• TCS&D Awards 2018 Dates: Thursday 13th September, Midland Hotel, Manchester #weregoingback


Across the hospitality and retail sectors demand for fresh, healthy and natural foods continues to rise. Driven by a continued growth in the UK’s ‘out-of-home’ eating market, more people than ever before are dining out at restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and food-to-go eateries. This has led not only to a greater requirement for specialist food products, but also foodservice logistics operators with the expertise to meet retailer’s needs. As John Lee, managing director of Courier Express Refrigerated Transport Ltd, explains…

Chilled and fresh food grew in both foodservice and retail channels last year, according to UK grocery & foodservice wholesaling 2017 report by IGB Retail Analysis. In fact, according to the report, the cash contribution of chilled and fresh food increased by over £80m in 2016. Whilst, British out-of-home foodservice market sales – worth £52.2 billion in 2015 – are expected to grow by as much as 0.4% in 2017 to 11.34 billion and a further 1.6% in 2018 to 11.52 billion, according to global information company The NPD Group.

Such growth presents significant challenges for foodservice providers, none more so than ensuring their fresh produce is delivered on-time, in prime condition and without spoilage. From fresh agricultural goods to seafood and frozen foods, the transportation of such temperature-sensitive food requires a great level of urgency and intricacy throughout the supply chain. A mismanaged cold chain can lead to delays in delivery times, an increased risk of spoilage, and ultimately losses in profit that companies cannot afford.

For Courier Express, one of the UK’s leading providers of refrigerated transport solutions, the ability to deliver flexibility logistics services has been key to prospering in an ever-changing foodservice industry.

From more responsive distribution services that enable supermarkets and convenience stores to cater to the smaller, more frequent purchasing habits of their customers, to larger nationwide deliveries to hotels, pubs and the hospitality sector, Courier Express Ltd has remained adaptable to meet the shift in market demand.

The company are continuously refining their practices to ensure customers are getting the freshest food available. By utilising advanced on-board temperature control equipment, which is regularly calibrated, the precise temperatures of fresh produce can be monitored at any stage of the journey. This safeguards the quality of any perishable food goods, avoiding any temperature related problems during transit and guaranteeing the safe delivery of products.

Having a modern fleet of refrigerated vehicles, incorporating state-of-the-art temperature control equipment, allows Courier Express the capacity to make multi-drop foodservice deliveries on a daily basis, to any customer location within the UK. In excess of 25 deliveries of chilled, frozen and ambient products are made daily, including to some high-profile clients throughout the UK.

The highly-competitive nature of the food and drink market means leading food brands regularly compete for new business opportunities by supplying high-quality food samples to customers, during tendering processes.

With this in mind, Courier Express also provides a same day and next day delivery service for new product development samples, to any customer location within the UK. As samples are often required to be delivered quickly to supermarkets, tasting panels or for market research, the company has the capability to ensure a temperature controlled vehicle arrives at a customer’s premises within 30-60 minutes of booking, as part of their emergency service. Consignments are then transported directly to the delivery point under temperature-controlled conditions.

The company’s next day service offers a cost-effective alternative for less urgent delivery requirements. At a reduced rate, customers can have their product sample consignments collected every afternoon, stored and maintained at a precise temperature, and then delivered the following day.

Operating a connected network of strategically located regional sites in London, Manchester, Northampton, Leeds and now the Midlands, ensures the company can offer a truly UK-wide service for chilled, frozen, ambient and multi-temperature deliveries, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What this means for some of the leading foodservice providers Courier Express Ltd supports, such as Danone, Gü Puds, Kepak UK and Stateside Foods Plc, is that they can achieve substantial improvements in supply chain efficiency and business operations in a highly-competitive market.

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