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Wincanton optimises schedules and saves on bulk milk distribution


Wincanton is the largest British logistics firm, providing supply chain consultancy and solutions to some of the world’s most admired brands. The cpmpany employs approximately 19,100 people across more than 200 sites and have a 3,500-strong fleet of vehicles.


  • Steve Prestidge, Wincanton’s national contracts manager, explains: “We had always planned movements manually at local level, but we run 75 to 100 direct movements a day, so it was almost impossible for our planners to consider all the possible routing permutations, or to work out which vehicles could be used economically to pick up loads on their return journeys.”
  • The company also wanted to move from local to central transport planning, and needed a system that would be able to plan movements at a group-wide level.
  • Wincanton was already using Truckstops VRS (vehicle routing and scheduling system) as a strategic planning tool, and was keen to use something similar in an operational role to achieve efficiencies in its full-load movements. But it was aware that scheduling this work would require a specialised system suited to full-load operations.


  • Wincanton explained its requirements to CACI, which as it turned out was already developing a system for full-load planning. Wincanton was therefore able to contribute its extensive experience to help shape the final product.
  • The outcome, Truckstops LOADS, is designed specifically for scheduling full-load A to B movements of tankers, full pallet-loads or products such as aggregates, and is therefore ideal for use in trunking, tramping and other bulk movements such as Wincanton’s.
  • Truckstops Loads can schedule centrally across multiple depots, taking account of the availability of individual vehicles for successive tasks. It will respect delivery time windows and other constraints. It has the inherent ability to schedule pickups and deliveries that are interspersed on the same route. It can schedule journeys that extend over more than one day.
  • It can be programmed to distinguish between short visits required for a straightforward trailer swap, and longer visits involving more lengthy queuing and unloading. It can even take account of loading bay restrictions at specific delivery locations.


  1. Efficient automated A to B scheduling of full-load deliveries of bulk milk.
  2. Up to two runs per shift saved, reducing costs by thousands of pounds a year.
  3. A move from local to central transport planning of long-distance movements.
  4. Ability to schedule more movements as backloads, maximising use of resources.
  5. Opportunity to change planed journeys without rescheduling the whole fleet.
  6. "It’s very easy to get new data into the system if a dairy changes its requirements at the last minute. It allows us to change part of the plan when that happens, without throwing out the whole schedule" Steve Prestidge says.

Further information

If you want to hear more about how CACI's Logistics expertise can help you, get in contact now on +44 (0)20-8568-7000

"Truckstops Loads is particularly clever at working out which vehicles can be used for back loads. It can take account of whether the vehicle would have to deviate too far from its route, whether it could respect the collection time window, and ultimately whether collecting the consignment in this way would be more or less expensive than treating it as a standard outgoing load."

Steve Prestidge, national contracts manager
UK Headquarters

Kensington Village
Avonmore Road
W14 8TS View Kensington office map