DHL Supply Chain has signed up pallet network Palletways to handle the non-chilled requirement of its troubled KFC contract, MT can exclusively reveal.

The 3PL made international headlines in February when its KFC supply chain and distribution deal suffered a failure to launch, leading to hundreds of store closures and ultimately the re-awarding of some of the work to the previous incumbent Bidvest.

In an account brief sent to network members and seen by MT, Rob Gittins, MD of UK Networks at Palletways, said: “You will be aware that we have been supporting DHL Supply Chain with their troubled start up with KFC recently."

Gittins adds that ongoing issues with the contract remain and reminds members it is “critical that deliveries get made on the due date”.

“On a positive note, the pallet delivery requirement is now here to stay as a separate operation to the chilled supply chain,” Gittins said.

The letter, dated 20 April, sets out a number of changes that are being made to improve the situation including:

  • The picking will move to dispatching only what the location needs, which will avoid some instances of pallets being refused as the site had no room to hold the stock.
  • A fixed weekly delivery schedule has been put in place to help avoid peaks and troughs in delivery volume
  • Stores will get between one and four deliveries each week.
  • Additional products including flour and oil will be dispatched via Palletways meaning that criticality of delivery is even higher as without these products the stores can’t open. (The point adds that as deliveries can be made up to 9pm daily there is an opportunity to improve vehicle productivity).
  • In addition to Fradley, goods will be trunked to the regional hubs at both Greenford and Avonmouth.

Gittins concedes that taking on the work around the network’s busiest time (in the lead up to the Easter peak) had presented “some challenges”.


Palletways truck

“It is important that we focus on meeting the requirement of this key account,” he said before outlining two areas.

These are ensuring that in the event of a genuine issue "communications are of the highest standard" and that PODs are available within the hour; and as many locations have no facility to hold pallets, drivers removing them if requested by the store.

A spokesman for Palletways said: “As a network Palletways have been working with DHL across multiple divisions for a long period of time. This is a positive and ongoing relationship that encompasses a wide range of requirements.

“To provide service excellence to our customers we work closely with our members, utilising our market leading regional hub model, to ensure the network has both the capacity and resources to respond to demand.”

DHL Supply Chain declined to comment.