Stuart O'Brien, Author at Total Supply Chain Summit | Forum Events Ltd

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Stuart O'Brien

Lidl opens £70m Scotland distribution centre

Operations have started at Lidl GB’s new £70m Scotland distribution centre in Eurocentral.

The 58,500m2 warehouse, Lidl’s largest in Great Britain, is a base for 600 existing Lidl employees, who have relocated from the retailer’s existing distribution centre in Livingston.

The site at Eurocentral will support Lidl’s growing store estate across Scotland, set to reach the milestone of 100 locations in the new year. A further 12 new stores are planned over the next three years in locations including Dundee, East Kilbride, Cowdenbeath, Larkhall and Dumbarton.

Lidl GB Regional Director for Scotland, Ross Millar, said: “We’re very excited to be celebrating the opening of our new Eurocentral distribution centre, which represents a pivotal moment in our ambitious growth plans across Scotland.”

“The warehouse underlines our commitment to creating more jobs for Scotland and I’d like to extend my thanks to both store and warehouse colleagues, who’ve worked so hard to get us to where we are today.”

The discounter also plans to open a further four warehouses by 2025 in Bolton, Peterborough, Luton and Leeds.

Lidl has experienced continued growth in Scotland over the years, currently sourcing over 300 products from 60 Scottish suppliers and plans to open its 100th Scottish store in early 2020.

CASE STUDY: Reducing carbon emissions with Bio-LNG rucks

Commercial gas supplier, Flogas are helping to reduce carbon emissions by introducing two, new Bio-LNG powered trucks to their fleet.

These innovative trucks provide an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions compared to the conventional diesel engine alternative. The two vehicles are part of Flogas’ 2040 ambition to provide customers with 100 per cent renewable energy solutions.

Flogas’ extensive fleet of vehicles already includes a range of dual fuel and electric hybrid alternatives. However, the all-new Volvo FM tractor units, which will be used to transport bulk LPG and LNG, will be a first of their kind. As of August 2019, the Volvos are contributinh to the aim of growing Flogas’ alternatively fueled fleet of vehicles.

James Goodson, recently-appointed National Account Manager for Alternative Transport Fuels at Flogas, said: “These trucks are just the first of many, as we look to make our 200-strong fleet cleaner, greener and increasingly futureproof.

“They will each be powered by renewable Bio-LNG – a highly sustainable biofuel that’s produced during the anaerobic digestion process. This means they’ll be 50% quieter, they’ll release significantly fewer pollutants, and fuel costs will be far lower.

“As a leading LNG supplier in the UK, at Flogas we understand the critical role this fuel will play as we face stringent government targets to tackle carbon emissions and improve air quality. Whilst it’s still in its infancy in the transport industry, the strong environmental and cost-saving benefits compared to conventional fuels, means LNG is set to become the fuel of choice for heavy goods vehicles.

“Hauliers have long faced the challenge of how to reduce their carbon footprint efficiently and cost-effectively. LNG is not just an immediate fix – it’s a long term, reliable solution that makes business sense, and that’s exactly why we’re championing it with our own fleet.”

Following strenuous testing of a variety of vehicles from a host of manufacturers, Flogas, finally decided upon the Bio-LNG truck from Volvo, thanks to its impressive capabilities in regard to bulk and cylinder operations.

Head of Logistics, Tim Eaton, noted: “When it came to delivering the cleanest emissions, the lowest noise and most efficient running costs, Volvo trucks came out on top. 

“This is the first time we’ve worked with Volvo, but they have strong experience in LNG-powered vehicles, and the results of the trials simply spoke for themselves. We’re excited to get these trucks on the road, and growing our Bio-LNG-powered fleet further.”

Powered by Volvo’s G13C460 LNG engine, the 6×2 Artic truck outputs up 460hp and delivers 2,300Nm of torque — undistinguishable from the diesel-powered alternative. Asides having a range of 400-450 miles, the Bio-LNG Volvo is capable of pulling up to 44 tonnes. 

5 Minutes With… Gunnar Gburek, TIMOCOM

In the latest instalment of our supply chain executive interview series, we sat down with Gunnar Gburek, Company Spokesman & Head of Business Affairs at TIMOCOM, to talk about his company, industry issues and careers advice…

Tell us about your company, products and services. 

