from Martin Taylor, managing director, retail, Wincanton

SIR; With regard to your article 'Efforts to share delivery', (The Grocer, April 22, p10), I agree that shared deliveries to remote areas of the UK can "improve logistics and cut costs", but the suggestion that the concept is new is not entirely accurate.

For many years 3PLs have tried to find ways in which they can make their supply chain work harder for customers. Shared-user services can take a big picture view of a total fleet, actively seeking out opportunities to ensure the greatest possible vehicle yields.

Wincanton has used its contract with one of the major supermarkets to match delivery routes to the requirements of non-competing customers. The opportunity to share the vehicles has meant that the supply chain's efficiency is maximised.

Synergies can also be created from retailers utilising shared-user warehouses for holding and managing product. By its nature, the retail industry experiences many seasonal peaks and troughs; a shared-user strategy is able to minimise the impact of troughs while generating significant savings for retailers..