Grocery retailers and manufacturers have criticised logistics companies for their failure to proactively contribute to supply strategies and inability to provide integrated services, according to research by Scala Logistics Consulting.

The company questioned directors of 120 firms in the study, of which a high proportion operated in the grocery sector. Two-thirds worked for retailers and suppliers and a third for logistics companies. Just 13% of grocery retailers said they thought logistics companies proactively contributed to supply strategies and only a quarter of grocery suppliers.

One director of a major grocery supplier said: "[Logistics providers] haven't added to our strategic thinking but they will realise that when we come to discuss contract renewal."

John Perry, Scala MD, said: "One of Europe's largest suppliers of non-food grocery products commented that he didn't think logistics companies had the capability to add value in the management of the supply chain." The supplier said he had received better service from medium-sized logistics companies than from larger third-party firms.

A total of 91% of customers overall said they used more than one logistics company because no single firm could provide complete supply chain support.