TIMOCOM runs a comprehensive system of applications for the logistics industry, that is, Europe’s first Smart Logistics System. In our system, customers have access to apps that provide smart, safe and simple solutions for their logistical processes. Within this system, we connect road hauliers, freight forwarders and manufacturing and trade companies in a neutral network encompassing more than 43,000 verified companies. 

What have been the biggest challenges and opportunities the Supply Chain industry has faced over the past 12 months?

There is still a big gap between the amount of digitalisation available in larger transport and logistics companies and smaller ones. Logistics giants have been working digitally for years, but small and mid-sized transport companies often have trouble affording complex software solutions. Among other helpful solutions, TIMOCOM enables them to enter the digital era and to keep up with market demands. By doing so, we follow our vision of a world without logistical challenges. 

What is the biggest priority for the Supply Chain industry in 2019?

Using resources best-suited to solving industry problems that have existed for years. Cross-company cooperation of partners and processes in logistics transport networks is necessary and digital tools can facilitate this, especially for smaller and mid-size companies.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year? 

Artificial intelligence (AI), Robotics and blockchain technology are being discussed in the media constantly, but they cannot meet all the challenges. Data and information within the transport chain must be able to be exchanged smartly, safely and simply during each transport order. We must end media disruption and create sustainable networking. 

In 2022 we’ll all be talking about…?

The ongoing demand for automation of services and technical processes. This is what I see as the actual drive behind the talks on artificial intelligence, automation in delivery and blockchain technology. These can surely be important means to improve the supply chain. Faxes and PDF files sent by e-mail are, however, often used, meaning there are still important obstacles to overcome in order to achieve a digitalised infrastructure.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Supply Chain sector?

The biggest surprise is that even now many believe that they can simply continue as before without digitalisation and with yesterday’s methods and tools like telephone, fax or e-mail. 

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

I love to talk with different companies of all types and sizes about their needs, their questions and their strategies concerning the future of supply chains. And then work together with TIMOCOM to take this feedback into account and include them in our services and products/applications.

And what’s the most challenging?

As mentioned before, not to follow hypes and distant future promises is important but to change the mindset of the people What our customers need now and in the medium-term is to be able to solve their logistical challenges digitally. Because Logistics is changing, constantly, every day and we apt our system to meet those needs. For our customers, we serve as a reinforcement and improvement through digitalisation.  

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Perfectly fitting to my answer given above: Concentrate on the essentials and take one step at a time.

Will you be at the Total Supply Chain Summit next month?

We have a complimentary guest place reserved for you at the Total Supply Chain Summit. Can you join us?

4 & 5 November 2019 – The Midland, Manchester

This unique event is entirely FREE for you to attend – simply reserve your place here.

Source new innovative and budget-saving suppliers

  • Attend inspirational seminar sessions from industry thought-leaders
  • Network with like-minded peers
  • Enjoy complimentary lunch and refreshments
  • Free overnight accommodation
  • Invitation to our networking dinner

RSVP now to avoid disappointment!

Fleet Services Management Summit – 5 complimentary guest passes left

Don’t miss out! Register today for the Fleet Services Management Summit.

It’s free for you to attend and could help you reduce your expenditure by matching you up with innovative suppliers who match your business requirements.

But we have just five complimentary guest places left, so register today to avoid disappointment. Here’s why you should attend:

  • As one of our guests, you will be provided with a bespoke itinerary of face-to-face meetings with suppliers based on mutual agreement. No hard sell, and no time wasted.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to attend insightful seminars and interactive workshops.
  • Network with 60+ other fleet management professionals who share your challenges.
  • Enjoy complimentary hospitality, including overnight accommodation plus all meals and refreshments.
  • Take time to get to know peers and suppliers at our networking dinner.

Taking place on November 11th & 12th at Whittlebury Park, Northamptonshire, the Fleet Service Management Summit provides a platform for new business connections.

But act swiftly! There are just five guest passes left – register today!

Davies Turner trainee recruitment programme enters 10th year

The trainee recruitment programme operated by UK freight forwarder and logistics company Davies Turner has entered its 10th year.

