Major wholesalers implemented capping and added additional delivery days to help prevent disruption to orders during the UK’s second heatwave.
Last week, temperatures across the UK reached highs of 35 degrees Celsius. Although the temperatures weren’t as high as the previous heatwave several weeks earlier, this recent spell of hot weather lasted a few days longer.
In a letter sent to retailers, and seen by betterRetailing, Nisa said it needed to “make some interventions” to protect availability during the period. It said: “As you are aware, in recent weeks we have experienced challenges with freeze orders being over pick capacity due to demand because of the extreme hot temperatures across the UK. This has resulted in us having to manage the freeze volumes through the network to the capabilities of the depot.”
Measures taken by the wholesaler included removing lines ordered less frequently as well as reducing the number of items received by retailers. Nisa had previously capped ambient orders to help manage capacity during the previous heatwave.
Parfetts operations director Andy Whitworth told betterRetailing the wholesaler had added a Saturday delivery slot to help manage increased volumes. He said: “Service levels to retailers remain over 92% despite these increased volumes. Previous improvements to our delivered service earlier this year have helped to ensure we continue to service all our retailers during the exceptionally hot weather.”
Meanwhile, a Bestway spokesperson added that recent measures taken to sustain availability included additional forecasting of popular products.
“The whole industry is experiencing supply issues across many categories, especially within grocery and impulse,” they added. “There are multiple challenges to supply, including an increased level of demand versus availability, raw material issues, staff resourcing challenges, logistical challenges and, of course, the continued inflationary pressures.
“As an independent wholesaler, we are fortunate as we are able to take quick decisions and act with agility in terms of reaction times. We have rearranged deliveries to accommodate weekend intake of stock to depots, and we have increased our stock ‘buy-ins’, where we anticipate future challenges to supply and work on joint forecasting and working to supplier allocations.”
Booker had also temporarily cancelled frozen deliveries during the July heatwave for health and safety, and to protect product integrity. Booker failed to respond when asked by betterRetailing whether it was implementing similar safeguards during the August heatwave.