MT editor Steve Hobson, Rachid Salbi, logistics operations manager, Screwfix, Steve Fitton, network general manager, Wincanton, and Dan Mowbray, commercial director of sponsor EV Cargo Solutions

How does an operator drive service and safety levels ever higher and keep costs down in a logistics contract where the client’s volumes are growing exponentially? This was Wincanton’s challenge as the logistics partner of retailer Screwfix, which has launched around 50 new Trade Counter (TC) stores a year since 2011.

No small task, since this rapid expansion meant every peak period was bigger than the last with more units picked, more trailers despatched, and more miles travelled to a network of over 690 Screwfix TCs.

At the same time the team had to ensure delivery targets were met, without driving up costs or hitting safety – a Herculean task considering the fleet made 35,846 journeys in 2019, equating to 110,802 TC deliveries.

Technology to plan routes and driver training was key. The company achieved an increase in routes of just 6% last year, despite a 20% rise in the number of TCs it delivered to.

At the same time Wincanton’s on-time delivery targets were met and exceeded, up from 99.65% in 2018 to 99.89% in 2019.

This more efficient delivery model also meant Wincanton needed fewer trailers, with the number being used falling from 367 trailers in February 2018 to 308 in February 2020.

With its cheapest hire trailer costing £95 per week, over the past two years the saving in trailer hire alone has been over £290,000.

Driver behaviour also plays a significant role in cutting costs. With the Dynafleet telematics system installed in all its vehicles the team is able to monitor driving styles to ensure optimal performance and cut fuel consumption.

Underpinning these achievements is Wincanton’s exemplary safety record. As its Blue “Earned Operator” rating shows, Wincanton has demonstrated consistently high levels of compliance, with no lost-time incidents in the whole of 2019.

Judges were understandably impressed. One said: “With over 35,000 journeys and a 99% delivery success, transport management technology has proved invaluable for this distributor and the added earned recognition status has meant the compliance of this company is unquestionable.”

"It’s an exceptional honour to win this award and to win it with our customer Screwfix is a fantastic achievement. When you consider the growth and development we’ve been through together over the recent years it’s an excellent award to receive." 

Steve Fitton