DIA is also one of the retail industry’s leading logistics operators. The company has 45 logistics platforms which occupy more than 900,000m². These platforms are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and processes are reviewed continually, underscoring the company’s unwavering commitment to innovation as the means to delivering efficiency in a chain that starts with the supplier, with whom DIA maintains transparent business relations, and ends with the customer, the be-all and end-all of the business.
As it does with its stores, DIA goes to great lengths to reduce consumption, emissions and the environmental impact of its logistics businesses throughout the supply chain.
DIA has a fleet of 1,542 trucks, managed with the latest GPS technologies, that brings merchandise to its stores each day. This guarantees appropriate product rotation and freshness.
Use of a new transport system boosts transport efficiency, uses less fuel, and enhances store supply
To maximise the cost-effectiveness of its operations and reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions, DIA has worked on implementing best practices in merchandise transport and product storage at each store. The development of new, high-performance transport modes has streamlined and boosted load capacity per store by as much as 15%.
In short, with the new transport units, DIA’s shipments are more complete and efficient. This has translated into a more efficient store supply and a more environmentally-friendly logistics activity.
Sustainable supply chain model
Through hard work and constant innovation, DIA has managed to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by using alternative modes of transport, such as rail and ship. Just replacing certain road routes with sea shipping in the EU has resulted in a 10% saving in truck carbon emissions. Sea shipping has its drawbacks, namely the smaller number of compatible routes or longer freight transit times, but offers other advantages, such as regularity, safety and greater load capacity.
Meanwhile, the rail alternative reduces CO2 emissions by 0.8 tonne per journey in comparison to conventional road transport involving trucks. Rail is particularly attractive for long-distance shipping.
Lastly, to optimise road transport involving trucks, DIA is encouraging the backhauling approach, i.e. filling the trucks with supplier merchandise after dropping off goods at the store and taking them back to the warehouse. That way, the trucks do not make the return journey empty.
This initiative has lowered annual carbon emissions, while supplier purchases at source and direct delivery in fully loaded trucks from collection areas have led to a further annual CO2 reduction.
Of merchandise carried by DIA exclusively from supplier to store, 44% is private label in Spain and Portugal. This figure is eye-catching, as the system affords greater control and a more efficient logistics process. Thanks to backhauling 98% of the trucks in these two markets are full when they make their journeys. DIA has begun applying backhauling in France and is considering extending it to the rest of its markets.
Shelf Ready Packaging
One clear trait and crucial element in DIA´s sustainable logistics model is the care it takes in private label product packaging.
Shelf Ready Packaging, or SRP, is a packaging method that does not require prior handling to be ready for sale. Some 97% of DIA brand products come in SRP, well above the 75% average for other brands.
This model not only reduces the use of packaging materials and, accordingly, the generation of waste, it also lowers shipping and handling costs. Moreover, it makes it easier for customers to access the products, which are placed optimally on store shelves.
DIA constantly strives to find ways to streamline and innovate product packaging and make them more eco-friendly, such as replacing plastic with cardboard, promoting 2 for 1 deals or using smaller cases. These efforts reaped a 10.5% saving in cardboard in 2012.