BRC Food Certificated

BRC Provisional Grade A

We are delighted to announce that we had a British Retail Consortium food inspection on August 10, 2023 and we were awarded a provisional grade A.

“We are delighted to have our work recognised by the inspector”, said Alistair Bottomley, Environment and Quality Manager. “It took nearly a year to implement all of the systems and we feel that the work resulted in some big improvements to our systems.”

The BRC standard is one of the most popular food certification standards in the world and is recognised and required by all of the major British supermarkets.

We will update this story when the certificate is officially issued.

Getting the best out of your courier

Trustpilot is full of very negative stories about couriers – some of them are very funny! But as a 3PL the relationship with the courier is absolutely vital, and all like all relationships it is very much two-way. In this article I will cover how to get great performance out of your courier.

Starting with the customer order on your ecommerce store, the most obvious thing to get right is the delivery address. Here in the UK the thing to do is to get the address entered to match the Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF) but all other countries have a similar database. An accurate address means your 3PL will be able to create a courier label without problems and that the delivery driver will be able to find your customer. Royal Mail will also give discounts for volume clients providing the delivery addresses have a high level of accuracy.

The good news is that fast and accurate address entry is also likely to improve your conversion rate by cutting down the typing your customer has to do. We are particular fans of Loqate who have a brilliant global address lookup and verification system. Many of our clients use Shopify who use the Google Address Validation API which is also pretty good.

Royal Mail and some couriers will also offer discounts if the parcels are sorted before dispatch. We have the Royal Mail sortation plan and the sort plans of the couriers that require them, so we can do this for you.

Next, you need to get the parcel collected and injected into the courier network. If you are shipping a small number of parcels this is incredibly easy. As you get into larger numbers of parcels involving multiple vans (for collection by the courier depot) or trunks (for collection to the courier hub) then it gets a bit more difficult.

The good news is that all the couriers we work with have enormous capacity, the trick is simply that they need to be given a forecast in advance and they can ensure the capacity is there. However if they are suddenly presented with an extra 20,000 parcels with no notice then there may well be a delay on collection. In certain circumstances, such as one-off promotions or high volumes on days the couriers are closed, we will occasionally arrange our own trunks and directly inject them to the courier hub for you but again we will require advance notice to do this.

The next thing we want to do is to ensure that the parcel is delivered first time. If the courier has a failed delivery and has to come back to try again, then that will dramatically increase the cost of the delivery. If your account has a high level of failed deliveries then you may have to pay a higher rate, and conversely a very high level of first time deliveries puts you in a great position to negotiate down your rate.

There are four methods to improve your first time delivery rate.

  1. You can encourage your customer to ship to their work address. It is always much more reliable to ship to a business address because there is nearly always somebody in to receive a parcel during standard hours.
  2. If that’s not possible then suggest your customer leaves delivery instructions in case they are out. This is usually a safe place in which the parcel can be left or can be a neighbour. If you are shipping alcohol or high value products then this will not be possible because you will require a signature.
  3. It is a good idea to offer Saturday delivery. Many people work Monday to Friday so a Saturday delivery is more likely to get them in. There is likely to be a small increased fee for Saturday but you can often pass this on to your customer.
  4. Make sure you supply the customer’s email address or phone number (ideally both). This can then be used for a Pre-Delivery Notification (PDN). With our main courier, DHL Parcel, this will mean your customer is texted a two-hour delivery window and if that is not suitable they will be given the opportunity to reschedule the delivery to another day. This is the single most important tip and will dramatically improve your first time delivery rates.

Finally, you should review courier performance on a monthly basis. We will measure the delivery performance and reasons for failed deliveries and give you a monthly report which we will discuss with the couriers for you.

By following this advice you will improve your customer experience, make things easier for your courier and save money too.

One star out of five

Emergency 3PL to the rescue

We all get it wrong sometimes. Perhaps you have an unexpected surge in orders. Perhaps your 3PL has let you down. Your loyal customers are angry, you can’t get the orders to them and your TrustPilot score is plummeting.

