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ISSUE 142

TRANSPORT &LOGISTICS

ISSUE 142

D R I V I N G

T H E

I N D U S T R Y

F O R WA R D

AIRPORTS OF THE

FUTURE BIGGIN HILL PAGES 8-13

BIRMINGHAM PAGES 14-17

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS MAGAZINE

ABERDEEN PAGES 18-21

AXLE HAULAGE

A SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE

PETS AT HOME WHERE PETS COME FIRST

PALL-EX

BUILDING ON A SOLID START

R.F. BELLIS

HAULAGE AND DISTRIBUTION SPECIALISTS

ALSO INSIDE: CHILTERN TRAVEL, A COMPANY THAT CARES


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THE STANDING START FREIGHT OPERATORS AND CONGESTION CHARGES he answer to the question: should freight operators be exempt from

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Transport for London’s (TfL) congestion charge might divide opinion but we’re all, unsurprisingly, against them making above-inflation price hikes. With proposals released earlier this month, TfL will look to increase prices by about 15% seeing the standard daily charge rise from £10 to £11.50. Those

PUBLISHER: Noah Quirke EDITOR: Daniel Stephens MAGAZINE MANAGER: Shane Kelly FEATURE MANAGERS: Shane Kelly Stefan Drakes Ray Clayton Ben Lawrenson ART EDITOR: Steve Williams DESIGNER: Kate Webber ` CONTRIBUTORS: Jeff Senior Rob Samuels Matt Waring PRODUCTION: Vicki Lindsay Lisa Pollinger ADMINISTRAT0R: Charlotte Lewis ACCOUNTS: Nick Charalambous Transport & Logistics Magazine is published by: NQ Publishing, 3 Brook Street Huddersfield HD1 1EB Tel: +44 (0)1484 411 400 E-mail: noah.quirke@nqpublishing.com www.tandlonline.com Transport & Logistics Magazine is published by NQ Publishing. Company registered in England & Wales. All material is the copyright of NQ Publishing. All rights reserved. Transport & Logistics Magazine is the property of NQ Publishing. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form whole or part without the written permission of a director of NQ Publishing. Liability: while every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of company or product reviews or comments, these have been based upon the true and honest opinion of the Editor at the time of going to press.

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operators with six or more vehicles will see a rise of near-17% with prices going from £9 to £10.50 per day. It seems unfair given hauliers provide an essential service within the city every day. If the proposals are approved, the new prices will come into effect in June this year. Ultimately, these price rises will impact on the customer the most. It will be London’s businesses, residents and visitors that will see their pockets burned as the heightened cost is passed on. Indeed, there is no feasible way to deliver goods via public transport and no charge-free breaks available between peak hours, so TfL should exempt freight companies from the price rise so that they can continue to deliver this vital service without threatening standards or squeezing margins. The Freight Transport Association agrees. Head of policy Natalie Chapman said: “Most transport companies are registered on the fleet scheme so will be in line for an over-inflationary 17% hike if the proposed changes go ahead. While the FTA is not opposed to the principle of the Congestion Charge, which is to deter non-essential or discretionary journeys, we do see this as a tax on businesses which have little alternative but to use trucks and vans during the day. London’s businesses rely on freight to deliver essential goods and services and without the logistics industry, the capital would simply grind to a halt.” The Road Haulage Association was also in agreement. Head of media Katie Gibbs said: “Once again it looks as though hauliers are to be penalised for filling the shelves of the nation’s capital reliably and regularly and cost effectively. Surely those making essential deliveries and collections should be considered to be essential (and therefore charge-exempt) users?” It is time that hauliers are given the credit they deserve. DANIEL STEPHENS EDITOR

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS MAGAZINE

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CONTENTS

INSIDE SECTIONS

NEWS LEGAL LOGISTICS AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE COUNCILS FORS REMOVALS PALLET NETWORKS BUS AND COACH FLEET REVIEW CARBON EMISSIONS LOOKING BACK AT...

