Waitrose has extended its contract with Wincanton for another five years for the storage and distribution of wines and spirits to its outlets. The agreement extends the partnership between the two businesses to 20 years.

Wincanton handles wines and spirits to all the retailer’s 357 outlets - including supermarkets, convenience stores, motorway service stations, as well as for Waitrose Cellar and Waitrose drinks supplied to Ocado - which is more than 10m cases anually.

Wincanton said one of Waitrose’s key reasons for the contract extension was its proven ability to deal with huge spikes in volume - up to 100%. The supply chain specialist supplements its core fleet with extra vehicles to meet these fluctuations.

Another advantage for Waitrose is that although it retains space with Wincanton, it can extend the square footage as and when required using a “pay-as-you-go” model.

Robin McCarthy, Waitrose’s head of distribution, said Wincanton had shown itself to be a trusted and responsive business partner, clearly focused on providing excellent customer service and dedicated to adding value. Wincanton, through its “innovative use of processes and procedures”, had shown it shared Waitrose’s commitment to reducing the impact of its operations on the environment, he added.