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Homebase rebuffs claims that its DC delivery fines are excessive

Home improvement retailer Homebase has roundly rejected the suggestion that fines of up to £3,000 for late deliveries at its DCs are excessive or unfair.

The retailer was recently named alongside three others by vehicle operators for the high fines it levies on suppliers for late deliveries at its DCs (MT 23 June).

A spokeswoman told MT: “As with most supply chains in the UK, Homebase operates a cost recovery programme that is directly associated with supplier non-conformance to agreed contractual services and agreements.”

The spokeswoman did not deny reports that Homebase charged its suppliers £1,000 for deliveries up to three hours outside the specified delivery window and £3,000 for those falling more than three hours outside it.

She said: “All charges consider the value associated with the delivery in order to mitigate unreasonable and unrelated cost recovery amounts, including man-hours in the DC affected by late deliveries.”

Admitting that Homebase also levied charges for issues such as poor or unsafe delivery presentation, incorrect or missing paperwork and incorrect or missing labels, she added: “It is imperative that all deliveries are made within the agreed terms of contract.”

She also told MT the amounts charged were “typical in the industry”, and went on to reject the suggestion that such charges were unreasonable in light of the journey reliability issues often faced by transport providers.

“The scheme is very fair in terms of traffic and congestion problems,” she said.

Like other retailers, Homebase has also declined to specify the annual revenue generated by its fines scheme, saying only that issues of non-compliance are “low-level”.

The fines handed out to suppliers by many retailers’ DCs for early, late or otherwise non-compliant deliveries have been of increasing concern to vehicle operators, as in many cases, suppliers facing charges seek to pass the costs on to their transport providers (MT 9 June).

Source : Robin Meczes -

08 July 2014

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