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Menzies Distribution


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There are few transport operations more time-critical than that of logistics specialist, Menzies Distribution, which delivers more than 5 million newspapers and 2.5 million magazines each day.

This operation relies on more than 160 commercial vehicles supplied on full service contract hire by Fraikin, equating to approximately 75 per cent of its fleet above 6.5 tonnes. The fleet is split between 18 hub depots and 22 satellites across the UK.

Stuart McLean, Logistics Manager at Menzies Distribution, explains: “Choosing a professional and dependable supplier is critical to our business as our whole operation is focused around delivering a significant volume of the shortest shelf life product to a higher number of consumers than any other supply chain in the UK.

“Our relationship with Fraikin began in 2005 and has continued to grow, with their share of our fleet increasing by 34 per cent in 2008 alone. In addition to offering a cost-effective contract hire solution, Fraikin operates an efficient ordering process with excellent account management, supported by a culture for delivering first class aftersales support which runs throughout the business.”

Zero-emission electric vehicles

The fleet supplied to Menzies Distribution is comprised largely of 6.5 and 7.5 tonne Iveco and Isuzu rigids, together with a number of larger 18 and 26 tonners. It also includes the first Modec electric vehicle in the UK to be used for newspaper distribution, operating exclusively around central London and reaping the benefits of a 100 per cent discount from the Congestion Charge.

McLean adds: “We wanted to be at the forefront of learning about this new technology and, together with Fraikin, we designed a Modec purpose-built for newspaper distribution.”

Like the majority of vehicles within the company’s fleet, the Modec starts its morning operation at approximately 4.30am and is back at base several hours later, having completed its delivery and collection run. This allows Fraikin to handle all service and maintenance during the day, with the vehicles delivered back to the depots by the evening.

Management reports

The contract with Menzies Distribution, part of John Menzies plc, sees Fraikin provide a suite of monthly management reports, which highlights the performance of the fleet. Included within these reports are average breakdown response times, specific reasons for vehicles breaking down, a measurement of the average downtime by month and per branch.

This allows the customer to monitor Fraikin’s performance against a set of key performance indicators, and to use this valuable information to monitor trends within the fleet, which covers nearly 100,000 miles each day.



Menzies Distribution’s contract hire package includes:

• Full servicing, maintenance and repair during the daytime
• MOTs
• Collection and delivery – routine services
• Road fund licensing
• Tyres
• 24/7 emergency roadside assistance
• Relief vehicle cover
• KPI & management reports
• Account management
• Access to technical expertise and specialist advice