Distribution centres, branches, showrooms and specialist vehicle fleets
5,900 fleet vehicles
To ensure the availability of a wide range of products to our customers we continue to invest in our extensive distribution network and large vehicle fleet. Our customers rely upon us for prompt and flexible delivery options to meet their own needs, such as specialist vehicles and same day delivery. Suppliers deliver to our distribution centres, our branches or directly to our customers.
We predominantly distribute from branches to customers, though increasingly, in large metropolitan areas we are using specialist market distribution centres to centralise final mile logistics and reduce fleet and distribution costs.
During the year, we undertook a detailed analysis of our entire US supply chain network. We have identified several opportunities to improve network efficiency which will increase product flow for greater network speed, mitigate double handling, bring the network closer to our customers for same day/next day delivery, and support our e-commerce channel capabilities. For example, in Perris, California, we are building a new distribution centre to serve one of the largest plumbing and heating markets in the world and we expect it to be fully operational in 2019.
By capitalising on these efficiencies, we are not only reducing the cost to our customers, but also reducing our carbon footprint. More than half our carbon footprint is generated by transport.
Within the distribution network we have reduced our carbon emissions through improved fleet operations. Following the implementation of a telematics system, our US operations began implementing regenerative braking technology into fleet vehicles. As in prior years, each of our businesses has performance targets to reduce carbon and the associated costs for transport and fuel, relative to revenue. These emission reduction projects ensure that we are able to meet our goals for environmental performance in addition to our financial goals.
Our branches continue to utilise our distribution networks to send recyclable waste back to distribution centres for sorting, baling and weighing. When returned products are unable to be resold, they are also transported back to our distribution centres where we aim to reduce or re-use these products to avoid landfill.