Central England Co-op invests £1.1m on new fleet of vehicles

Central England Co-op has reaffirmed its commitment to its prized distribution operation by investing over £1m in a range of new vehicles.

Colleagues at the retailer’s Food Distribution Centre and Chilled Distribution Centre, both based in Leicester, will soon be delivering items to hundreds of food stores up and down the country in brand new modes of transport thanks to the cash injection.

The money has been used to pay for three new trailers, one tractor unit and seven rigid lorries to ensure that everything from Irresistible chocolates to Fairtrade bananas arrive at stores on time for customers and members to drop in their baskets.

Transport Manager Gary Tomlinson said: “Our colleagues at both the Food Distribution Centre and Chilled Distribution Centre are the hidden gems of our operation – they work in the background to make sure that everything runs smoothly so that food gets into stores on time and we make our customers happy.
“This major investment is a great lift for them and is a great show of appreciation for their hard work and the vital role they play in the work we do as a community retailer.

“The modern fleet has a great, vibrant look and will also support our continuing efforts to be an environmentally responsible retailer.”

Hundreds of colleagues work across the sites 24-7, 364 days a year to ensure that 266 stores across 16 counties are stocked with everything from chocolate to fresh fruit every single day.

The centre also supplies goods to 54 stores for two other co-operatives.

Recent research revealed that a total of 14,639,462 cases of food were delivered to stores last year by 60 lorries which cover 2.7 million miles each year – showcasing the need for the major investment in the fleet of new vehicles.

In the last six weeks alone, the Chilled Distribution Centre, which receives, picks, assembles and delivers refrigerated and frozen foods, has dealt with 40,942 punnets of strawberries, 15,146 punnets of blueberries and 9,298 Co-op pepperoni and 8,706 Co-op margherita pizzas in anticipation of the bank holiday weekend.