GEFCO UK has signed a contract with leading sport equipment and sportswear company Decathlon for the transport of goods to six nationwide stores from its Northampton logistics centre.
The 18 month project will involve GEFCO providing daily delivery services to six nationwide Decathlon stores and will be managed from its Baginton Cross Dock facility in Coventry.
The retail contract represents further progress in GEFCO’s diversification strategy, which over the past year has seen the company build its cross-sector experience and expertise across industries including home equipment, technology and healthcare.
John Stocker, Commercial Director at GEFCO UK, commented:
“Our road freight service is particularly well suited to meet Decathlon’s needs as a modern retailer. Our dedicated fleet ensures a reliable and fast distribution service, with complete visibility throughout the process.
“This contract affirms GEFCO’s position as a major player in road freight transportation and is an indication of the excellent progress that we have made this year. We are pleased to support a brand as prestigious as Decathlon whilst further showcasing our cross-sector capabilities.”
A spokesperson for Decathlon commented:
“GEFCO’s significant experience makes it the ideal partner for this project. It has already proven the quality of its services through work with our French team and we are pleased to continue this relationship.”
Separately, Damco has marked a new phase in its intermodal services with the arrival on schedule in France of its first block train service from China.
The service, which transported goods for sporting goods firm Decathlon, departed Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province on 28 October and arrived on 16 November in France, with a transit time for the 10,815 km journey of 20 days.
Damco said the carbon emissions for the transport were also reduced compared with other modes, “providing support for the block train service as an environmentally conscious alternative for the fast transportation of goods”.
Kasper Krog, head of rail at Damco commented:
“We are pleased that we have been able to put together this solution for Decathlon, and in fact for the wider market, that has produced immediate benefits on a logistics and economic level.”
The Maersk subsidiary said it was the first block train to France run by Damco’s rail freight team using Maersk Line containers.
“The synergetic value of these brands’ joint efforts within the Transport & Logistics (T&L) division will provide customers with more added value and flexibility via multimode transport solutions,” the company said.
“This also reduces the need for trucking rail containers on arrival in Europe and provides more flexibility for the customer.”
Damco said one of the objectives of the Damco block trains was “to ensure that the service could help businesses stay ahead of and meet their supply chain demands in a safe, secure and timely way. A combination of GPS tracking and daily reports provided the client with up-to-the-minute visibility on their goods”.
Philippe Dunand, global account director of Damco’s lifestyle vertical commented:
“The arrival of the block train today, shows that we have a viable service that can support businesses seeking more cost-effective and sustainable methods of transporting their goods from China to Europe. This is good news for business and good news for our customer, Decathlon. We will continue to focus our efforts on developing the strategies and services to support companies in lifestyle and other sectors.”
The company said it was set to roll out the block train service to more customers and market sectors in due course.
Damco Rail was established in 2014, initially with a focus on the high-tech sector, although it now covers a variety of vertical market segments including retail and lifestyle. Its rail solutions include services between China and Europe; cross-border truck-rail services from Vietnam to Europe via China; and shortsea-rail from Taiwan/Asean to Europe via China.