Iceland chooses XPO Logistics to support future growth
XPO Logistics and Iceland have secured a five-year contract that will see the logistics provider cover warehousing and distribution for the UK-based frozen food retailer.
With a turnover of £2.7 billion in 2015, Iceland has recently been named Britain’s best online store in the annual Which? supermarket survey. The retailer has also won The Sunday Times’ best big companies to work for in the UK twice in the last five years. In addition to its online presence, Iceland currently has 850 stores and a growing network of new ‘out-of-town’ Food Warehouse outlets throughout the UK.
To help Iceland meet its growth targets, including the opening of up to 40 new stores year-on-year, XPO Logistics has developed a supply chain solution that combines Iceland’s dedicated network with the capacity of XPO Logistics’ shared-user facilities to accommodate increasing volumes, seasonal peaks and promotional activity.
XPO Logistics will manage Iceland’s distribution centres in Warrington, Enfield, Livingston and Swindon. The scope of responsibilities includes warehousing activities ranging from product receipt to nationwide store distribution, as well as a number of primary collections. All 1,900 workers at the four sites will transfer to XPO Logistics as part of a phased Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment (TUPE) process.
In addition, XPO Logistics will manage Iceland’s temperature-controlled fleet of 320 tractor units and 450 trailers, and expects to create further operational efficiencies for Iceland by implementing an integrated inbound supply chain platform that leverages the retailer’s supplier relationships.
“XPO Logistics shares our values when it comes to putting people at the forefront of everything we do,” said Iceland supply chain director Nigel Morley. “This synergy, combined with XPO’s ability to deliver a flexible and scalable supply chain solution, will help us meet our growth objectives, both now and in the future.”
Richard Cawston, managing director, supply chain – UK and Ireland for XPO Logistics, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Iceland and believe that our significant experience working with major food retailers will be invaluable in supporting our customer’s expansion. We also look forward to welcoming the colleagues who will be joining XPO Logistics over the coming months.”
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.