4 9 10 22 28 44 50 60 70 74

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BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT

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FEATURES News The latest top stories

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Backhouse Jones Forking around can be dangerous

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Biggin Hill Airport Touch down in London

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Birmingham Airport A shining example

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Aberdeen International Airport Gateway to the energy capital

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West Lothian Council Award winners

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Southampton City Council Making a real difference

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Axle Haulage A sustainable transport experience

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Tomato Plant Putting fun into haulage

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Sussex Transport Dedicated transport and warehousing

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London Borough of Hackney Working for a cleaner borough

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W.J. Jenkins & Sons Over a hundred years of experience

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British Association of Removers The best bar none

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Quicksilver Moving & Storage Need a hero?

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Wardle & Keach Customer focused

48

Pallet-Track 10 years and still growing

50

Palletways Connecting to Europe

52

Palletline Setting the standards

54

Pall-Ex Building on a solid start

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Miniclipper Logistics Delivering transport solutions

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Chiltern Travel A company that cares

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Maynes Coaches Comfort on the road

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Company Coaches Modern, friendly and reliable

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Chalkwell Coach Hire Connecting people and places

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R.F. Bellis Haulage Ltd Haulage and transport specialists

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Marston PLC The perfect blend

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Pets At Home Where pets come first

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Looking Back At... Burt Monro

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Follow us on

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AXLE HAULAGE @TandLMagazine

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CONTENTS

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MAYNES COACHES

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WEST LOTHIAN COUNCIL

58 76

MINICLIPPER LOGISTICS

PETS AT HOME

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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS MAGAZINE

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NEWS

HEATHROW SAY PRICE CAP IS DRACONIAN

HEATHROW has accused the UK’s aviation regulator of draconian action, after it capped the amount the airport is allowed to charge airlines. In a surprise move, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that Heathrow can only increase its charges by less than the rate of inflation.Price rises will be limited to 1.5% below inflation for the next five years, starting in April. The CAA said that passengers would benefit from lower prices as a result. Heathrow had asked for a rise of 4.6% above the RPI inflation rate. The CAA had previously proposed that Heathrow would be allowed to increase its charges in line with inflation. Colin Matthews, Heathrow’s chief executive, said: "In October the CAA accepted the need for changes to its April proposals, but has now reverted to a draconian position." “We will review our investment plan to see whether it is still financeable in light of the CAA’s settlement,” he added. The airport will now consider whether to appeal against the plan. But the CAA said the benefits to passengers would be clear.

“They will see prices fall, whilst still being able to look forward to high service standards, thanks to a robust licensing regime,” said Dame Deidre Hutton, chair of the CAA. The CAA also decided that Stansted airport would no longer have its prices regulated, at least as far as the passenger market is concerned. It concluded that the airport did not have “substantial market power”, suggesting that airlines have a freedom to move elsewhere if prices become too high. But that claim was described as ‘false’ by Ryanair, one of Stansted’s biggest customers. The airline has consistently complained about high charges at the airport, and it says the CAA's decision is likely to mean even higher charges in future. “Today’s decision is an example of the CAA’s regulatory failure which will again harm consumers, as Stansted will be able to further increase airport charges whenever it wishes,” said Juliusz Komorek, Ryanair's director of legal and regulatory affairs. Gatwick has already promised to maintain prices in line with inflation. The CAA said it would monitor the outcome.

ROLLS-ROYCE LOOKING AT 4X4 VEHICLE DESIGN ROLLS-ROYCE has said it is looking at designs for its first 4x4 vehicle, as it posted record sales for a fourth year running. Chief executive Torsten MullerOtvos said that Rolls-Royce had started looking at ‘new designs’, but there were ‘no firm plans yet’. He said he was seeing how the brand could fit in with the 4x4 market. The luxury carmaker also said it delivered 3,630 cars to customers

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in 2013, a 1.5% increase on 2012. To help meet demand after its successful year, the carmaker, which is owned by BMW, says it plans to hire 100 staff at its manufacturing plant in Goodwood, Sussex in 2014. Rolls-Royce launched the Wraith model at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013 and started delivering the car to customers during the fourth quarter.

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS MAGAZINE

BLOODHOUND CAR TO USE NORWEGIAN NAMMO ROCKET THE BRITISH Bloodhound supersonic car project will use a Norwegian rocket in its bid to drive beyond 1,000mph. The Nammo company, based in Raufoss, will supply ‘hybrid’ motors and technical support to the World Land Speed Record attempt. Currently under construction, the car should be ready to run in 2015.

