PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

140,000 pallets of books to Amazon, WH Smith and supermarkets

Penguin Random House is the world’s first truly global publisher. Formed in 2013 following the merger of Random House and Penguin, Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and India, Penguin’s trade publishing in Asia and South Africa, Dorling Kindersley, and Random House’s companies in Spain and South America.
Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people across 250 independent imprints and publishing houses that publish 15,000 new titles annually. In the UK, Penguin Random House has three distribution sites – TBS, GBS and Rugby, which form the UK’s largest distributor for trade and independent publishers..
THE CUSTOMER
The Book Service (TBS) in Colchester, Essex, is the UK’s leading book distributor as evidenced by the Waterstones Book Distributor of the Year Award. TBS distributes over 75 million books a year to 9,000 destinations worldwide.Grantham Book Services (GBS) is one of the UK’s most successful third party book distributors for independent publishers. Some of the major client publishers include Lonely Planet and Haynes. It distributes 17 million books annually worldwide.
Grantham Book Services (GBS) is one of the UK’s most successful third party book distributors for independent publishers. Some of the major client publishers include Lonely Planet and Haynes. It distributes 17 million books annually worldwide.
THE REQUIREMENT
Historically, distribution for TBS and GBS was carried out by local transport firms with distribution services at a third site in Wellingborough and Northamptonshire, being carried out by Knights of Old. Following the closure of the Wellingborough site in 2008, Random House Distribution invited firms to tender for the distribution services at the remaining sites at GBS and Colchester. The Knights of Old Group were successful and have been in partnership since.The operation, which amounts to 140,000 pallets of books a year, is to distribute stock to the UK group’s customers, including Amazon, WH Smith and Tesco.
The operation, which amounts to 140,000 pallets of books a year, is to distribute stock to the UK group’s customers, including Amazon, WH Smith and Tesco.
THE SOLUTION
Using TBS as a ‘sub depot’, Knights of Old have a maximum of twelve tractor units and three rigids operating at any one time within the Random House distribution network. Service is scheduled jointly by a two-person implant team, based full-time at TBS, and the in-house TBS logistics staff.
The operation is based on a mix of delivering direct and via consolidated loads through Kettering. Books are packed into cardboard boxes or plastic tote boxes and palletised ready for delivery. Random House and Knights of Old are always looking for opportunities to backload within the network. An additional requirement exists to run 1-2 vehicles daily on longer distances, loaded with small palletised consignments.
The Knights of Old service has to be flexible and able to respond to peaks. Knights of Old were responsible for delivering the best sellers Inferno by Dan Brown, and the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER
Random House Distribution’s Managing Director, Mark Williams, said: "All customers have their particular requirements and Knights of Old fully understand these. They continue to maintain a highly professional service within our supply chain.”
 
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