Gwynne Richards

Gwynne Richards

A s/c consultant, author & trainer, & Associate Lecturer at the University of Warwick. Written three books on logistics subjects. Other courses can be found at

Location Barry South Wales


  • That's true however Singapore is talking about having driver-less buses, Uber driver-less cars and Tesla driver-less electric trucks so progress is coming although as you say a computer malfunction could be an issue

  • Shouldn't be an issue for freight hopefully!

  • Good answer. How many storage points did you see and can the companies look at alternative means of transport during any of the legs?

  • That is true and also the technology will enable companies to react quicker and more efficiently to consumer demand. However there is a moral question here as to what will happen to the existing warehouse operatives who cannot be up-skilled

  • Absolutely - there will also be a number of products which cannot be produced in this way!

  • I think it's very early days yet! You're right as to how this technology will affect health in the future. Some people are already suggesting that workers are suffering neck problems as they position the camera to take the image accurately.

  • Agreed at present however technology is moving rapidly with machine to machine thinking not being too far away!

  • Absolutely - unfortunately it will only be a small % of the workforce that we will be able to up-skill. We need to think about other alternatives also!

  • Hi - not necessarily - I would suggest we need better handling facilities to move the deliveries on quicker rather than hold them at the ports and multi-modal facilities

  • Absolutely see my comments above

  • that's an interesting point. Not sure that I totally agree with you that young understand the true cost of delivery. I don't think we educate our children enough in logistics and I certainly find that students who come on our supply chain courses are not aware of what logistics is all about! Technology will increase significantly which hopefully will attract...

  • Good point. This is why there can be a transfer of business between 3Pls as they fail to meet customer demands

  • Absolutely - good point

  • I think it would be very difficult for a company today to operate its own distribution given the challenges posed by customers in terms of ever shorter lead times

  • Absolutely and definitely more environmentally friendly

  • Absolutely - a ground-breaking innovation which revolutionised global freight

  • Hi Liza, unfortunately I can see a number of drawbacks with drones as follows. 1) not everyone has a large garden where the drone can land. 2) Imagine if everyone in your street ordered from Amazon for delivery at the same time - the drones would block out the sun! 3) There are still a number of safety issues in terms of sharing space with aircraft. 4) There...

  • Thanks Jon - as I mentioned previously I think drones will definitely be used for humanitarian means - not so sure about millions of e-commerce deliveries!

  • Hi thought you might be interested in this as well.

  • Good point - thanks Jon.

  • As the first quote suggests a warehouse should be a transhipment point but it's not always possible. It's always something we need to strive for however.

  • You're quite correct Jon but how do you put a stop to progress (if that's what we're calling it!). I think it is inevitable and Governments will have to look at areas such as a Universal wage.

  • Thanks William - if only more people could recognise the excitement and variety of work within Logistics!

  • Good point Barry - I suspect it's a bit of both. Whichever I think it's still unsustainable!

  • There will be a mix of the two. Products destined for the Northampton warehouse will go direct by container whilst other products will be unloaded at the port. Rather than send all the products to Northampton and then bring them back towards the port it makes more sense to unload some at the port. In the example it looks like they are unloading white goods at...

  • Some of the main retailers have done so recently and Sainsbury have decided to run their own new refrigerated warehouse rather than outsource as they've done in the past.

  • I think we humans still believe our bodies are the best robots hence producing robots in our own image. It may be if we leave it up to Artificial intelligence it will come up with a different form!

  • Hi check out the following video link.
    A bit slicker and it combines voice with vision.

  • If we could send everything direct from the factory to the end user that would be the ideal scenario however distance is an issues. However we are now seeing Direct to customer operations where the manufacturers have their own web sites and deal directly with the end user in competition with the end user! Still have warehouses I suppose but managing to reduce...

  • Hi Sumeer - logistics is core business in the majority of companies - getting the product to your customers on time, in full, damage free etc is core to the business - it may not be a core competence. As for losing in-house expertise many companies have recently taken their logistics back in-house. Also you should not fully abrogate responsibility when...

  • Very good - it's amazing how many of my students miss out the port warehouse when they watch the video!

  • There can be many barriers especially in terms of additional handling and therefore potential damage as you mention but also areas such as managing the whole process with many operators involved. There is also the coordination of the journey and if you are crossing borders the added issue of paperwork etc! Certainly from an environmental point of view it is...

  • Dear Jon those examples showed how they failed in terms of logistics not as best practice.

  • Unfortunately even if all the manual operators are up-skilled it is unlikely that there will be sufficient jobs available. A universal basic salary might be the answer in the long term.

  • Hi note that Waitrose operates its own warehouses (Bracknell, Aylesford and Leyland). John Lewis utilises the Waitrose stores as click and collect points. There is a third building as you say and this will replace the operation in Park Royal as far as I am aware although a smaller operation will remain there. As for location, Milton Keynes is pretty good from...

  • It can certainly help with inventory checking by utilising a left on location check. After each pick the picker is prompted to count the remaining items in the location and speak back to the system. If there is a discrepancy they can be prompted to count again. The system can confirm whether the count is correct and if not will alert a supervisor to check. As...

  • Thanks for all the ideas - as you probably read the Denby vehicle is prohibited from using UK roads due to its length and gross vehicle weight.

  • Absolutely

  • I have to say that I am not a fan of drones. There are very few homes with enough space for them to land - I can see their use in humanitarian aid deliveries and delivery to very remote areas where it is too expensive to deliver to.

  • Gwynne Richards made a comment

    Hi thanks very much for your comment - as you say everyone in the supply chain is responsible and we do need to educate children in supply chain.

  • Thanks Jacquie - you're right we need to explore other modes of transport especially when we see how polluting petrol and diesel can be!

  • Dear all, apologies for the technical issues at times - hopefully you managed to hear all of the main comments clearly. Thanks again for all your contributions!

  • Rail freight is making a comeback - Retailers such as Tesco, M & S and Sainsbury are building rail connected warehouses. Also refer to the Great Mills Case Study. However rail tends to be used for long journeys such as from the port to the DC rather than direct to store delivery for obvious reasons. There are also companies looking to introduce vehicles which...