The alliance covers warehousing, transportation and distribution in the United States and Canada, with the two companies agreeing to share facilities throughout the supply chain.
Hershey president and CEO John Bilbury said that this kind of collaboration is likely to become more common as companies look for ways to improve efficiency, especially as transportation costs increase.
“Collaborative supply chain operations are a growing trend across industries as companies seek to fully leverage their logistics infrastructure,” he said. “Although we are initially focusing on one region of our business, we are excited about the full potential of this project."
Hershey said that it expects to see productivity improvements from the initiative to be realized by next year.
Meanwhile, Ferrero said the partnership would help it realize social responsibility goals, including a group-level target to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and storage by 30%, set in its 2010 CSR (corporate social responsibility) report.
Area manager for the Ferrero Anglo/Americas region Giuseppe D'Angelo said: “We are in the early stages of launching this venture but are already excited about its potential to improve supply chain operations. And Hershey is the ideal partner to work with us to achieve this goal."
The companies said that they intended to work together to maximize their CSR efforts, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption from warehousing and freight, with fewer vehicle journeys needed to bring their products to consumers – while also enhancing competitiveness.
Both companies stressed that the partnership only concerns their supply chain processes, and does not include manufacturing, selling or marketing activities.