The Mondadori Group’s distribution logistics take the form of a series of overlapping networks that cover all of Italy and differ in terms of the type of product managed and transported.

These can be divided into the following channels: magazines (newsstands, subscriptions, dailies), books (trade and educational), book clubs (Mondolibri products) and e-commerce.

Many logistics processes include both direct shipping to the destination points of the reference channel and the return shipping of unsold products. According to the channel, unsold products may go into storage, be re-processed for paper recycling or pulping (in the case of paper products), be destroyed or disposed of.

In addition, the logistics sector also uses packaging materials (pallets, film, adhesive tape etc.).

Below is a more detailed description of the distribution processes for each channel together with data and information relative to the management of publishing products at the end of their lives, where available.

Magazines

The logistics of the Magazines area are managed by Press-di Distribuzione Stampa e Multimedia S.r.l., a fully-owned subsidiary of Mondadori, which manages the distribution of Group magazines and third-party publisher magazines and dailies in Italy. All Press-di operating processes, including transport management, are outsourced to a network of expert suppliers.

Considering the two retail channels, represented by newsstands (87%) and subscriptions (13%), in 2015 the overall weight transported was around 73,000 tonnes, entirely on the road (with the additional use of sea transport with roll-on/roll-off ships for transportation to the islands).

The magazines logistics process involves four steps:

  • film wrapping and shipment preparation: in 2015 this process was applied to over 80 million copies, for which around 322 tonnes of film was used. The figures show a downtrend against the previous year as a result of the constant reduction in business volumes;
  • primary transport: the primary transport network begins at distribution logistics centres (Melzo, Verona and Rome) and extends to local distributors (approx. 80 private enterprises in 2015);
  • last mile (delivery to the point of sale): local distributors deliver copies to newsstands and carry out the “last mile” transport service to the point of sale. Local distributors are responsible for collecting unsold products at newsstands every day and processing returned products for return delivery from the Press-di national returns centre or local pulping/disposal;
  • transportation of returned products: unsold products subject to return to the publisher are transported to the national returns centre of San Pietro Mosezzo (Novara) through the Press-di primary transport network).

The following table reports the estimated CO2 emissions deriving from the transport of the magazines from the distribution logistics centres of Verona and Melzo to local distributors in the three-year period 2013-2015. In 2015 these emissions fell by 13% compared with 2013, going from 7,348 tonnes to 6,428 tonnes of CO2.

CO2 emissions from primary transport

Unit of measurement 2013 2014 2015
t CO2 7,348 6,823 6,428

The daily newspapers produced by third-party publishers (including il Giornale, Libero, Avvenire) are distributed by a different logistics network to the one used for magazines. This network includes a number of printing centres located throughout Italy, delivering to local distributors. This network, designed to ensure fast delivery times, is shared with other distributors to guarantee greater efficiency.

As regards the management of the end of life of magazines, Mondadori has an extremely high pulping rate: Press-di (in agreement with the Group and third-party publishers) has, in fact, decided to foster the largest possible distribution of certified return processes at local distributors in order to reach the critical mass necessary to achieve the considerable savings made possible by this management method. However, the crisis affecting the printed paper trade (fall in circulation and advertising) and its impact downstream on intermediate parties (local distributors and newsstands) has, over the years, led to both a reduction in returns and in the total number of local distributors and those that guarantee certified returns.

In 2015 local pulping came to 18,173 tonnes for magazines and 9,130 tonnes for dailies (down 13% and 8% respectively compared with 2014). Currently, out of the 80 local distributors used by Press-di, 68 guarantee certified returns (as opposed to 70 out of 87 last year).

It should be noted that since 2010 Mondadori has been carrying out surveys in different fields with a view to optimising the environmental performance of its magazines and the relevant economic costs through format standardisation, reduced paper weight and reduced page counts.

The lower operating costs (deriving from the progressive reduction in transported weights) correspond with a proportional reduction in emissions due to transportation. This result can be added to the effect of certified returns (local pulping).

