logistics is able to offer us innovative supply chain solutions that support an important growth area of our business as we expand our stores internationally.”
The Middle East is a key growth market for the multinational retailer, which trades in over 240 stores, across 27 countries, and is available online in 70 countries.
Emma Rowlands, UK sales director at Kerry Logistics, said: “Other logistics providers are committed to a strict hub-and-spoke system and are dependent on Heathrow, where space is getting more limited, but we can be flexible and can work around our clients’ requirements.”
Ms Rowlands added: “We were asked to submit the RFQ with a heavy impetus on delivering values and efficiencies with Debenhams’ supply chain, specifically their airfreight activities.
“While of course Heathrow (LHR) Gatwick (LGW) airports are more than functional and capable, we listened to our client’s concerns about multiple handling, damage, etc, and considered a different approach to the tender bid.
“We came to understand that after detailed analysis that their product is not suited to double triple handling and in essence the best spread of compatible and capable airlines that were considered in the RFQ were about to, or had already embarked on the deployment of new aircraft on key routes ex LHR/LGW where this cargo had historically routed via.”
Ms Rowlands continued: “Regionally, we analysed that all carriers had multiple option from regional airports and space from those points were proven to be utilised with far greater ease than LHR/LGW.
“We concluded that although there was a longer transit from the client’s DC to our chosen facility, the routing to our regional hub in Manchester airport (MAN), nullified the need to handle the cargo more than once and in effect the initial longer routing to the north overall had saved in excess of twelve hours in trucking, handling and airline dwell times, prior to the cargo leaving the UK.”
She added: “We also understood that several of our competitors have diluted their regional offerings by the closure of some offices or where offices remain they are engaging clients locally in a customer service role, whereas all our facilities are fully functional and capable of engaging all airlines regionally, much to our client’s approval.
“Overall, this strategy has deducted over two days from the supply chain process and offers our clients the reality of a ‘same day’ departure from the UK into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market.” 

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