Why Lidl’s shipping company is a step in the right direction

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Trademark application 018662062 filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office on 25and February 2022 for “Tailwind Shipping Lines” could suggest German supermarket Lidl – part of the Schwartz retail group – is taking supply chain issues into its own hands.

The new trademark, registered in Nice class 39 by Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG, indicates that the name Tailwind will be used in the context of cargo transport, delivery of goods and forwarding of freight, among others.

German media previously reported that Schwartz intended to put its own ships into service by the middle of the year, to solve supply chain problems and high container shipping costs. Indeed, Wolf Tiedemann, who heads logistics at the German retailer, was quoted as saying that the aim is “to manage the increased volume of the various production facilities more flexibly in the long term”. He said Lebensmittel Zeitung that the company will continue to work with its usual maritime partners, but wishes to be more independent.

“Global supply chain constraints are forcing retailers to go to extraordinary lengths to secure their operations,” commented James Newman, EMEA Director for Automation and AI Solution Providers GreyOrange. “Lidl has gone further than most, however, and created its own shipping operation.

“Lidl’s shipping strategy is an attempt to manage the production gaps of the various production facilities, but given the current state of the global supply chain, a more accurate analysis of production capacity data and inventory location is also necessary to maximize efficiency and agility.

“The supply chain is changing from a linear form to an interconnected network due to growing consumer demand,” Newman continued. “Using an intelligent AI platform, retailers can identify, manage and even predict the most efficient use of resources, including physical inventory location and capital allocation to match supply. on demand. Lidl’s new shipping operation is an intuitive step in the right direction, but retailers need insights across their entire supply chain, and in particular wherever fulfillment takes place in their network, to stay competitive and absorb any further disruption.

Lidl has been growing strongly throughout Europe for more than 40 years. It currently operates approximately 11,550 stores and more than 200 merchandise distribution and logistics centers in 31 countries.

In the UK, Lidl recently announced that it will create more than 1,200 new warehouse jobs by the end of 2025 as it begins recruitment for its new Regional Distribution Center (RDC) in Luton. The RDC expansion is part of the discounter’s £1.3 billion investment in the UK last year and this year and will support Lidl’s commitment to open 1,100 stores across the country. by the end of 2025. The new jobs are in addition to the 4,000 store roles that the discounter will create throughout 2022 and 2023.

Lidl seems to be making waves in the UK market. In March it overtook Co-op to become the sixth largest supermarket in the UK for the first time.

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