- An unprecedented decarbonization effort in France involves intermodal synergies and leveraging empty miles, making it possible for CHEP to avoid 3,700 truckload movements annually.
- Zero kilometers lost for the transport of CHEP pallets.
The logistics company CHEP, the logistics platform Combronde and the mineral company Nestlé Waters France have redesigned their logistics model by setting up a double rail and road loop. They are now united in an almost closed and fully integrated collaboration with zero kilometers lost for the transport of CHEP pallets. This initiative makes it possible for CHEP to avoid putting 3,700 trucks into service per year, contributing to a reduction in emissions of 600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
A logistics model operational since July 2020
This logistics loop begins in the Vosges, where Nestlé Waters France, at the heart of its factory, loads trains with its natural mineral water VITTEL®, bound for the west of France.
Arrived on the railroad logistics platform of Combronde, in Montreuil-Bellay (Maine-et-Loire), the trains are unloaded: VITTEL® natural mineral water is delivered by road to large-scale retailers in the region. After delivery, CHEP uses the same road fleet to transport its empty pallets to the Combronde service center in Montreuil-Bellay, where, each year, more than 1.5 million pallets are reconditioned.
Finally, the Combronde group loads the ready-to-use CHEP pallets on trains bound for eastern France, at the Nestlé Waters plant in the Vosges.
“The pooling of transport flows between CHEP and Nestlé Waters with the technical support of the Combronde platform is an additional collaboration that concretely illustrates Nestlé Waters’ desire to minimize the impact of logistics flows on the environment,” said Jean-François Lagane, Railway Logistics Manager, at Nestlé Waters France. “The success of this collaboration lies in having been able to pool all the resources and to have federated all the teams around an idea that has become reality. This virtuous solution, the model of which will inevitably be duplicated, will revitalize rail freight but also the road energy transition for the last kilometers.”
The challenge ahead
Nestlé Waters France, constantly seeking to limit the impact of its activity on the environment, was keen to find a partner to load empty trains from the Combronde distribution center, in Montreuil-Bellay, to its factory located in Vittel ( Vosges).
CHEP, whose pallet rental-management system is based on the circular economy model but also on transport synergies, proposed to optimize this return train by transporting its empty pallets there. To this, CHEP added a road loop with the installation, at the interconnection of the two loops, of an automated service center on the Combronde logistics site.
The Combronde group, which develops virtuous modal shift solutions, has been able to meet the needs of its two customers. Its rail-connected logistics platform allows great agility to deploy this collaboration, both rail and road, unique in France. Trucks, trains, routes, and resources were shared despite an unprecedented global health crisis.
A virtuous project that is part of the FRET21 national program
CHEP, by joining the FRET 21 program, has committed, in 3 years, to reducing its CO² equivalent emissions by at least 7%. In this context, CHEP has been able to offer an innovative project to the bottler of natural mineral waters, by deploying a collaboration with the Combronde group which requires a high level of commitment and which offers a better adaptation to the numerous and fluctuating demands of the supply chain.
For its part, Nestlé Waters France has renewed its commitment to the FRET21 program by setting a further 13% reduction in its transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2022 in France. Internationally, the Nestlé group has announced the goal of targeting zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“The project that we have deployed for Nestlé Waters proves the motivation and the strategy of CHEP France to cooperate more and more with its customers on transport issues,” explained Latifa Gahbiche, CEO of CHEP France & Morocco. “For a long time, we have wanted to offer them an innovative and sustainable project that is part of the national roadmap with the France Relance Plan, in FRET21, but also in the group’s objectives. We have proven that it is through this type of synergy that we can meet the challenges that will shape the supply chain of tomorrow.”