Bloodhound will need both a rocket and a jet engine to raise the current record of 763mph. Nammo is a world-renowned name in propulsion technology. The Bloodhound team had been developing its own hybrid power unit but because of the considerable sums of money and time would be needed to perfect the design they have decided to go with Nammo.

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news 142:feature 2 14/01/2014 10:36 Page 5

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news 142:feature 2 13/01/2014 10:24 Page 6

NEWS

AIR CARGO CONTINUES PIC RECOVERY FAST-CASUAL DINING MAR-

THE INTERNATIONAL Air Transport Association (IATA) has released figures showing that freight traffic, measured in tonne kilometres, increased by 6.1% in November 2013 on the same month the previous year. It said November’s performance was an improvement on the 4.4% growth recorded in October and continued the positive trend which emerged in 2013. All regions reported growth with the exception of Latin America and Africa. The strongest performing region was the Middle East where carriers reported a 16.5% improvement. Asia-Pacific carriers, who account for some 40% of the market, reported 4.9% growth, more than doubling the 1.8% growth of October. Healthy demand, coupled with a slower expansion in capacity, led to the average load factor rising to 49.2%, 0.7 percentage points

above the previous November, IATA added. European airlines reported an 8.0% increase in freight traffic, reflecting the region’s emergence from economic contraction in 2013. Recovery in the Eurozone however, is likely to remain slow and fragile. “The November results are encouraging - particularly for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. This good news is largely being driven by improving economic prospects in China along with an overall boost on Asian trade routes,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO. “The uptick is a welcome development in a weak performing market. Overall volumes, when adjusted for seasonality, are still below the peaks reached in 2010 and 2011,” he added. Freight traffic for the the first 11 months of 2013 was up 1.4% on 2012 levels.

BMW SHOWS OFF SELF-DRIVE CARS BMW has shown off self-driving cars that can ‘drift’ around bends and slalom between cones. The modified 2-Series Coupe and 6-Series Gran Coupe are able to hurtle round a racetrack and control a power slide without any driver intervention. Using 360-degree radar, ultrasonic sensors and

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cameras, the cars sense and adapt to their surroundings. BMW demonstrated its latest autonomous driving technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It is just one of several car manufacturers experimenting with the technology – Japan’s Toyota has also been demonstrating its autonomous car at CES.

TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS MAGAZINE

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LEGAL LOGISTICS

FORKING AROUND CAN BE DANGEROUS hen Chris Evans dropped a 2.5 ton deep-fat fryer directly on to his boss’s brand new Rover Vitesse whilst driving a fork-lift truck during the 1980’s (“It’s not what you think”; Chris Evans Autobiography) he wasn’t the only one to fall foul of the dangers involved. Luckily for Chris, he remained unscathed and the only issue left to deal with was how to tell his boss. As only Chris could, he went straight to the point with “Think of the worst thing that could possibly have happened to you...!” The same phrase was also used after inadvertently taping over a Bob Geldof interview that was about to be syndicated for £40,000 ...but that’s another story. Chris is not alone in being involved in an incident with a fork lift truck. The FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association) recently released some figures revealing that haulage firms are involved in 29% of the UK’s forklift truck injuries – despite accounting for only around 3% of forklifts in operation. This follows a 237% increase in injuries to employees working in this sector since 2001/02. What can be done to prevent a further increase and how can hauliers help reduce this rate, keeping their exposure to HSE prosecutions and increased insurance premiums to a minimum?

The Fork Lift Truck Association has recently released figures showing that haulage firms are involved in 29% of the UK’s forklift truck injuries, Mark Davies takes a look at legal requirements needed to safely drive fork-lift trucks

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TRAINING Obvious but so frequently overlooked. Anybody who operates a forklift truck, even for the shortest time, needs to be fully trained to use that particular vehicle, for that task, in that location. In addition, supervisors need to be educated to recognise potential dangers in the workplace and implement appropriate safety measures. Shockingly, two thirds of people injured in forklift truck accidents are pedestrians – it is therefore crucial that everyone on site is aware of the areas where trucks operate and systems need to be put in place to prevent any unfortunate crossovers between forklifts and pedestrians.

