Mars agrees £350 million deal with DHL for UK logistics expansion
The Mars group has confirmed a venture valued at £350 million with logistics business DHL, for a major project to construct two key warehousing facilities that significantly enhance its delivery operations, writes Neill Barston.
According to the company, which has extensive confectionery and snacks interests in the region, the new sites, based in the Midlands and East London, have been designed with sustainability as major features, reducing its outbound logistics carbon footprint in the UK by 7.7%. Furthermore, the buildings themselves will be partially solar powered and rated in the top 1% of non-domestic buildings in UK environmentally.
As the business noted, Mars UK transports over 1.2 million pallets of its products every year – which, if you stack those pallets on top of each other, is the equivalent of shipping the height of Mount Everest every other day.
The new logistics operation will remove a million miles a year from roads – which is 40 times around the world or 8,547 times around the M25. All while increasing warehousing capacity by over 50%. Ensuring that Mars is well positioned to keep pace with increasing consumer demand and deliver their much-loved portfolio of products to future generations.
It is anticipated that the two purpose-built depots, ‘East Midlands Gateway’ and ‘London Thames Gateway’ (CGI image above), will be operational in the spring of 2022 and 2023 respectively. They will have a combined square footage of over a million feet and they will both have advanced high bay facilities which include innovative automated pallet storage.
Tim Walker, Supply Chain Director at Mars UK said: “Our partnership with DHL will deliver a world class logistics operation that is sustainable, smart and agile. What is good for our business is also good for the planet. This project is a meaningful step in our sustainability journey as we look to create the world we want tomorrow – which we know starts with how we do business today.”
Jim Hartshorne, Managing Director, Retail & Consumer & Ireland, DHL Supply Chain explained that the move would mark a significant milestone in the food and confectionery group’s operations.
He said: “We’re delighted to be extending our global partnership with Mars in the construction and management of these sites. Our shared environmental commitments are supported by this investment and we are creating long term, exciting jobs in both of these communities. This project will be the foundation of the UK logistics chain for Mars for many years to come and we are incredibly proud to be selected to lead in this project.”