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McCains Foods Case Study: Transport

01 January 2018

McCain Foods is committed to reducing its environmental impact from field to fork and as part of this, McCain continuously looks for ways to increase the efficiency of its distribution operations.



  • Potato Processing / Preserving
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In July 2013, McCain began using larger 15.6 metre trailers and there are now 37 longer trailers in the fleet. These trailers are able to carry 30 pallets on each journey – which is four more pallets than standard.

Over the last four years, by using these increased capacity lorries, McCain has saved 770,000 road miles and reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 990 tonnes.

Journey scheduling is also carefully planned. By monitoring the total miles travelled, McCain can identify areas for improvement – removing unnecessary journeys and reducing total road miles.

In order to reduce second freight movements, McCain works with some customers to take the product from the factory directly into their own warehouses. Empty travel is also minimised through backhauling, with 20% of volume transported this way.

To reduce the number of journeys from farm to factory, McCain encourages its network of over 250 potato growers to join one of the collaborative grower groups that are established in the UK, where they can benefit from shared transport.

View Ambition 2025 Progress Report 2017.

“McCain Foods is all about good food, good people and good business and our commitment to reducing our environmental impact at every stage of the supply chain is central to that ethos. Our goal is the successful long term development of our business in a way that is sustainable.”

Bill Bartlett

Corporate Affairs Director, McCain Foods