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Best practices promote efficiency for food shipments (June 03, 2002)

TORONTO, Ont. -- After two years in the making, three groups join in the release of a statement of best practices f...

TORONTO, Ont. — After two years in the making, three groups join in the release of a statement of best practices for shipping and receiving in Ontario’s grocery and foodservice industry.

With the goal of bolstering efficiency and productivity, the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors (CCGD), the Food and Consumer Products Manufacturers of Canada (FCPMC) and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) worked together on the project.

“This is a major step towards building positive relationships between carriers, grocery distributors and packaged goods manufacturers,” says OTA president David Bradley. “All segments of the distribution chain will surely benefit, if the best practices that have been jointly developed, are adopted.”

He adds shippers and carriers in other sectors might take a cue from those involved in foodservice and grocery distribution to ensure continued improvement in the efficiency and productivity of the supply chain.

This marks the first time all parties involved in the movement of food and packaged goods from the point of manufacture to the supermarket shelf have combined efforts to explore opportunities and eliminate inefficiency.

“We are pleased with the results of this process,” says CCGD president Nick Jennery, “with issues such as this one there is a natural tendency to equate the location of an issue with its root cause. This process clearly indicated the importance of load assembly and pallet configuration to streamlined receiving at our members’ distribution centres.”

In 2000, CCGD, OTA and FCPMC formed a Working Group to discuss and assess common concerns regarding increasing delays being experienced at a number of distribution centres (DCs) in Ontario.

Each association agreed to study the issue independently and report its findings to the full Working Group. All three independent reports reached similar conclusions and identified incorrect pallet configuration and mixing of SKUs or co-mingling on a pallet as the major cause of trucks being delayed beyond two hours at the DCs.

In addition missed/late/no shows for appointment times, and other productivity/labor issues were identified as contributing factors.

Subsequently separate working groups consisting of CCGD and FCPMC members examined methods to eliminate these causes. All three associations then jointly developed a series of best practices. All parties involved in the distribution of food and packaged goods are encouraged to adopt these practices.

A full copy of the best practices report is available at each group’s Web site:, or

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