DRIVING ON PUBLIC ROADS Any forklift truck, even if it is just crossing between sites or unloading a parked HGV must be registered, taxed and insured. The operator must own a full car licence. There must be a specific risk assessment in place to ensure that the safety of everyone in the nearby vicinity is considered as the effects of rear wheel steering and poor visibility are just two of the many issues. THOROUGH EXAMINATION Forklifts must be regularly examined. This is a legal requirement and to ensure the truck is genuinely safe, it is advised to have your examination carried out by a member of the FLTA. KEEP UP TO DATE Legislation, technology and best practice evolve and there needs to be a designated person within your organisation responsible for putting new regulations in place.

For all related enquiries, please contact Mark Davies at Backhouse Jones on 08450 575 111 or email mark.davies@backhouses.co.uk

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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS MAGAZINE

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biggin hill:feature 2 12/01/2014 13:14 Page 8

AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT orld famous as a principal fighter base during the Battle of Britain in World War Two, Biggin Hill Airport now has a different role to play. “It’s a very active business and general aviation airport,” recounts Managing Director Will Curtis. “We support mainly business jets and have various service facilities for them. Business jet passengers come and go from Biggin Hill airport on a daily basis. There are several business jets based here and we have many visitors from all over the world who take advantage of our good connectivity. “The people using the airport are the wealth creators of the world, making macro investment decisions and extremely important to the UK economy. We attract them by providing the kind of facilities that allow them to avoid the hustle and bustle of the major hub airports. A good example is taxi time, which at Heathrow might be thirty minutes whereas here it is about eight minutes. It’s about speed of access and that’s what we provide.” Biggin Hill’s good connectivity is a major attraction to business travellers, the airport being only twelve miles from Canary Wharf, reached within one hour by road or fifteen minutes by rail. And although it isn’t on

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Situated in South East London, Biggin Hill Airport is both a quick and convenient access to the Capital

TOUCH DOWN IN

LONDON

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biggin hill:feature 2 12/01/2014 13:14 Page 9

AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT a main arterial route into the City, there are five or six routes to choose from and advice available from handling agents on the best one to choose. Added to that is an airport limousine service to get clients in and out quickly and in comfort. To support the business aviation operation, there are full border control and customs facilities plus passenger lounges including smart executive lounges. A recent $25 million investment created passenger handling facilities and a large maintenance facility so there are now several maintenance companies on site to deal with almost every type of business jet. A number of training schools also make an important contribution in helping to create the next generation of pilots.

LOCAL COMMUNITY The various facilities make the airport a significant local employer, with around 1,000 working on-site and a similar number deriving employment from it. That’s where Will believes the airport makes a real contribution to the local community, helping successive generations to remain living in the area. He says: “By providing those jobs, and not just unskilled jobs but also higher

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tech jobs such as aircraft technician, avionics engineer, air traffic controller and even pilot, local people can gain employment.We add a lot to our local community and airports need to publicise that the benefits from being adjacent to an airport generally outweigh the downside, which I think most local people understand perfectly.” Although airports are often viewed as noisy, polluting and unpopular places, Biggin Hill receives very few complaints. When it does, every one gets attention and all reasonable complaints are taken seriously, with Will often paying a personal visit to discuss and learn from particular topics. The airport recently went six moths without a single noise complaint and Will believes that’s partly due to it not accepting aircraft that aren’t compliant with stage three noise levels but also because business jets are relatively quiet. “Business jets are class leading in terms of noise because a selling point for any manufacturer is they have to be able to use the world’s most restrictive airports due to connectivity for heads of industry being key,” he comments. “Many airports have more restrictive noise

requirements than us so we can be sure each new generation of business jets will get quieter, will require less runway and will burn less fuel. “A misconception in the wider industry is that business aviation is dragging along behind mainstream airlines but our cockpits and our systems are twenty to thirty years ahead of the airline industry. They have the most amazing redundancy and the most amazing integrated avionics systems that just won’t be seen on an airline flight deck for probably another twenty years. The availability of spares worldwide is a factor because owners don’t want a cockpit setup where the parts are difficult to get hold of. Business aviation has to go to places where airlines wouldn’t consider operating because of the lack of facilities so has to be more independent.”

