XPO Logistics awarded UK contract for grocery standards validation

XPO Logistics has agreed a partnership with supply chain standards organisation GS1 UK which will see XPO managing physical compliance checks against product data standards for a new service run by GS1 UK on behalf of leading grocery retailers and suppliers.

In a statement issued last week, GS1 UK said: “productDNA:hub simplifies the sharing and management of trusted product data for use in-store and online, providing the industry with a single agreed way of working and improving the shopper experience.”

GS1 UK, together with the retail industry, has developed a common language for manufacturers and retailers to use in defining more than 150 data product attributes, including weight, volume, servings, calories, allergens and nutritional values.

productDNA:hub is scheduled for launch in the spring of 2018 and is led by grocery companies such as Nestlé, PepsiCo, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever and Waitrose.

The new standards are expected to boost traceability while also “saving UK retailers and manufacturers more than £200m a year in costs and lost sales”.

John Martin, Head of productDNA:hub, GS1 UK, commented: “The retail industry has long acknowledged a common need for high quality data and standardized information that builds consumer trust. The productDNA:hub validation process will improve product safety, storage, inventory accuracy and supply chain visibility, while bringing greater transparency to the grocery marketplace. XPO’s extensive experience with leading supermarkets and food and beverage manufacturers gives us full confidence that they can act as an impartial third party in upholding these new standards.”

XPO will manage productDNA:hub operations at its multi-temperature warehouse site in Easton, Lincolnshire. A dedicated team will test grocery products to ensure that the labels accurately reflect the contents according to the GS1 catalogue, using specialized software to collect data and validate results. XPO will establish three laboratories at the site, one for each temperature regime — frozen, chilled and ambient.

Richard Cawston, managing director–supply chain, XPO Logistics Europe, added: “The new standards solve a critical gap in the grocery supply chain: that is, to make absolutely certain that what a manufacturer has sent to a retailer is exactly what it says on the label. Our team will be triple-checking product attributes with catalogue data to ensure compliance with productDNA:hub requirements.”

Source: XPO