Trade books

The Verona logistics centre is responsible for trade book logistics. The Mondadori Proprietary Central Warehouse (MCE) is responsible for the management of the new product and re-print shipping and restocking warehouse. Outsourcing agreements are in place with a number of satellite warehouses located not far from the MCE for the performance of activities relating to new book launches, return counting and selection, and storage.

With a view to improving the level of control Mondadori exerts over such operations, in the next few years the foundations will be laid for a better understanding of the environmental impact of supplier activities in order to ensure that the operating decisions of the latter are geared towards improving the sustainability of their activities.

In this context, the return process (see the corresponding table for data relating to shipping volumes, pallets and copies handled) is worthy of attention: returns are registered, classified based on quality, recorded and stored. The owner of such stock, i.e. the publisher, pays for the storage and decides when to pulp the product. This is not the case for books by Mondadori and Sperling & Kupfer, i.e. the publishers with the highest levels of returns, where returns are recorded and pulped on a monthly basis

2013 2014 2015¹
Copies 12,530,000 12,510,000 11,900,000
Packs 410,000 405,000 380,000
Shipments 43,500 43,000 43,000

¹ 2015 figures related to copies and shipments contain estimates.

All the boxes used to distribute trade books are made of corrugated cardboard consisting of 90% recycled paper; this packaging is 100% recyclable and the recycled material comes from national pulp companies.

Mondadori Education

In 2015 Mondadori Education distributed around 6.7 million textbooks and teachers’ guides, down compared with the 7 million copies produced in 2014. Until last year the copies were stored in two warehouses, one in Verona for secondary school books and the other in Signa in Florence for primary school books, dictionaries, university texts and Italian L2 (Italian as a second language) books.

Following the closure of the Florence Signa warehouse at the end of 2014, during 2015 the distribution activities relating to the products previously stored there were concentrated and streamlined at the Verona logistics hub, resulting in a general improvement in the indicators. An activity consistent with the measures first launched by the Mondadori Group in 2013 with the complete integration of the logistical management of secondary school books at the Verona logistics centre, which made it possible to carry out a process to streamline both the spaces and transportation (reduction in the number of vehicles used through the aggregation of shipments with those of the trade channel).

The logistical management of Mondadori Education products is connected with specific school education activities (promotion, adoption and sale of books):

  • through a network of promoters, school texts are presented to teachers from January to May in order to promote their adoption; Logistics is in charge of shipping the books from the central warehouse to the promoters, just under 140 destinations; finally, the promoters are in charge of delivering or shipping the sample books to teachers. To this end, it is important to highlight the introduction of digital sample books (connected with the development of multi-device digital school books), which may lead to a significant reduction in the production and shipment of paper sample books;
  • starting in May and, with varying intensity, up until the end of October, Mondadori Education restocks the retail distribution points for the sales campaign, reaching approximately 60 destinations. Moreover, starting in September, when the school year starts, the promoters are supplied with books and guides to deliver to teachers for classroom trials;
  • in addition to making shipments to decentralised distribution centres, the central warehouse in Verona directly supplies some top accounts and approximately 800 bookshops with university texts and Italian L2 books.

Though returns are less frequent for school texts, total returns in this segment came to approximately 930,000 copies in 2015.

Club (Mondadori Retail products)

With the closure of the Brescia logistics unit, as of 2014 the management of logistics flows (storage and preparation of orders) and all Club business support processes takes place at the Verona logistics centre. Orders are shipped by mail. The cardboard boxes used for shipments are the same type as used for Trade books. Materials returned by post are subject to recycling.

E-commerce

(www.mondadoristore.it)
B2C logistics activities include product management (by both Mondadori and third-party publishers) at the Verona central logistics centre. Products are prepared according to customer orders and shipments are made by express courier directly to the final customer address.

In this channel there are practically no returns.