With the system, multiple demountable truck bodies are long-hauled to a regional market on semi-trailers and demounted at a pre-determined location. The bodies are then mounted by local straight delivery trucks that make the retail deliveries. In the meantime, the semi-trailer is returned to the DC with empty bodies from the previous round of deliveries.
Frito Lay tested the system against cross-docking. The company saw potential and in early 2007 a small scale test was put into operation to servicing its Montreal facility. Both companies hoped the test would validate the following advantages of utilizing the Warehouse on Wheels:
•Cross docking would no longer be necessary because snack food could be shipped directly from the distribution center to the retailer in the same cargo body;
•Frito Lay could eliminate the cross-docks and their operating costs;
•Product would be touched less, and inventory tracking and loading would be centralized at the distribution center for increased efficiency
•The stem portion of the route could be driven during off-traffic times when there is less congestion on the roads.
The system proved superior to cross-docking in Frito Lay Canada’s Montreal distribution test. Next the company and Demountable Concepts collaborated on implementing a plan for servicing the entire Montreal market. In 2008 the cross-dock operation was replaced with the system.
Frito Lay Canada is currently monitoring the Warehouse on Wheels System’s performance to determine the next best market for implementation.