SHARED DEVELOPMENT A recent initiative is a pairing with Teterboro Airport in New York, which has similar activities and location to Biggin Hill. The aim is to share information and experiences, ultimately develop

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AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT

Biggin Hill Airport Biggin Hill Bromley TN16 3BH Tel: 01959 578 500 www.bigginhillairport.com Tel: 01959 578500

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joint products and generally help each other grow their traffic. Will believes traffic growth is likely to happen anyway due to the shortage of runway capacity in the Southeast that will see business aviation being squeezed out of the larger commercial airports and into dedicated business aviation airports. That’s likely to contribute to Will’s aim of doubling or tripling employment at the airport over the next ten years. However, he believes, development is dependent on the local authority, which is the landowner for the airport: “I think the local authority understands it needs to help us develop the airport in a responsible and sustainable manner in order that the borough of Bromley and the local economy gain the best balance between money flowing through the local economy and the footprint the airport creates. Development is the subject of a master plan and, although there are no preconceptions and will be full

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consultation with all affected parties, one option is to increase the amount of maintenance undertaken at Biggin Hill. “That will leverage the maximum economic benefit for the minimum disturbance,” stresses Will. “If an aircraft comes here for engineering input, that’s one landing and one take-off for a very substantial amount of money spent on the local economy in terms of labour and other services. We can provide cleaning, painting, engineering of most types, aircraft interior and exterior refurbishment and various avionic capabilities. I would like to attract some of the global brands in the business aviation sector to come and base service facilities here so we can increase the expertise and the services we can offer here.”

BUSINESS AVIATION FOCUS Biggin Hill will never be a major hub airport or a regional airport and so will focus on its expertise of providing business aviation services. The aim is to deliver a world class service that’s absolutely tailored to the needs of business aviation users who may often spend most of their week on their aircraft working and travelling between destinations. Such individuals have substantial economic influence and demand speed of access, good connectivity and minimal delays. Failing to meet those demands and not supporting the development of dedicated business aviation airports would, in Will’s view, be a big mistake: “Business aviation is very important for our economic development in the UK because it penetrates emerging markets in a way that standard infrastructure can’t. It is at the forefront of the expansion of the UK economy into emerging markets; it’s a quick and incisive way to get into those markets, do the business you want to do and get out. Britain should not underestimate its importance.”

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biggin hill:feature 2 14/01/2014 10:28 Page 13

AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT

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Birmingham Airport :feature 2 14/01/2014 11:44 Page 14

AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT here are few airports in the UK that perfectly example the potential of the industry’s future outside of Heathrow. Yet, Birmingham Airport would be one of them. In fact, it stands out as a shining example of what can achieved by a regional airport committed to progress in the face of a fast-evolving market. Certainly, Birmingham has advantages from the outset. Its location, and the fact it is officially the UK’s most accessible airport, makes it a desirable option for airline operators and passengers outside of London. Birmingham itself is also a recognisable, sizeable city, with around 4 million inhabitants across the metropolitan area providing significant economic output. Increasingly, airlines are seeing the advantages of

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A SHINING

EXAMPLE With nearly 10 million passengers a year and plans to double in size by 2020, Birmingham airport is a thriving business hub

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Birmingham Airport :feature 2 14/01/2014 11:44 Page 15

AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT securing a route via Birmingham or a permanent base. The key for the airport over the last five years has been to ensure it can reach its potential, to modernise and enhance its services in order to accommodate current and future demand. Deciding amid the recession to make significant investment, the airport implemented crucial improvements including extending its runway, building a new air traffic control facility, and combining its two terminals into a single, connected terminal. Paul Kehoe, chief executive, feels the £200 million investment in recent years has taken place at the right time, taking advantage of low recessionary prices in preparation for growth in the future. Key aims have been to improve capaBirmingham Airport Limited Birmingham B26 3QJ www.birminghamairport.co.uk Tel: 0871 222 0072

bility and efficiency in operations, with strategic developments targeting the airport’s ability to accommodate new markets. This has principally been served by adding 400 metres to the runway, effectively adding 2,500 nautical miles to the range of flights taking off from Birmingham. The airport can now accommodate flights travelling in excess of 4,000 nautical miles, which would bring into the equation destinations such as Beijing and Shanghai, Bangkok, Rio De Janeiro and Johannesburg. The first long-haul flight to make use of Birmingham Airport’s runway extension will be Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ Dhaka-BirminghamNew York JFK service from Spring 2014. Birmingham will become only the third UK airport to have direct flights to New York JFK and offer the only non-stop service between the UK and Bangladesh outside of London. “The Midlands is a diverse region that offers enormous trade and cultural opportunities to carriers looking to widen links outside of the