The latest group of recruits for its 2019 training scheme recently completed their initial induction programme at the company’s regional distribution centre at Coleshill in the UK.

The Davies Turner training scheme, which includes both BIFA-accredited and in-house training in its wide-ranging and multimodal freight services, as well as its international logistics operations, is designed to offer a foundation in all elements of the forwarding industry.

The new trainees will learn all aspects of Davies Turner’s multimodal business during the training scheme, which started this month, and – subject to performance and practical experience – they will have the opportunity to progress into management and supervisory roles.

During the training programme participants spend time in all surface freight and logistics divisions, in addition to gaining an overview at Davies Turner Air Cargo, central administration, IT and the company’s accounts department.

Once again, this year, Davies Turner has also recruited additional trainees separately to the group training scheme who will receive training specialising in one area of the company’s business, such as overland trailer services, ocean freight or third party logistics. 

Davies Turner Group Chairman, Philip Stephenson, said: “Although training and apprenticeships for graduates and A-level school-leavers wishing to follow a career in freight forwarding and logistics are firmly back on the agenda in the UK following the recent introduction of the Apprentice Levy as well as the Trailblazer and Government Apprenticeship schemes, Davies Turner has always been ahead of the curve on this important issue.  We need to recruit and train good all-rounders to safeguard the long term future development of the company as well as benefitting their own career satisfaction”.

“We are now in the tenth year of investing in our own comprehensive training programme and I’m pleased to report that most of the more than 100 trainees that we have recruited over the last decade are still working within the company, which I attribute to our mentoring system and determination to challenge trainees with interesting and responsible career opportunities at the end of their two years learning with us.”

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Elanders Group – We supply the world

Elanders offers global E2E solutions in supply chain management.

Elanders can take an overall responsibility for complex and global deliveries encompassing procurement, transportation, warehousing, configuration, production, pick/pack and distribution. 

Our offer also includes e-commerce services, order management, payment solutions and after sales services for our clients.

Elanders business concept is to be a global, strategic and long-term partner to its customers in their work to streamline and develop their business critical processes.

Claim your pass for the Fleet Services Management Summit

There’s a place reserved for you at this autumn’s Fleet Services Management Summit – and it’s entirely free for you to attend!

Here’s why you should join us:

  • You’ll have the opportunity to attend insightful seminars and interactive workshops.
  • You will be provided with a bespoke itinerary of face-to-face meetings with suppliers based on mutual agreement. No hard sell, and no time wasted.
  • Network with 60+ other senior fleet management professionals who share your challenges.
  • Gain new business connections.
  • Enjoy complimentary overnight accommodation, all meals and refreshments, plus an invitation to our networking dinner.

The Summit takes place on November 11th & 12th at Whittlebury Park, Northamptonshire.

We have a limited number of places, so register today!

Learn from these experts at the Total Supply Chain Summit

Join us at the Total Supply Chain Summit and you’ll have the opportunity to discover new insights into industry trends, plus advice on developing your supply chain strategy.

This unique two-day event takes place on November 4th & 5th at The Midland, Manchester and is entirely FREE for you to attend. Your guest pass includes access to a series of seminars by industry thought-leaders. These sessions include:

  • Competence challenges in Supply Chain management in 2020 – Nicole Geerkens, European Logistics Association
  • Driver health: Asking the awkward questions – Andrew Drewary, Unite Professionals
  • Practical realities of AI across the Supply Chain – Stephen Young, Peak
  • Logistics and Supply Chain is the glue that holds the UK economy together – Peter Acton, Logistics Leaders Network

The Total Supply Chain Summit will also allow you to meet, face-to-face, with innovative and budget-saving suppliers, and network with peers.

Overnight accommodation, plus all meals and refreshments, are included with your free VIP ticket.

Places are limited though, so register today!

Do you specialise in 3PL & 4PL? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Supply Chain Briefing we’ll be shining the spotlight on a different part of the logistics and distribution market – and in October we’ll be focussing on 3PL & 4PL.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help supply chain industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a 3PL & 4PL specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Nick Stannard on

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Oct – 3PL & 4PL
Nov – Order Fulfilment
Dec – Transport Planning & Load Optimisation

For more information on any of the above, contact Nick Stannard on