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Key Performance Indicators for Non-Food Retail Distribution (BG 77)

United Kingdom
United Kingdom Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The role of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring the efficiency of distribution, and for identifying opportunities for efficiency improvements has been established through KPI surveys in the food distribution sector. The EEBPP now wishes to extend KPI's of freight distribution into other distribution sectors. The non-food retail sector has been identified as a good opportunity for a KPI study, as there is a perception that there is a significant amount of 'waste' in the supply chain which a KPI survey would quantify and identify opportunities for efficiency gains.


The objective of this study is to measure KPIs of vehicle utilisation amongst suppliers, manufacturers and hauliers within the non-food retail distribution sector. Specific objectives are to:

  1. develop industry agreed KPIs for distribution in the non-food retail sector;
  2. calculate KPIs at both an industry and an organisation level.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


This survey has highlighted a variety of opportunities within the non-food retail sector for operators to improve fleet utilisation and energy efficiency. Vehicle fill has been calculated as being only 51% of available weight capacity, 47% of available cube capacity but a higher 74% of the available deck length capacity.

The use of double and triple deck trailers can offset this imbalance and increase vehicle fill by weight, cube and deck length use. Significant use is made of return legs to collect waste from stores, to return empty load units and to collect new merchandise from suppliers. However, this is often done on an ad hoc basis. Reverse logistics flows need to be centrally managed in order to make efficient and coordinated use of the vehicle fleet.

An average of 39% of the survey fleet was in use each hour and a minimum of 16%, which corresponds broadly to night usage, was always in use throughout the audit period. Although there will be external constraints, such as restrictions on delivery times, there is scope for many operators to reduce fleet sizes by spreading activity throughout the 24 hour period with beneficial reductions in associated running and management costs.

Policy implications

Fleet operators are provided guidance on how to improve efficiency through use of KPI's to achieve economic and environmental cost savings.


Key Findings


The objective of this study was to measure KPIs of vehicle utilisation amongst suppliers, manufacturers and hauliers within the non-food retail distribution sector.  Key Performance Indicators for the Non Food Retail Sector contributes to knowledge in the freight sub theme of logistics and supply chain management as it deals with the alignment of the supply chain and the management of transport resources.  It also contributes to knowledge in the freight area efficient market place, dealing as it does with benchmarking market tools for shippers, integration of environmental issues and training in logistics.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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