Case Study: Metro Inc.

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How Metro saved time and money with platform standardization

The Opportunity
Assist Metro, Canada’s third-largest retailer, streamline the supply chain process for imported produce.

The Solution
Apply CHEP’s global expertise and platform solution to develop a standardized approach for getting imported, fresh produce to Metro stores, reducing labor costs and handling time.

An international flow conversion story

In 1949, the average grocery store carried less than 4,000 products. Today, an average grocery store carries nearly 40,000 products. A great variety of fruits and vegetables are among the options; consumers now enjoy year-round access to fresh produce, thanks to the global food supply chain. Nearly 20% of all food consumed in North America is imported, including 35% of all produce.

Metro, Inc., the third largest retailer in Canada with nearly 600 stores in Quebec and Ontario, is a leading importer of fresh produce. Unfortunately, Metro was experiencing delays, inefficiency and higher costs for produce sourced from American, Mexican and South American growers. The retailer knew what the problem was: The pallet used by the growers to move their goods wasn’t completely compatible with Metro’s supply chain operations. The produce had to be transferred from the originating platform to another pallet at distribution centers, leading to longer shipping timelines and higher labor costs.

To address the issue, Metro called on CHEP, a supply chain partner with expertise in global markets. CHEP moves goods in countries with 90% of the world’s GDP and 70% of its population.

Standardization for our fresh produce is key to our supply chain. CHEP was able to work with us to identify a solution that saved time and money. It was a perfect solution and is a perfect partnership.

Alain Paré Director, Quality Assurance, Produce Metro

Working with Metro’s Retailer Quality Assurance team and the company’s grower suppliers, CHEP analyzed each step of Metro’s fresh food supply chain. CHEP’s goal was to streamline the operation, finding a solution that could be used effectively all the way from American, South American and Mexican fields to Metro’s Canadian stores–eliminating the inefficiencies caused by the multiple platform solution.

Working together, CHEP and Metro developed a single platform solution that led to greater efficiency and cost savings. The percentage of standard North American pallets arriving at Metro’s distribution centers increased sharply, and minimized handling time and operational costs. Since the shipments were compatible with Metro’s distribution centers and retail locations, significantly less produce had to be transferred from one platform to another. As expected, with less handling time per pallet, Metro’s labor costs went down.

Our customers receive substantial benefits from CHEP’s International Solutions.

  • Broad reach - with a presence in over 60 countries worldwide, we can provide you with local platform-related knowledge.
  • Platform mix - we are a leading international provider of pooled pallets, RPCs and containers.
  • International health standards - we can provide ISPM 15 platforms to comply with international phytosanitary regulations to prevent the spread of disease and insects.

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Case Study: Metro Inc. | CHEP USA