Visitors included many of the companies Import Services are involved with, in retail supply chain, including Clients, suppliers and retail giants such as Argos and Tesco. Guests enjoyed a tour of the new 20,000 pallet distribution centre, as well as an exclusive port-side tour of Southampton’s container terminals, as part of the days’ activities.
Leader of Southampton City Council, Royston Smith, welcomed Import Services’ investment in the port, emphasising how encouraging a success story is, in this tough economic climate.
As part of the launch proceedings, Import Services announced the findings of an independent research paper, examining the Port-centric distribution model and it’s impact both regionally and nationally carried out by the University of Southampton.
Dr Lorraine Warren, Director Postgraduate Programmes, and Senior Lecturer in Innovation, said: “The University of Southampton is a world leading centre for research with an in-depth understanding of the logistics industry. “Our research has uncovered key findings, particularly the disparity between retailers and suppliers, in grasping the pivotal importance of Port- centric distribution at the centre of supply chain logistics.
Whereas 82 percent of retailers identify the supply chain as being important or business critical to their company strategy, only 24% of suppliers surveyed were likeminded.
Retailers recognise the benefits of port centric distribution as a means of addressing time, cost and carbon savings along the supply chain and acting on this, however suppliers are lagging behind and there is much to do.”
This new research will continue to examine the efficiencies of Port-centric distribution (PCD) when compared to traditional Regional and National Distribution Centre models. The initial findings, soon to be available on the Import Services website www.importservices.com will help those with an interest in supply chain logistics, to understand the strategic impact of the Port-centric model.
Addressing the opening of the new distribution facility and the research, Managing Director of Import Services, John Eynon, said: “As the first UK port of call for container ships plying from the Far East to Northern Europe, Southampton represents a logical route for the import of goods into the UK. As such Import Services believes the Port-centric model is more efficient than the traditional Regional and National Distribution Centres for retailers. We therefore wanted to demonstrate this through the production of an independent research paper.
“There have been limited studies into PCD conducted in other parts of the UK, however, no such research has been undertaken in Southampton. Therefore as a Southampton based and leading Port-centric business in the country, we felt it important to commission this report to help better understanding in our industry.”
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