Memorandum by Safeway (IT 89)
INTEGRATED TRANSPORT WHITE PAPER INQUIRY
Safeway is one of the leading grocery retailers
in the UK with annual sales of nearly £7.5 billion. With
a fleet of vehicles travelling over 100 million kilometres each
year to service 483 stores, Safeway strives to maximise the efficiency
of its transport operations, and reduce environmental impacts.
There is a determined commitment to implement cost-effective environmental
policy compatible with Government thinking on other key environmental
issues, such as Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Air
1. HOW SAFEWAY
There is a determined commitment to implement
cost-effective environmental policy compatible with Government
thinking on other key environmental issues, such as Sustainable
Development and Climate Change and Air Quality.
Every member of the transport team is charged
with achieving ongoing savings in kilometres and fuel and fleet
size reductions, as well as increasing the number of cases of
product transported versus the total number of kilometres travelled.
Demonstrable environmental benefits have been the consequence
of this successful strategy.
Safeway has achieved these environmental gains
by consistently being at the cutting edge of logistics best practice.
Safeway is currently examining ways of working in partnership
with Government to lend its expertise to the development of best
transport practice. This includes the possibility of DETR staff
"shadowing" Safeway transport focused colleagues.
(a) Cutting Road Kilometres Travelled
Stores are supplied with products from 17 distribution
centres (DCs). In addition, the DC at Tamworth acts as a regional
hub for goods in order to minimise the empty running of vehicles.
It uses return lorry journeys either as a store delivery or to
transport products between depots. The use of consolidation warehousing
within Frozen has helped reduce the number of supplier deliveries
by up to 25 per cent per week, through improved vehicle utilisation
(b) Supplier Deliveries
Safeway was one of the first retailers to help
reduce product movements carried out by suppliers by collecting
products from them once store deliveries have been carried out.
In 1997-98 Safeway backhauled 61 million cases of product from
suppliers in order to avoid them needing to deliver to DCs. This
saved 13.3 million kilometres of supplier driving which equated
to 13.3 million kilometres of supplier driving, 4.4 million litres
of diesel and the avoidance of 11,900 tonnes of CO2.
(c) Food Kilometres
The Company buys British products whenever possible
to reduce the amount of transport involved in import. Of all products
sold 85 per cent are UK grown or produced. Regional products are
(d) Vehicle Scheduling
Safeway uses computerised vehicle scheduling,
planned twice daily, for deliveries from each of the DCs to stores.
Scheduling has become an effective anti-congestion tool for the
(e) Satellite Communication for Vehicles
Safeway was the first major UK retailer to install
a satellite tracking system in a bid to tackle congestion (See
Appendix 2). By monitoring fuel consumption and vehicle location
this improves efficiency and eliminates wasteful vehicle use.
(f) Reduction of Delivery Curfews
A major way in which Safeway is able to contribute
to the alleviation of road congestion is by an increase in night
time deliveries. At present over 40 per cent of Safeway stores
are affected by night time delivery curfews of between six and
Curfews add to the congestion problem by requiring
more deliveries during peak travelling times, and more vehicles.
Stop-start travel during the day reduces fuel economy by about
10 per cent, thereby contributing to local air quality problems.
The removal of delivery curfews could see the Safeway tractor
and trailer fleet reduce by 15 per cent.
A number of initiatives have been introduced
in order to minimise disturbance to residents. For example quieter
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles are servicing Stores in
the London/Home Counties area. Cryogenic freezing (compressed
nitrogen) is replacing traditional compressors to reduce noise
levels of chilled deliveries.
Products such as wine are being transported by
rail from Europe. As part of an integrated approach to transport
movements, Safeway was the first retailer to move volume products
by rail in the UK. In the last 12 months 375 lorry movements have
been replaced by rail freight and 131,000 road kilometres have
been avoided. The move follows previous trials with Charter Rail
and Hallmark running products between Welham Green to Bathgate
and Welwyn Garden City to Bathgate.
2. REDUCING OVER
Safeway recognises that commercial and environmental
best practice are complementary and the business is engaged in
a number of activities to reduce the environmental impacts of
its transport operations.
Safeway supports the Government's intention
that there be a switch via "carrots" towards fuels that
produce lower emissions of particulates and nitrogen oxides and
an encouragement over time of cleaner technologies.
(a) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
Safeway operates one of Europe's largest and
most advanced HGV fleets running on CNG, servicing over 50 stores
in London and the Home Counties out of its Distribution Centre
at Welwyn Garden City.
Safeway decided to establish the trail-breaking
fleet in order to satisfy a number of environmental and good neighbour
criteria. The aim was to introduce a cleaner, quieter vehicle
that was ideal for urban and night time deliveries.
