Bibby Mercedes-Benz

Supply chain collaboration could save around £2bn a year on fuel costs, a panel of logistics industry leaders revealed at last week’s International Festival of Business in Liverpool.

In a lively debate - organised by Bibby Supply Chain Services and chaired by editor Steve Hobson - panelists looked at how collaboration across a number of supply chain disciplines, such as training, driving standards and supporting customers, could produce significant cost savings for businesses.

Paul Byrne, head of strategy at Bibby, said the difference between best and average drivers was worth £3,000 in fuel efficiency alone – and if those drivers were trained to be more efficient, total fuel savings would equate to four times the operating profit of the entire road transport industry. However, he added that delivering that improvement was far beyond the capabilities of any one business, and would only be achieved through 3PLs collaborating with each other.

Also taking part in the discussion was Kate Willard, corporate affairs director of Stobart Group, who discussed how the industry needed to move away from a “survival of the fittest” mentality, while Toyota Motor Europe’s director of parts supply chain Jonathan Ballard added that manufacturing processes could also be strongly supported through collaboration.

Iain Speak, CEO of Bibby, said: “We have a critical opportunity that we must seize to cut costs, boost efficiency, raise standards and help our customers grow.