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south east, and this is exactly the type of operation that our longer runway has been built to cater for,” said Paul. “With a growing number of long-haul flights launching from Birmingham, we’re clearly demonstrating the desire by airlines to operate to and from the Midlands and take advantage of our strong catchment, excellent location and transport links, and world class facilities, all available thanks to our major investment programme.” Paul acknowledges that while Birmingham has been able to serve the needs of some of the commercial airline industry’s biggest aircraft such as the Boeing 777, Boeing 747-400 and the Airbus A380, their range was formerly constrained by the shorter runway. Now they will be able to operate much further afield. Similarly, while Air India has operated its Boeing 787 service to Delhi from Birmingham, with the additional runway space, the operator can carry more freight increasing the profitability of the service.

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AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: BIRMINGHAM AIRPORT

Therefore, the runway is advantageous for both airlines currently using Birmingham and those potentially considering it. Furthermore, with the Boeing 757 witnessing a phasing out period among many airline operators over the next few years, alternative aircraft like the Airbus A321 serving popular Red Sea destinations, for example, require longer runways to take flight. Previously, the A321 wouldn’t be able to use Birmingham to serve these destinations. Now it can. In addition to the runway extension, part of the investment has produced a modern air traffic control centre, while combining the two terminals into one means both airline and passenger consumers can access all aspects of the terminal complex. Brand new security technology has also been imple-

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mented, streamlining the process, bringing efficiency savings and improving overall security control at the airport. Other areas of investment include brand new state-of-theart fire equipment, which has produced operational savings of around £1.5 million. “So we’ve gone from having all the great attributes of a local regional airport to an airport that has a global reach capability, and the facilities to suit,” explains Paul. “We have taken the opportunity of readying the airport for the future, recognising the Airport’s Commission will ultimately advise on a number of answers of which Birmingham may or may not form the final solution. But we want to be there in the meantime by saying the Midlands, which is a net exporter of goods and has a trade surplus with the world, has an airport that will compete in these markets.”

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“WE’VE GONE FROM HAVING ALL THE GREAT ATTRIBUTES OF A LOCAL REGIONAL AIRPORT TO AN AIRPORT THAT HAS A GLOBAL REACH CAPABILITY, AND THE FACILITIES TO SUIT”

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aberdeen:feature 2 15/01/2014 12:36 Page 18

AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: ABERDEEN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

GATEWAY TO THE ENERGY CAPITAL Aberdeen Airport is the gateway to Europe’s energy capital, serving more than three million travellers a year. It is the world’s busiest commercial heliport, transporting more than 500,000 passengers for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

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RECOVERY: RAC

ith Aberdeen at the centre of the UK’s oil and gas industry, it’s hardly surprising that has a major impact on its airport traffic. “Over 60% of our passengers travel on business,” states Managing Director Carol Benzie. “This year, we should have 3.5 million passengers coming through the terminals and we are the busiest heliport in Europe if not the world. We have about 110,000 air traffic movements annually and 35,000 of those relate to helicopter activity supporting the oil and gas business.” The development of a runway extension two years ago enables larger aircraft to operate. Current work includes £1.6 billion being invested around the airport campus to provide industrial units, hotels, offices and exhibition centres. This all adds to demands on the airport that are, as Carol points out, increased by the extent of business use: “Many flights are taken by oil executives and oil workers, some of whom might be flying up to fifty times a year. The oil industry is global and there is a lot of expertise in this region, which is now exported all around the world.”

