Carlsberg UK is set to outsource its secondary logistics to DHL.

The brewer said it would no longer provide porterage services itself and proposed to transfer its remaining secondary logistics operations to Tradeteam – the drinks arm of DHL, during 2017 and 2018.

The move followed a “forward-looking strategic transformation programme” of Carlsberg’s supply chain operations, which commenced in November last year, aimed at creating a sustainable long-term solution in terms of service and cost, said CEO Julian Momen.

The brewer recognised this was a “significant change” for the business and in particular its employees, he added.

“Our focus over the coming months will be on providing all potentially affected employees with the support they require, while in the longer term the transformation will build a sustainable business focused on our core offering, which is brewing premium-quality beers and building brands.”

All existing porterage contracts would be honoured until expiry, said Momen, adding Carlsberg would now be engaging in consultation on the potential impact of the changes for its employees.

“Tradeteam will now take some time to finalise its organisation and network design for its future integrated business and at that point Carlsberg UK will communicate the implications for its business,” he said.

Integration is expected to be completed no later than March 2018.

Unite, which represents drivers, warehouse operatives and admin staff in 11 of Carlsberg’s depots, expressed “disappointment and dismay” at the proposal.

“The bottom line for Unite is that of job security of our members – we will fight any proposals for compulsory redundancies,” said regional officer Joe Clarke.

The union was waiting to see the full business plan that the Carlsberg management has prepared before it could “comment in detail”, he added.

Union reps will be meeting Carlsberg management 15 July, when Unite hoped that “flesh is put on the bones of the company’s proposals.”