A major new study offers valuable insights into the current issues and potential strategic solutions to the current and future challenges facing food and drink supply chains in London and other major population centres across the UK.
The report shows that, with the population of the UK's cities growing at an unprecedented rate, an urban logistics crisis is looming which, if not addressed now, could even lead to a shortage of essential food supplies on the shelves of grocery retailers and at other food outlets.
Commissioned by the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) and delivered by research consultants Global 78, Feeding London 2030 has been hailed by industry leaders and Transport for London as a timely and valuable source of data for food producers, logistics services providers, retailers, caterers and many more.
"Things are becoming stretched across London's food and drink supply chains and current logistics thinking is no longer fit for purpose" the report's lead author, Andrew Morgan warns.
He continues: "New trends in the way food and drink products are bought and consumed – added to the capital's changing population profile and a transport infrastructure that is already creaking – are bringing significant challenges to food and drink manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, caterers and logistics companies.
"Supplying food and drink that is both safe and delivered on time to London's retail and food service outlets at an appropriate cost will become increasingly difficult unless steps are taken to address the issues highlighted in the report."
"For too long the food and drink industry and its logistics partners have been overly reactive in their approach to meeting changing consumer demands. This report provides the opportunity to identify and assess future trends and so give stakeholders the chance to 'get on the front foot'."
Some of the issues examined in detail in Feeding London 2030 include:
- The impact of the increasingly congested urban environment;
- New consumer demand profiles for food and drink;
- Current trends in delivery frequencies, times and volumes;
- Changes in the grocery retail sector that impact on supply chains;
- The significance of the hospitality and food service (HaFS) sector;
- Maintenance of food hygiene and food safety through the supply chain;
- The logistical pressures associated with food waste and other waste streams.
Peter Ward, UKWA's chief executive officer, commented: "Feeding London 2030 examines the issues that the logistics community, grocery retailers, caterers, food and drink manufacturers and distributors, waste management companies, government agencies and industrial property agents must address as they strive to develop solutions to the city logistics challenges that lie ahead. It provides essential intelligence for successful forward planning."