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Fresh and Frozen Fish Distribution
UK and European distribution of chilled and frozen fish

Marine Harvest Scotland

Marine Harvest is the world’s largest seafood producer and farmed salmon company, their operations in the UK based in Fort William, North West Scotland, produce in the region of 50,000 tonnes of gutted farm salmon pa. That kind of volume requires an efficient logistics solution to get the product to the customer, and as it is fresh salmon, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Quayside Distribution was chosen in 2007 to provide all the post factory logistics, which included implanting a Quayside Team at the factory to manage the despatches from the processing area. “Our core skills are processing and packing at the factory..”, comments Ewan MacColl, Processing and Logistics Manager at Marine Harvest Scotland, “getting the right orders to the right place as efficiently as possible starts at the factory, that’s why we invited Quayside Distribution to organise and run the despatch area of the factory. This way the most efficient routes are organised and trucks can be loaded in the correct priority.” Quayside Distribution model is to take all the product to their operations hub at Grimsby, however recognising that there was volume being delivered to locations in Scotland Quayside built a chilled storage facility on site in Fort William. “This facility has proved invaluable to us, we can hold product overnight that does not need to go to Grimsby and deliver to customers in Scotland as required.” – Andrew Kirk, Operations Director – Scotland .  

Marine Harvest Scotland supply customers worldwide, mainly UK and France, but Quayside also take a lot of orders to Heathrow for airfreight to locations all over the world, China particularly since the trade agreement was signed in October 2011. Other destinations served via airfreight are USA,  Canada and Middle East. Quayside Distribution delivers the European orders to the customers in France, Spain, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, either directly or by using a network of partner distribution companies who are specialists in different countries.

Systems and Training – Quayside Distribution have their own access to the Marine Harvest sales order processing system which allows complete visibility on planned orders with full delivery addresses and delivery dates, this allows Quayside to plan their transport accordingly. “We recruited a dedicated team of staff to work in Grimsby to handle the incoming volumes” – says Andrew Kirk, “given that we had a little time before the contract started we had the luxury of taking the Grimsby warehouse team up to Fort William to see the operations at first hand. Training was given on the hand held scanners using dummy labels etc and this allowed for a very good start up on the contract, everything settled down to an efficient and accurate level within a week or so of receiving the salmon at Grimsby, not bad considering the output at the time was approximately 1000 tonnes per week!”

The accuracy of the orders despatched is testament to how well the system works, with full traceability, Quayside are highly confident that the right size and grades are delivered to the customer as per the orders.  Typically Quayside handle between 900 and 1200 orders per month for Marine Harvest and the service levels are in excess of 99%.

Good working relationships and a good communication chain is the ethos of Quayside Distribution when dealing with customers of all sizes, whether they are multi-national world leaders or small merchants sending a few boxes per week.

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