Speed Docking


Speed Docking competition has found Distribution Depot cycle times could be significantly reduced.

A Speed Docking competition has identified the lengthy delays trucks are having at Distribution Centres across Europe and highlighted the opportunity for efficiency improvements.   

Speed Docking is a 10 week competition between Distribution Centres (DCs) in the grocery supply chain.  The competition was launched with the objective of minimizing the time it takes for delivery trucks from entering to exiting the depot.  The different sizes of delivery are normalized to full truck loads to allow a fair comparison. 

The Speed Docking competition is an ECR Europe Activation Project and is one of several such projects being rolled out in countries across Europe by our National Initiatives and GS1 member organisations. 

The table below shows the results.  The fastest DC was Deen Supermarkets in The Netherlands with a time of just over an hour. The winners in Belgium & Luxembourg (Colruyt and Camal Barchon) are slightly slower and in Czech & Slovak the fastest time (Penny Market Nyrany) is more than two hours.


Fastest Weighted Cycle Time

Country Average Weighted Cycle time (All trucks equated to full truck load.)

The Netherlands

Deen Supermarkets in Hoorn: 1:03


Belgium & Luxembourg

Retail Dry Goods winner:

Colruyt Ghislenghien 1:29

Retail Fresh Foods winner:

Camal Barchon 1:39


Czech & Slovak

Penny Market Nyrany: 2:27


This competition also aims to encourage collaboration between supply chain partners in pooling truck loads to achieve more supply chain efficiencies.   The competition has highlighted the huge amount of trucks not running at full capacity.  Of the 37,000 drops tracked for the competition in the Netherlands, only 38% of deliveries were full truck loads, similar to the percentage in Belgium and Luxembourg.  The difference between the average weighted cycle time per country and the fastest weighted cycle time per country shows the opportunity for improvement - not only improvement in cycle time but also in costs, resource utilization and environment.

Supply chain efficiency and best practice development is a key objective of ECR (Efficient Consumer Response).  ECR has now taken on the Speed Docking project, originally set up by Mars and GS1 in The Netherlands, and is aiming to roll the competition out across Europe.  The competition is now in its fourth year in The Netherlands, its second year in Belgium and Luxembourg and this year it also took place in Czech and Slovak.  The competition license is held by Connekt and CAROZ collect and analyse the data. 

The first goal of the competition is to increase the awareness of the potential savings.  Further analysis has been done in the Netherlands by observing the process at the dock. The five top opportunities for improvement have been identified by CAROZ, namely:

  1. Bundling,
  2. Using GS1 pallet labels and DESADV,
  3. Introducing block times,
  4. Prediction of the time required for inspection  based on the type of delivery,
  5. Pooling conveyors.

The introduction of these best practices could lead to a reduction of cycle times to half an hour.

For Further information, please contact:

Nuala O’Duffy, ECR Europe Activation Project Manager:

The Netherlands:

Belgium and Luxembourg:

Czech and Slovakia:


ECR: Efficient Consumer Response:

ECR leads the way in developing and piloting best practices and processes that are embedded in the daily way that we do business.  ECR gathers together all value chain partners: retailers, manufacturers and service providers, who share a common belief that by working together on non-competitive matters we can bring transformational change to our industry that benefits our shoppers and consumers.

This collaboration is captured in the ECR mission:

"Working together to fulfil consumer wishes better, faster, at less cost and in a sustainable way"

July 11, 2014