XPO and Mars collaborate to 'transform' supply chain

By James Henderson
XPO Logistics and Mars have come together to collaborate on new cutting-edge supply chain technology in France. The French subsidiary of the agri-food...

XPO Logistics and Mars have come together to collaborate on new cutting-edge supply chain technology in France.

The French subsidiary of the agri-food group Mars has implemented automated handling systems and robotics at the XPO Logistics site at Boigny-sur-Bionne, near Orléans. XPO manages the site for Mars.

In less than a year, a joint innovation team comprised of specialists from XPO and manufacturer Alstef mechanized 1,600 square meters (17,200 square feet) of space at the temperature-controlled Boigny site.

The facility manages the storage and distribution for a wide range of Mars products: pet care (PEDIGREE, WHISKAS, CESAR, SHEBA), chocolate (M&M’s, TWIX, SNICKERS, Celebrations), Wrigley (FREEDENT, SKITTLES), and food (UNCLE BEN’S, EBLY).

The result is an innovative and customer-focused approach that has the capacity to accommodate up to 10mn packages a year.

XPO utilises advanced automation at more than 25 sites in Europe, a third of which are located in France.

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To increase competitiveness through productivity, the Boigny site has been equipped with a robot that can prepare 50,000 to 60,000 packages per day while operating on a continuous basis.

Jonathan Jambon, French market supply chain director of Mars, said: “Our growth in volume, the expansion of our product range and the development of new distribution channels have led to increased demand for layered pallet preparation and package preparation.

“To adapt to these changes and satisfy our customers, we have put our trust in XPO to design an innovative solution that is both flexible and meets the requirements of Mars Quality standards."

Richard Cawston, managing director of supply chain, XPO Logistics Europe, said: “In light of the growth of our customer Mars, our challenge was to completely transform the logistics solution by tailoring the latest technical advances in software, robotics and pneumatic equipment, all without disrupting activity.

“With this new solution, we can realize efficiencies in distribution while lowering operating costs for Mars.”

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