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The outcome is the airport’s capacity is severely strained, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night when passenger facing areas are particularly congested. With passenger numbers expected to grow to four million by 2020, the solution is a £13 million terminal redevelopment programme, the biggest investment in the airport since the terminal was built in 1987. It’s been twenty months in the planning, starts in 2014 and should take three years to complete, providing capacity for anticipated passenger numbers up to 2028-30. “We are building a two storey extension to the south of the terminal.” recounts Carol. “We’re building on waste land so the extension can happen without impacting on the passenger experience for the next year. Once extension is built, we will relocate our executive lounges to the top floor, also relocating the UK Border Force into the new extension. That will free up space in the current terminal footprint to move our central search facilities with new technology being installed.There will be more passenger facing areas for seating and catering; it will change our air side/land side boundaries and give the passengers a great experience.”

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aberdeen:feature 2 15/01/2014 12:36 Page 20

AIRPORTS OF THE FUTURE: ABERDEEN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Aberdeen International Airport Dyce, Aberdeen Scotland AB21 7DU www.aberdeenairport.com Tel: 0844 4816666

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The new terminal will improve customer service, which is a particular focus for Aberdeen’s many regular business passengers who expect no disruption to their normal routine. That requires proper communication and increasing use of technology to maintain a good travel experience. Carol says: “We are putting in common user self service kiosks with seven airlines signed up to the same machines. Passengers can go to any kiosk and print out their boarding pass for the airline they are flying with and we’re introducing automatic boarding gates so they can scan the boarding pass themselves. We are speaking to the UK Border Force about the feasibility of having automatic passport control when arriving on international flights. Regular business passengers become quickly accustomed to new technologies and like to be in charge of their own destiny.” The new terminal development will incorporate heating, ventilation and cooling systems that improve energy use and emissions. That may coincide with the introduction of New Engine Option aircraft that are coming into some fleets in 2015-16 and will reduce fuel consumption by around 16%, with a general move to cleaner, quieter and more fuel-efficient aircraft. Noise is always an issue at airports and that’s particularly true at Aberdeen where events in the North Sea have led to more frequent use of the noisier Sikorsky helicopters. “We have very good relations

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with the neighbouring village to the runway and are about to put a trial in place,” comments Carol. “We are going to install some noise barriers because of the helicopter operations on that side of the airport which, for a small village, can be quite disruptive.”

INCREASED CAPACITY Exponential growth in fixed-wing charters and general aviation has resulted in a shortage of parking spots and that’s being addressed by a working group looking at increasing stand capacity. “We aren’t ruling anything out but are looking at every available patch of land and hope to have a master plan in the next twelve months as to where we will put that,” remarks Carol. Whilst the major part of the business remains business travel, increased capacity provided by the new terminal development will open other opportunities. Carol says: “Our primary focus for the next couple of years is to attract more leisure routes because our business traveller is also a leisure traveller. We don’t want people from the Aberdeen area having to drive to Glasgow or Edinburgh and so a top priority is to ensure they can go on holiday from their local airport.”

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west lothian:feature 2 14/01/2014 15:18 Page 22

AWARDS: WEST LOTHIAN COUNCIL

AWARD

WINNERS West Lothian Council has secured two prestigious national awards for its innovative work to reduce the environmental impact of its vehicles. We talk to Fleet and Community Transport Manager Joe Drew who picked up the sought-after Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year accolade.

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west lothian:feature 2 14/01/2014 15:18 Page 23

AWARDS: WEST LOTHIAN COUNCIL

est Lothian Council had every reason to celebrate in 2013 as its innovative initiatives aimed at reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles has been recognised by the prestigious GreenFleet Awards. The annual awards aim to recognise pioneers from the public and private sectors for their efforts in environmental best practice. West Lothian Council received two prizes – Public Sector Fleet of the Year and Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year for Joe Drew. The judges, made up of representatives from the Institute of Car Fleet Management, the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and GreenFleet magazine, highlighted a number of areas where West Lothian excelled including its significant reduction of CO2. The judges were also impressed by the council’s procurement of low emission vehicles, fuel efficiency measures, green fleet management and driver awareness training. Joe Drew picked up the personal award for lead-

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ership and management of his team's hard work in making carbon reduction a priority.

