drop and drive

‘Drop and drive’ discrepancies are still costing suppliers “hundreds of millions a year” despite the matter being closed by the Groceries Code Adjudicator last year, sources claim.

Fresh and chilled food suppliers are still experiencing widespread delays and (often unwarranted) deductions in payment over the issue - which can see suppliers financially penalised over perceived discrepancies in pallet loads delivered to distribution centres. Progress on an industry-wide solution has become “painfully slow”, according to one industry source.

Drop and drive was identified as a ‘top five’ issue when the GCA was established in 2014.

Research by a group of suppliers for Adjudicator Christine Tacon suggested the error rate for incorrect deliveries, and discrepancies between what suppliers said they had delivered and what retailers said they had been received, was much higher than supermarkets claimed.

But the research concluded that a review of systems used by retailers would help cut down on errors. Suppliers agreed more distinctive packaging could also reduce errors at DCs, leading Tacon to mark the matter as closed last spring.

However, the problem has remained a key issue for suppliers, the source claimed, with progress by some retailers having slowed and suppliers still being hit in the pocket.

“Commitments have been made to overcome this problem but progress is taking too long and it’s costing suppliers hundreds of millions a year in shrinkage costs,” they added.

Tacon said while the matter of drop and drive had been closed, it had never been taken off the agenda, and conceded some retailers were moving faster than others. “I am continuing to monitor the issue of drop and drive and getting independent feedback on ­progress,” she added.