Normally we have an onboarding process where we will take the time to get perfect systems in place, with dashboard to monitor your SLA, integrations with your accounting system and Slack or Teams for automatic updates, branded packaging and a slick order integration.

However if you are in a crisis situation we can move very, very quickly to get your orders moving very, very quickly too. We can smooth the rough edges later once you are back to normal.

The first stage is the e-commerce integration. If you are using Shopify or WooCommerce we already have an integration solution which we can setup just with a few clicks. For other platforms we have a very full-featured API but if you are in a rush we can accept CSV uploads. This is obviously not a system that would be ideal long term but can fill the gaps.

We also operate well below peak capacity. During COVID we demonstrated this when we recruited 132 extra pickers and packers in one month.

Get your quote now and we will move as quickly as you need.

Time for a review?

So how did your busy period go? We’ve had a busy end to the year at Move Fresh successfully onboarding an innovative new wine sector customer on the run up to a busy festive period and we look forward to several new brands coming on stream with us in January.

This is a great time of year to review your 3PL arrangements and we would be delighted to talk to brands looking for a food specialist and flexible fulfilment partner that can really deliver. In particular, the end of 2022 has shown the carrier network to be creaking at the seams so finding trusted partners for your brand has never been more important.

Get in touch to see how we can help.

Real Living Wage

We are delighted to announce that Move Fresh has just had confirmed accreditation as a Real Living Wage employer.

The Real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate calculated according to the costs of living. Employers choose to pay the real Living Wage on a voluntary basis, recognising the value of their workers and ensuring that a hard day’s work receives a fair day’s pay.

Since 2011 the Living Wage movement has delivered a pay rise to over 52,000 people in Scotland and put over £310 million extra into the pockets of low paid Scottish workers.

You can view our registration and find out more about Real Living Wage employers here.

Dashboard Screenshot

Warehouse Management System (WMS)

Over the last ten years we have used a multitude of warehouse management systems. In the food industry the majority of systems are used to dealing with the stock holding unit rather than the retail unit. 

At Move Fresh most of our customers buy the retail unit, which brings a multitude of differences to life.

To that end we launched our own warehouse management system (Warehouse Buddy) specifically designed for D2C FMCG businesses. 

Our KPIs are easily accessible both internally and to brands that we manage their fulfillment. No humans are involved in the connection between website and the order processing (unlike most 3PL providers).

This software is automatically included when you use our fulfillment services.

Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) for EU

It used to be incredibly complex to make B2C sales into the EU; exporters had to measure sales in each country and when you hit the VAT threshold you needed to register in that country and make a VAT declaration to that country’s tax office.

From July 1, 2021, the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) was introduced which allows exporters to make a single VAT registration and a single quarterly return for all EU countries.

If you sell direct to the EU and are registered under IOSS please give us your IOSS number and we will ensure it is used on all parcels shipped to the EU.

If you sell through one of our supported marketplaces which are currently Amazon, eBay and Etsy then we can automatically use the the IOSS registration number of that marketplace for all EU shipments. Please make sure you are telling us the marketplace through your ecommerce integration, file upload or the API. You account manager can help you with this.

If you do not supply us with an IOSS number then we we will ship your orders to the EU as Delivered Duties Unpaid (DDU) which means that your customer may have to pay VAT to the courier before your goods can be delivered.

Scottish Edge

In a Scottish EDGE first, some of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs have committed an additional £1 million of grants and loans to Scottish EDGE, the UK’s biggest funding competition for potential high growth businesses.

Entrepreneurs supporting the initiative include Sir Tom Hunter, Sir Brian Souter, Lord and Lady Haughey, Kevin Dorren from Move Fresh, James Watt from Brewdog, Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns.

The additional funding will be awarded in the next four rounds of Scottish EDGE.

Read the full article here

Move Fresh New Warehouse

After 10 years in Newbridge we are in the process of moving to a new larger warehouse in Rennie Square, Livingston.

We have invested heavily based on our learnings of FMCG logistics over the last 10 years and this space gives us significant expansion room for the next 10 years.

Our investment horizon is very long-term and based on a strong belief that grocery retailing in the UK is changing significantly.

Come around for a coffee and tour our facility by getting in touch.