Release Date: 07 December 2009
Release ID: 4434
Five years after Turkey’s dynamic economy and burgeoning garment trade encouraged the independent UK freight forwarder Davies Turner to further expand its presence in the market by locating its own delegate in Istanbul, the company is offering re-engineered supply chain services using greener transport modes and increasing the exports and imports of general freight to improve utilisation of its road trailers.
The changes in how the finished clothing reaches the UK from Turkey have been made in partnership with Davies Turner’s Turkish partners and retail customer base which have been influenced by wider consumer concerns about the carbon footprint of their supply chain.
Philip Stephenson, chairman of Davies Turner, explains: “Five years ago, we expanded our successful road services between Turkey and the UK. Then, it is fair to say, our concern was to get goods to destination quickly and cope with seasonal or peak demands. Now the world has moved on and we have other considerations and targets in addition to our recognised strengths in ensuring fast delivery and dealing with seasonal peaks cost-effectively.
The fashion industry, prompted by consumer concerns, is now looking for a greener supply chain. We have no problem with this but see it as an opportunity and fully intend to make our Turkish overland trailer services, some of the longest in our network, best practice examples of sensible green thinking.”
A key method of reducing the carbon impact of any trailer movement is to increase pay-loads to optimise vehicle utilisation at all times. Davies Turner has worked with a major client to replace traditional rail hangings with string loading for lighter garments. For all such customers another advantage of this system is that it makes unloading at the destination distribution centre both quicker and easier.
Mr Stephenson says: “Just by this simple act of re-engineering, we have increased each vehicle’s capacity by 40% without a similar increase in fuel used to move it. This saves both costs and CO2 emission and means that two trailers can now be used instead of three, cutting transport activity by a third.”
At the launch of its services between the UK and Turkey, trucks were routinely driven overland between the two countries via Europe’s advanced but over-used motorway system. In the years since, popular opinion in many markets has moved away from freight transport being based solely on long-distance truck journeys. Instead, public opinion is encouraging many operators and manufacturers to look at other modes of transport.
Davies Turner is a market-leader between Turkey and the UK in switching some of its services away from absolute dependence on road traffic towards a clever mix of alternative modes, says Mr Stephenson.
He says: “We looked at the map to determine better alternatives to long-haul overland direct from Turkey to the UK after our customers started asking us if there was a multimodal, greener way to move their goods. As a transport provider, our concern was to meet this demand in such a way that our service levels were not compromised.
“Our specialist staff and route-planners worked tirelessly to develop alternative means of getting between Turkey and the UK that is no slower than using trucks all the way. This is truly a win-win for our clients: the same reliable, quality Davies Turner service, taking no longer than before and with reduced carbon emissions.”
Some of the trailer services now move by ferry from Turkey to Trieste, Italy, then by rail to Mannheim, Germany before the final leg to the UK. The service offers the same lead time as the standard road service, bypasses weekend driving restrictions and is largely unaffected by the weather.
Mr Stephenson commends these services to all fashion clients and garment manufacturers or retailers as a means of reducing the carbon footprint of their supply chain. He concludes: “Consumers are now more concerned than ever over issues impacting on the environment. This is something the industry must increasingly note and take positive action on.”
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