As part of its work to optimise its logistics operations, SODIAAL, the leading French cooperative group, has signed a partnership with LPR – La Palette Rouge. LPR will manage the logistics flows of CANDIA milk in line with the requirements of the Route du Lait quality-management process and sustainable development. The partnership will see 1.5m pallets being delivered to SODIAAL Group’s distribution customers in France, Spain, Portual, Italy, Greece, Benelux, Poland and Great Britain.
With 4.7 billion litres of milk collected each year, SODIAAL is the leading dairy cooperative group in France, whose business activities include the sale and marketing of milk powders, milk in cartons, skimmed milk, butter, cheese and frozen by-products.
La Route Du Lait – a certified quality and environmental management system – demands the active involvement of each individual in the Group, which has placed logistics flows at the heart of its strategy.. For more than five years, the Purchasing Department has been responsible for all the transport and goods-handling operations to ensure the most uniform, seamless service possible for each activity. The department's objective is to promote the Group's products by giving its operations added value whilst constantly working to optimise its business activity.
Pallet exchange to pallet pooling – Increased automation, responding to the expectations of carriers and simplifying operations
Until now, the SODIAAL Group had used the pallet exchange system to transport CANDIA milk, but the many constraints linked to using the system led the Group to review its strategy, as Laurent DAL GRANDE, Director of Logistics and Transport Purchasing, points out: "We are in the process of automating our factories and warehouses, just like our customers. To achieve an increased level of automation, we need pallets that are standardised and of impeccable quality. As the pallet-exchange system does not provide uniform quality, it is no longer suited to our activities, nor does it meet our customers' expectations." "Another factor to be taken into account is the pressure from the transport market, where haulage contractors are increasingly reluctant to use Euro Pallets."
Optimising logistics operations also involves simplifying them and reducing the number of suppliers. The pallet-exchange system means having several suppliers and being dependent on local operators. "With pallet pooling, we only have to work with a single operator, which greatly simplifies the management of goods-handling equipment."
LPR's expertise and day-to-day support
SODIAAL was already working with LPR for half pallets, and as an expert in pallet pooling and the management of reusable packaging, LPR was naturally consulted concerning the move to 800x1200 pooled pallets. LPR provided the best proposal; meeting the dairy cooperative's expectations not only in terms of its business objectives, but also of its strategic and environmental issues .
LPR worked closely with the Supply Chain Department and the various sites, as well as with the Group's Management Control Department, in order to fully understand the challenges and actions to be implemented. The clear desire to build a strong, long-term partnership and to find collective solutions for improvement were decisive factors in the Group's decision to choose LPR. Hervé Fourcade, French Sales Director at LPR, explains: "This partnership is based on objectives that we share with the SODIAAL Group. Our knowledge of the market and our expertise will enable us to support their logistics activities while meeting their quality requirements and reducing costs."
LPR provided comprehensive support, starting with assistance in buying back the existing pallet pool. LPR’s expertise in inventory management and pallet-movement tracking – for which all information is available on its web platform in real time – is crucial for achieving optimised logistics flows. "We really appreciate the quality of support we have received from LPR. This includes operational support, as well as the daily monitoring of our pallet activities. This is one of the key factors behind the success of the deployment," says Laurent DAL GRANDE.
LPR's environmental approach is also in line with the Group's cooperative values.
SODIAAL is committed to reducing the number of kilometres travelled with empty trailers and creating synergies in transport flows. With LPR pallet pooling, the cooperative can draw on the principle of the circular economy – something which is not possible with pallet exchange operations.
As a pioneer in corporate social responsibility, LPR has been aware of the challenges facing the market for more than 25 years, its very business model is based on the circular economy. Its operations are constantly being optimised, most notably through the development of LPR service centres across Europe.
In Laurent DAL GRANDE's view "LPR had a very positive image as an eco-responsible company among our distribution customers and that was a key differentiating factor as far as we were concerned. We are now reviewing our activities to see where they might benefit from the move to pallet pooling."
Candia belongs to Sodiaal, France's leading dairy cooperative, which collects 4.7 billion litres of milk from around 20,000 producers in more than 70 departments across France. Created in 1971, Candia has become an iconic brand in the French consumer milk market thanks to many original initiatives that have become milestones in the history of milk: UHT bottles, cartons with a cap, flavoured milk, enriched milk, baby's milk. Today, Candia sells a wide range of products and brands: Viva, GrandLait, Le lait de ma Région, Silhouette, Candy’up, Candia Baby, Candia Croissance, Les Laitiers Responsables.
The Managing Director of Candia is Yves Legros.
As the leading French dairy cooperative and third largest in Europe, Sodiaal groups together more than 20,000 producers working on more than 11,500 farms in some 70 departments across France. Committed to providing the best dairy produce, Sodiaal is present in all the different dairy trades: cheese (Entremont, Monts&Terroirs, Les Fromageries Occitanes and CF&R*), drinking milk, cream and butter (Candia), specialised nutrition (Nutribio) and dairy ingredients (Eurosérum, Bonilait and Régilait**), ultra-fresh and frozen products (Yoplait*** and Boncolac). The Chairman of the Sodiaal Cooperative is Damien Lacombe, a milk producer from the Aveyron department, and the Managing Director is Jorge Boucas.
About LPR-La Palette Rouge
LPR - La Palette Rouge, a division of the Euro Pool Group, has been specialised in pallet-pooling for more than 25 years, operating exclusively in the fast-moving consumer goods sector. Thanks to its acknowledged expertise, customer focus and a network of more than 125 service centres throughout Europe, LPR provides a full pallet service to its customers and their retail partners. Using our reusable pallet system, our customers are able to reduce their environmental impact and thereby contribute to the transition to a circular economy across the entire supply chain. www.lpr.eu
About Euro Pool Group
Euro Pool Group is the European leader in logistics services for returnable packaging in the fresh produce sector. Euro Pool Group is composed of two divisions, Euro Pool System (EPS) and La Palette Rouge (LPR). www.europoolgroup.com