Pooling: a solution for a Sustainable Supply Chain 

Pooling, a future-oriented solution for a sustainable supply chain.

On August 24, 2023

Last June, FM Logistic and its seven industrial partners forming the Sphinx Pool celebrated ten years of pooling, a solution enabling them to group and optimise their deliveries to their retail customers.Let’s review the benefits of pooling, this bulking solution developed in the early 2000s by FM Logistic to offer greater agility to its customers and meet their environmental challenges.

Pooling is a collaborative solution that groups flows from multiple manufacturers with compatible products for a single delivery point. Pioneer in this field since 2000, FM Logistic is now the leader in coordination pooling solutions and manages six pools in France, including Pool Sphinx, the largest in Europe, which brings together seven industrial partners (Intersnack, JDE Coffee, Kraft-Heinz, Kimberly-Clark, Bolton Foods, Nutrimaine and Pasta Corp) on its Longueil-Sainte-Marie platform (Oise, France). Pooling is particularly well suited to the challenges of the retail sector, as explains Olivier Capron, Director of the Transport Solutions Office: “Rising e-commerce and new consumer trends have transformed the logistics plans of retail chains. Deliveries and listings are more fragmented, which saturates reception and storage capacities. Our customers (the manufacturers) face pressures in the transport market, with a shortage of drivers. They must optimise their transportation budgets, while improving their service level and environmental impact.”

A Win-win Solution

Pooling offers many advantages to manufacturers. By grouping their goods in the same truck, they reduce their transportation costs through lower costs per pallet, fully loaded trucks and less trucks on the road. This results in a more reliable transport plan and safer deliveries ( minimize risk of delays or  incidents due to the reduced number of trucks). Other benefits include optimized distribution costs, thanks to fewer  docking and unloading operations, and a reduction in the penalties applied by retailers to their suppliers for late deliveries. “Pooling flows between several customers in the same truck minimises the risk of late delivery, and therefore penalties,” says Olivier Capron. “Pooling also has a major positive impact on service quality: better delivery frequency improves the availability of goods in the retailers’ warehouses. As a result, our customers can guarantee retailers a better range on their shelves, on a more regular basis and in smaller quantities, thereby limiting the risk of stock-outs on the shelves.”

A Lever to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Pooling also means rethinking the supply chain sustainably by reducing its carbon footprint. “Pooling goods in a truck means optimising its load factor and putting fewer trucks on the road,” says Olivier Capron. “It is a very efficient way to cut our CO2 emissions significantly and to meet our industrial partners’ sustainability expectations. This virtuous solution fits perfectly with our pillar:  “We act collectively to deliver positive impacts”. And the results are significant, with a 15% to 25% reduction in CO2 emissions. 

FM Logistics, a Strategic Partner for Pooling Solutions

FM Logistic supports its customers from the opportunity study to the project’s operational management (pooling, transport coordination and implementation of the transport plan). “We use algorithms to optimise stock coverage and manage supplies based on the stock levels of each manufacturer in the distributors’ warehouses,” explains Olivier Capron. “Defining the order management rules upstream, sharing a common vision, mutual trust and communication between the players are also prerequisites for the success of pooling.”  FM Logistic offers its customers two pooling solutions: VMI, the most advanced solution, which enables FM Logistic to recommend orders daily; and EDI, which leaves customers in charge of putting together orders and stocks. 

As a genuine facilitator in the deployment of pooling solutions, FM Logistic plays a coordinating role between distributors and manufacturers: “We are the coordination point between manufacturers and retailers, and our neutrality is a guarantee of trust for our partners and their clients”, concludes Olivier Capron. “We aim to roll out pooling to retail chains that are not ready yet today because they would have a lot of benefits and improvements ! We strongly believe that pooling flows is the future of FMCG logistics and is in line with our objectives in terms of sustainable development.”

The prerequisites for pooling:

  • products that are compatible in terms of transport
  • complementary volumes
  • a shared storage site 
  • the same destination
  • multiple customers on site

Pooling at FM Logistic at a glance:

  • more than 15 years of expertise
  • 14 people dedicated to pooling coordination
  • 21 customers in the mass distribution and retail sectors
  • 400 orders processed every day

Discover more about our Pooling solutions

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