Tests carried out by Millbrook Proving Ground
compared emission levels of two tractor units, namely a CNG and
Euro 2 diesel engines running on standard 0.05 per cent sulphur
diesel. Results show that the Mobil CNG fuelled vehicles reduced
carbon monoxide (CO) by 97 per cent total hydrocarbons (THC) by
81 per cent and reduced Particulate Matter (PM ) by 94 per cent.
The CNG vehicle was also four times quieter than a diesel at low
engine speeds. Around tick-over the engine was 7 dBA quieter than
(b) Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG)
In February 1997 Safeway became the first European
Company to use LPG to power a trailer fridge unit. Roll-out is
now underway, benefits have included a reduction in noise levels
in excess of 160 per cent compared to conventional diesel fuelling.
Trials have also been carried out on dual fuel
(petrol/LPG) car fleet vehicles.
(c) City Diesel
Ultra low sulphur diesel is retailed at selected
petrol filling stations and is being trialled by the transport
division for on-road and off-road applications.
3. QUALITY PARTNERSHIPS
Safeway is a partner in the National Society
for Clean Air (NSCA) Cleaner fuels Forum and has participated
in the Government's Greener Vehicles Campaign.
Best practice initiatives co-ordinated by such
organisations as the Freight Transport Association (FTA), British
Retail Consortium (BRC), and Confederation of British Industry
(CBI) are pro-actively supported by the Company in order to ensure
that best practice can be promulgated as widely as possible and
so that practical take up is maximised.
Safeway is committed to reducing the impacts
of transport at local level and was a prime instigator of the
recently published "Delivering the Goods" Guide (joint
initiative by the FTA/Local Government Association (LGA)).
Safeway is keen to ensure not only that Local
Authorities understand the role that the responsible retailer
is already playing but that this best practice can be effectively
Safeway also urges that business be involved
in any trials that place additional charges on transport. Safeway
supports the proposed hypothecation of new revenue for reinvestment
in transport infrastructure is supported IF the following principles
are successfully applied:
Transparent and ringfenced.
Should see simultaneous reductions in conventional
Must involve businesses in any trials.
Any charging trials must assess the economic,
social and environmental implications.
Be used to positively recognise the innovators
by concentrating on the laggards and free-riders.
Make the fullest use of appropriate technologies.
Be specific to problems in particular areas,
rather than carte-blanche application.
5. CARS AND
It should not be forgotten that much of the
congestion problem is caused by commuters.
The majority of our stores are constructed on
brownfield sites and in/edge of town. Safeway ensures its stores
are situated close to public transport modes. Safeway takes every
opportunity to create access for hoppa buses and to provide bus
stops close to the store entrance. Bus operators are encouraged
to provide services for primary catchment areas, diverting routes
if necessary for those people who want to use public transport.
Lifestyle changes in the last 30 years and particularly
increased prosperity have led to a rapid increase in people's
aspirations to travel. This is manifested in the way people choose
Shopping represents only a small proportion
of the use of the car11 per cent. Shoppers want a large
foodstore that offers range, highest quality and good prices.
Customers also want to shop in bulk. The weekly shop has become
the norm for the average family shopper. The weekly trip equates
to a purchase of about 35 kg (80lbs) shopping on each trip. Frozen
products and chilled goods spoil very quickly. These commodities
coupled with the increased purchase of carbonated drinks in recent
years, for example, makes it physically impossible for an adult
to carry a week's family shopping!
Extended trading offers a means to spread traffic
movements as well as satisfying demand for the growing number
of people wishing to shop outside less congested periods or to
fit in with their disparate work and social travelling patterns.
Safeway also endeavours to reduce traffic levels
via its employee programmes. We were delighted to be placed amongst
the highest groups of companies by the Environmental Transport
Association when it carried out its recent analysis of company
policies on employees and transport.
Safeway advertises jobs at new stores via local
job centres and newspapers. On average a store employed 90 per
cent of its staff locally. The store management team is generally
sourced from existing stores. Training, unless it is very specialised,
is carried out locally.
At Head Office, for example, Safeway encourages
employees to switch to alternate modes of transport or smaller
cars as well as providing facilities for bicycle storage, changing
and showering for cyclists. On site facilities for dry cleaning,
shopping, banking and dining avoid the need for travel to neighbouring
Safeway is currently evaluating other means
off reducing transport impacts, including transport sharing, for
freight, employees and the consumer. Safeway is committed to working
in partnership with local authorities in order to take forward
the proposals contained in the Government's integrated transport
White Paper for the good of our health and our environment.