Southampton: City renews sustainability programme with Meachers

The Sustainable Distribution Centre (SDC), an innovative logistics solution which consolidates deliveries across Southampton, has been given the green light to continue its work towards reducing congestion and pollution in the city by Southampton City Council.

The initiative, which has proven to be successful since it was first established in 2012, will continue to be delivered by leading logistics services provider Meachers Global Logistics.

The City Council renewed the contract with Southampton-based Meachers in December 2019. The contract will continue for another four years until 2023.

The Sustainable Distribution Centre improves local economic efficiency and contributes to a lower carbon economy. It has reduced congestion and pollution levels in the city through measures including: freight consolidation, storage solutions, reduction in HGV movements, out of hours utilisation and consolidated deliveries.

Gary Whittle, commercial director at Meachers Global Logistics, said: “Meachers Global Logistics has a proud Southampton heritage and we are committed to contributing towards an improved future for our city and region. We are using our industry experience, innovations in logistics technology, unique supply chain partnerships, and local understanding of the area to deliver consolidation solutions.

“Both the public and private sectors are recognising the benefits of smarter and sustainable logistics, and working with us to help achieve improvements for residents, businesses and the environment of the Southampton area.”

Since its inception, the SDC has consolidated 300 pallets of items that were stored in five separate units across the city into one central location. The initiative has reduced the number of HGV travelling into Southampton City Centre by 75% and reduced Southampton’s carbon footprint by 75%, as well as reducing congestion in and around the city.

Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and environment, said: “Our vision is to make Southampton a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable city. Through our Green City Charter, we have identified that we need to work in partnership with stakeholders across the city to ensure that we are all minimising our impact on the local environment whilst continuing to support the city’s economic growth and prosperity. Working with Meachers Global Logistics to provide the Sustainable Distribution Centre is a great example of this. We are delighted to continue this relationship and to offer Southampton based businesses use of the Sustainable Distribution Centre.

“There are numerous reasons for continuing the SDC service, primarily supporting our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. The reduction of vehicle movements through consolidation will help reduce air pollution and congestion on our roads at peak times. Businesses can benefit from several savings including time and costs.”

Meachers’ credentials in successfully delivering consolidation services, for both the public and private sectors, are proven by its provision of similar services for Carnival UK and the Solent Alliance.

The Solent Alliance is a unique supply chain partnership between Meachers Global Logistics, Isle of Wight based Steve Porter Transport, and Solent ferry operator Red Funnel Ferries. The strategic partnership was first established in 2012 to co-operate on the consolidation and delivery of inbound and outbound freight from the Isle of Wight via Southampton. The project has reduced the number of vehicles which are now not travelling over to the Isle of Wight through Southampton by an average of 44 vehicles per day. The initiative has also significantly reduced vehicle emissions by an estimated 167,290g annual total saving.