The “Global Distribution Tracker” (GDT), undertaken on behalf of Distripress by Wessenden Marketing, is a new programme which gathers global data and polls the views of international supply chain players.

The GDT Pulse Update

During the Summer, the global press distribution trade association, Distripress polled a sample of its members about how they were getting through the current difficult trading conditions.  The resultant GDT Pulse Update was published in August and provided feedback from publishers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers in 23 countries in every continent, as it mapped the immediate changes to working practices made as a result of the pandemic.

The GDT Report 2020

The latest publication, the GDT Report 2020, takes a longer-term view, with sales forecasts through to 2024.  The report identifies four basic fulfilment chains, running in parallel to deliver newspaper & magazine (N&M) content in both print and digital formats.  The more agile Distripress members are well into projects that move them from their legacy core operations into the other pipelines.

5 big issues

Yet in doing so, they have to address five big issues:

  1. How to streamline processes in the current print chain.
  2. How to develop the changing nature of the in-store experience of physical retailers.
  3. How to reach the consumer directly at home more effectively and efficiently.
  4. How to be involved in the other N&M content pipelines by refocusing on marketing rather than pure logistics.
  5. How to use their existing skills, knowledge and capacity in other, non-N&M supply chains.

What Distripress and Wessenden say

Tracy Jones, Managing Director, Distripress:  The conclusion of our Summer Pulse Update was that although the current state of affairs is volatile, unpredictable and very challenging, it is actually not as bad as many had feared at the start of the pandemic.  The full GDT Report now takes us much deeper into the future.  Breaking down old operational silos and attitudes; developing new business models; streamlining established processes; working with new – and often unexpected – partners; growing or buying in new skills whilst leveraging old ones: these are all part of the future for Distripress members.  The future is hybrid.  And the future is now.

Jim Bilton, Managing Director, Wessenden Marketing (author of the report):  There is no escaping the fact that there will be more casualties along the way over the next few months, in every link in the chain from publishers through to retailers.  Yet the clear conclusion is that the smarter players will emerge from the pandemic leaner and more efficient.  And also operating in new areas with enhanced digital skills and tools.  The creativity and determination of so many in the industry is really impressive. 

The resources behind the programme

  • The GDT Report 2020 is downloadable from the Distripress website at a cost of CHF425 (free to Distripress members)
  • The August GDT Pulse Update is available free of charge, downloadable here to anyone involved in the media business.
  • The whole GDT project will be discussed in a virtual session at the Distripress Forum on Dec 1 2020.  Details on the Distripress website (

Distripress is a non-profit making trade association established in 1955 to support and promote the global circulation and distribution of press products (newspapers and magazines) in print and digital format.  Its members are publishers, printers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers, plus complementary product and service providers, all engaged in the end-to-end press supply chain. The global community has over 200 members in 50+ countries.


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