The NFRN has warned publishers they must not become complacent about delivery times, despite a drop in re-runs this year.

The incidence of publishers missing cut off times into wholesale depots was down 18.75% year on year in 2014, according to industry data.

It showed improvement in all months except June and July, when press times were affected by the Commonwealth Games and World Cup.

But NFRN head of news Brian Murphy said: “Last year was the worse year in living memory for missed cut offs so it is not surprising there have been double digit improvements.

“We really need to see the figures over a far longer period to ascertain if we are out of the woods.

“All the indications are that significant problems still exist and this is continuing to have a detrimental effect on the service retailers can offer their customers.”

Mirror Group Newspapers general manager Neil Jagger said the Mirror had cut re-runs by 22% in 2014 by ensuring editorial came off stone on time.

“If you give an editor an inch, they will take a mile, so we are giving them no room.”

The group had also committed to putting on extra vehicles when needed, he said.

He agreed there was more work to be done and said identifying “pinch points” in the supply chain was the first logical step.

News UK logistics director Darren Barker added: “We have been fully focussed on all aspects of the newspaper supply chain.

“A key part of this has been ensuring a much greater and informed dialogue with publishing partners and wholesalers when constructing distribution plans.”

Mail Newspapers head of logistics Chris Cadman said: “We have utilised improved analytical tools and have worked closely with our wholesale partners to help improve our inbound deliveries.

“We also have a good relationship with the NFRN and have regular dialogue on any areas which are causing particular issues.”