Nestlé York: Pioneering logistics leader retires after more than 22 years at the company

A pioneering logistics leader at chocolate maker Nestlé has retired after more than 22 years in the business.

Head of delivery Sally Wright has worked in the transport hub at the York site in Haxby Road since 2002.

During her time with the business, she has launched EV trucks, bio LNG trucks, started apprenticeships for HGV drivers in the business and run trials on moving product by rail and electric shunters.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the last week before her retirement, Ms Wright completed a project for all Nestlé-owned HGVs to run on alternative fuels and remove all diesel from Nestlé’s own fleet operation. Some are electric and some have switched to HVO fuel instead of diesel.

Sally Wright, head of delivery at Nestlé, who is retiring after 22 years at the company. Picture supplied by NestléSally Wright, head of delivery at Nestlé, who is retiring after 22 years at the company. Picture supplied by Nestlé
Sally Wright, head of delivery at Nestlé, who is retiring after 22 years at the company. Picture supplied by Nestlé

This year she also launched bio LNG trucks, started apprenticeships for drivers and began trials on products being moved by rail containers and electric shunter trucks.

Ms Wright said: “I’ve had a phenomenal career at Nestlé, which I am so grateful for. I have been given so many opportunities during my 22 years and have been able to drive a lot of change. Having leadership who trust me and give me the confidence to push forward with projects, has been great.

“I love logistics and the whole industry is fast-paced and exciting.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I am so proud to have led these four significant projects, they are huge changes which make our transport and logistic functions fit for the future and the vehicles changes and trials are another valuable step towards Nestlé's commitment to halve its emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.”

Ms Wright joined Nestlé in 2002, managing its fleet of vehicles and understanding the movements of these vehicles across the Nestlé network, before becoming the customer services manager for Nestlé Waters where she liaised with the head offices of big supermarkets to ensure supply met demand.

“This was a real grounding for me in logistics where you have to look through the eye of our customers and I wouldn’t be where I am today without doing such a role,” she said. “It was challenging at times but that experience has been very valuable.”

She then moved into transport planning ensuring the movement of products between factories and distribution centres, liquid chocolate from York to Halifax as well as other raw materials and packaging.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ms Wright said it was like putting together a giant complicated jigsaw, making the most of trucks making the trip between factories, distribution centres and customers, minimising empty running and maximising the number of pallets on each journey.

Ms Wright then managed a third party warehouse operation for Nestle before moving to manage the York distribution centre based on the Nestlé York campus, overseeing deliveries in and out for the north of England and into Scotland. One of the huge projects she oversaw at that time was bringing the Dulce Gusto webshop in house and into the distribution centre in York.

“It was a big project as it was the first time we’d managed a direct to consumer operation in-house, and e-commerce was still very much in its infancy for Nestle,” she said.

In 2018, Sally was promoted to head of delivery, where she worked through the pandemic ensuring drivers were working safely as key workers keeping the food people needed on shelves in supermarkets.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 52-year-old from Market Weighton said: “I’m a big supporter of women in logistics and we are seeing more and more women considering it now as a career. It’s about seeing more people like me in this industry and showing what is possible. I have always been about challenging the “why” and asking, “why not?”