London Consolidation Centre: Optimising the Supply Chain

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With 22 March being NHS Sustainability Day, let’s take a look at how our London Consolidation Centre has helped reduce the environmental impacts of our customers’ deliveries.

The Greater London area is a very busy delivery area due to the density of NHS trusts. Historically three regional distribution sites based in Rugby, Bury St Edmunds and Maidstone served the area. It was not uncommon for customers in this area to receive multiple deliveries, to the same store, on the same day, as delivery profiles overlapped.

Not only did this create extra workload for staff at the trusts receiving those deliveries but it also resulted in a sub optimal utilisation of vehicles and drivers. In order to address the challenge of this delivery area, a project to reduce the environmental impact whilst improving service was conceived. After consultation with the DHL UK&I Transport division, and our customers a solution was found: the creation of a cross dock consolidation centre to serve the Greater London area called The London Consolidation Centre (LCC).

What is a Consolidation Centre?

A Consolidation Centre is a distribution centre through which deliveries are channelled before being taken to their final destination. On-site logistics specialists manage orders from the centre so avoiding multiple deliveries, ensuring full vehicle loads and improving the overall resource efficiency of the delivery process.

Based in Enfield our London Consolidation Centre opened in May 2017. The Centre receives deliveries from all 3 regional distribution sites in Greater London. The goods, which are transported via double decker trailers (for maximum utilisation) from the regional sites, are consolidated at the LCC for the final mile. A Transport Management team oversees deliveries to customers and ensures the optimal utilisation of vehicles.

Benefits of the London Consolidation Centre

  • Annual reduction of 281,000 miles travelled (20% of miles related to London deliveries)
  • Annual reduction in emissions of 250 tonnes of CO2
  • Reduction of in the number of vehicles used for deliveries
  • Improved visibility and planning processes
  • Improvement in customer experience
  • Reduction in the number of physical deliveries to hospital stores
  • Locally based fleet provides greater flexibility.

Alan Meagher, Vice President Operations at NHS Supply Chain said:
“The creation of the London Consolidation Centre has improved the efficiency of deliveries in the Greater London area. We are starting to see environmental benefits from the centre due to a decrease in the number of miles travelled. We are also able to respond quicker to the daily requirements and issues of our customers with locally based fleet.”

Download our Sustainable Development Report:
Click here to read NHS Supply Chain’s 2015-16 Sustainable Development Report.