Bibby Distribution has won a contract with Morrisons to operate five regional consolidation centres (RCC) across the UK.

Bibby will operate the five RCC operations from its existing facilities in Yorkshire, the East Midlands, the South East, Staffordshire and the South West. First to go live will be Yorkshire and the East Midlands, which will begin operations in the next three months.

The logistics firm says it will use existing vehicles on the contract to begin with, but will invest where necessary as further sites commence operations.

“This is a strategic business win for Bibby Distribution with a well-respected, forward thinking, retailer. We look forward to starting off with this significant consolidation initiative and further developing our relationship and business with Morrisons over the coming years,” adds Iain Speak, chief executive of Bibby Distribution.

The deal follows the roll-out of Morrisons’ InMotion initiative in June 2011, which aims to reduce costs by utilising empty legs with full truck load returns on the supermarket’s own fleet.

Morrisons says this method of supplying into its distribution centres (DC) will also help improve stock availability and reduce the throughput of vehicles.

Ian Firth, business development director at Bibby, says: “The emphasis is on helping Morrisons maximise vehicle utilisation – whether that be backloading existing store delivery vehicles with collections from local suppliers and RCCs, or collecting consolidated loads to deliver into its DCs nationwide.”

He adds that fewer deliveries into Morrisons’ main DCs will offer more efficient unloading of goods and also reduce the cost to market for smaller suppliers who currently incur significant costs by transporting part-loads.