Oakland International Increases Distress Load Capacity


Total supply chain solutions specialist, Oakland International, is increasing distress load capacity, laying on additional resource and space at its UK sites in Redditch, Corby, and Bardon to handle an anticipated increase in demand over the coming months.

Launched in 2002, Oakland’s distress load management (DLM) solution was the first registered and recognised service for inspecting and the sortation of consignments where product safety was potentially challenged through clandestine infiltration or other contamination issues and encompassed approved scientific methods for measuring surface contamination. BRC accredited and an EHO approved solution for same day or next day treatment of distress loads, the company typically recovers more than 85% of product and is trusted by major insurers because they can attend Oakland’s sites to witness the distress load management process in action and verify exact waste and consignment recovery levels.

Oakland International’s Lee Whiting Chief Operating Officer commented: “Brand owners and insurers are quite rightly very aware of the potential risks associated with stowaways damaging or contaminating stock in transit, and the approach of simply throwing away the whole consignment and then seeking to claim off insurers was commonplace and resulted in an ever increasing burden on insurers and hauliers with significant food waste, which otherwise would be fit for human consumption.

“By investing in a dedicated facility for distressed load management, which incorporates a CCTV monitored rework area as well as dedicated multi-temperature chambers, means we can store work in progress and in quarantine product.”

With the onset of Covid-19 Oakland installed a box sanitising tunnel which offers additional reassurances for brand owners and removes potential secondary risks of pandemic transfer via stock, with instant digital reports ensuring rapid information transfer flows to key stakeholders. Oakland’s DLM solution also works with and treats damaged loads, metal contamination, shot loads, temperature abuse and pest contamination such as flies as part of its service offering.

Added Lee: “Covid-19 hasn’t impacted demand for our DLM service but it is anticipated that Brexit will have a major impact depending on delays caused at ports which handle UK-bound traffic, and throughout the transition period into Q2 of 2021 before falling away as borders become more orderly and summer temperatures make the sea crossing more tempting.

“Commonly accepted risks of clandestine infiltration increase sharply when trucks are queuing or stationary near to the ports of loading. Delays in crossing times brought about by slower than normal border control checks and customs entries may result in increased numbers of clandestine activity, and with winter temperatures kicking in, the urge to use trucks rather than risk sea crossings is compelling.

“By offering a de-branding solution for brand owners it allows stock to be re-distributed through to discount wholesale, foodservice and foodbanks so that good quality food does not go to waste.”

A specialist in contract packing, storage, picking, food distribution and a brand development support provider for ambient, chilled and frozen food to the retail, convenience, discount, wholesale and food service markets in the UK, Ireland and via their partner in Spain, Oakland is BRC AA accredited, a double Queen’s Award for Enterprise recipient for International Trade and Sustainable Development and they are working towards becoming the first carbon-neutral business within their sector.