Although LPR and the food logistics subsidiary of Les Mousquetaires have been working together for some time, their partnership will now take on a whole new dimension. In February this year, the pallet-pooling specialist LPR set up a sorting center inside the 35,000 m2 ITM LAI’s logistics hub at Saint-Hilaire-les-Andrésis (in the Loiret département). This is a first for La Palette Rouge in France, but not in Europe, because the company already has a dozen integrated centers like this one in Spain, Portugal, and the Benelux countries.
This new center is intended to enable ITM LAI to sort LPR pallets according to its own quality requirements. They will then be shipped directly by LPR to the Group’s suppliers, which deliver goods to Intermarché’s 2,200 points of sale in France.
To achieve this, LPR has given ITM LAI the means to be totally autonomous, because the centre is equipped with conveyors and a semi-automated sorting system, to help operators handle the pallets during inspections, and also an intranet enabling ITM LAI and LPR to display pallet availability in real time, and to schedule trucks to deliver them to its suppliers.
“We decided to go ahead with this project because we have had a healthy and effective relationship with LPR for several years. By sorting the pallets ourselves, we reduce the need to transport them to and from LPR’s service centres, and thus also reduce our environmental footprint”, explained Samuel Bidolet, Director of Logistics Operations France for ITM LAI, adding that, if the project is successful, LPR sorting centers will be established at other sites.