Own-brand toilet and paper products manufacturer cuts road miles with Pooling Partners

The UK’s biggest manufacturer of own-brand toilet and paper products has cut the number of unnecessary journeys from its supply chain by a staggering 50,000 miles per year, as part of a war on waste (WoW) partnership with Pooling Partners.

Northwood & Wepa, which manufactures hygiene paper products such as toilet paper, tissues and paper towels, was the first UK customer of Pooling Partners – Europe’s number one integrated full-service pooler and producer of pallets – back in 2004, and has just signed a contract extension taking their relationship forward to 2021.

Part of the rationale behind the re-signing was the fact that Pooling Partners’ One Way trip system has reduced ‘empty running’ – the wasteful return journeys carrying no product – by 50,000 miles which has further cut five metric tonnes of CO2 from Northwood & Wepa’s annual carbon footprint.

The one-way trip system sees the Coventry-based organisation deliver the specific number of pallets needed, then manage collection at the end of the supply chain – making life as simple as possible in an often complicated, fast-paced consumer goods sector.

It is key for Northwood & Wepa to be able to rely on Pooling Partners to absorb the knocks, bumps and tough turnarounds required in its robust supply chain.

John Turner, customer logistics manager for Northwood & Wepa, said: “To begin with, we had a contract with Pooling Partners but it soon developed into the partnership it is now.

“Pooling Partners share our sustainability aims and that collaborative effort, along with the quality of supply, was the number one factor for us.

“It’s a long-term partnership which we value immensely. Pooling Partners makes the process of distribution simple and if there are any slight issues, they are on hand 24 hours to resolve them. We work with major supermarkets and it is imperative we are able to rely on our supply chain running smoothly.” 

Alun Griffiths, GB purchasing manager for Northwood & Wepa, played an influential role in the renewal of the firms’ partnership. He said: “With any long-term supplier relationship you need to prove its competitiveness every once in a while by going out to tender.

“Credit to Pooling Partners, they fought off a very determined bid from their rivals during this tender process and the subsequent negotiations enabled us to go forward with a mutually agreed new contract and clear roadmap for further collaboration.”

Phil Storer, UK Country Director for Pooling Partners, said: “Northwood & Wepa was the first customer to sign a contract when IPP Logipal began operating in the UK. That was back in 2004 and our close working relationship has really flourished. I would agree the relationship is now long, strong and very absorbent.

“Supplying own-brand goods to major supermarkets means the company requires robust supply chain management and we are very happy to continue to deliver on our commitment to them.”