EEV STANDARDS The council operates approximately 1,000 vehicles made up of 300 pool cars, 400 cars or car-derived-vans up to 3,500kg gross vehicle weight, and 250 HGV trucks, buses and specialist equipment. The HGV vehicles are mainly for refuse collection, gritting and road cleaning. All vehicles use at least Euro 5 technology with some having remapped engines to meet EEV standards. “We were pleased to receive these awards on behalf of the council, in particular it was pleasing that the efforts made by not only myself and the fleet team but the whole council in reducing emissions and becoming greener has been recognised,” said Joe Drew. “West Lothian Council has always been aware of the impact our fleet has on the environment and we will continue to strive towards further reductions in CO2

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AWARDS: WEST LOTHIAN COUNCIL Joe Drew and Douglas West with the Ampera

and use the latest greener technology. The awards were very welcome as recognition of our efforts over the years and we will continue our attempts to reduce mileage, fuel and fleet size.” The council has set a number of targets to increase its environmental efficiency across all its operations. In particular, it has set a 33% reduction target for business mileage while CO2 has been cut by 8.3% in the last year. The current CO2 reduction target councilwide is 20% but this is being reviewed in early 2014.

LATEST TECHNOLOGY Joe acknowledges how a five-year replacement plan for vehicles has allowed the council to keep up to date with the latest technology. “Pool cars utilise stop-start technology and engines have a CO2 figure of less than 100g/km. We also operate a number of electric cars including the extended range Ampera and an electric road sweeper,” he remarks. Indeed, the electric road sweeper can run for two days on a single charge saving approximately 300 litres of fuel per week. Other measures include the fitting of speed-limiters where appropriate, eco-driver training,

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and a vehicle routing system to optimise journeys in order to ensure vehicles are carrying out their duties in the most fuel efficient way. Despite the council’s successes so far, Joe is determined to go further. “There will always be room for improvement and we will improve in future years by reducing fleet size, the introduction of video conferencing, cycle to work schemes, assisted cycle purchase and better use of public transport. The main objectives for the coming 12 months are the introduction of telematics in April 2014, delivery of our first Euro 6 truck and depot centralisation.”

West Lothian Council West Lothian Civic Centre Howden South Road, Livingston, West Lothian EH54 6FF www.westlothian.gov.uk Tel: 01506 280000

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southampton:feature 2 11/01/2014 12:56 Page 26

COUNCILS: SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL he people making a real difference to transport across the UK were recognised at the National Transport Awards in London at the end of 2013, which saw Southampton City Council pick up the top local authority award for Transport City of the Year. Supported by the Department for Transport and Passenger Focus, the National Transport Awards recognises the successes that have been achieved on so many national and local transport projects. As always, these projects have shown the judges the tangible results they've achieved, improving the experience for their transport users. “Transport is a crucial part of everyday life – whether it’s commuting to work, getting to school, or visiting friends and family. It plays a central role in supporting local economies, linking businesses, services and goods with markets, and driving growth and prosperity. The National Transport Awards are an opportunity to celebrate innovation and excellence across our transport sector, and to recognise industry professionals who go the extra mile to deliver efficient and effective transport across the country,” says Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport. Southampton was recognised for its impressive multi-dimensional transport programme benefiting all residents and visitors to the city. The council has won

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MAKING A REAL DIFFERENCE Southampton’s ambitious vision for the future has sustainable transport at its heart

Civic Centre Southampton SO14 7LY www.southampton.gov.uk Tel: 023 8083 3000

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southampton:feature 2 11/01/2014 12:56 Page 27

COUNCILS: SOUTHAMPTON CITY COUNCIL

over £30 million in additional transport funding, which is enabling it to improve access to the port through the Platform Road/Town Quay scheme, introduce a range of improvements for bus passengers, a south Hampshire smartcard for buses and an ambitious scheme to improve the Central Station area. Already, there has been a significant shift from private car use to sustainable modes of transport. This partnership forms the Centre for Sustainable Travel Choices which is overseeing the delivery and monitoring of the council’s major behaviour change programme – the My Journey initiative – which is already delivering results. Southampton’s ambitious vision for the future has sustainable transport at its heart. Once completed this vision will bring £3 billion of investment, create 24,000 jobs and build 5,000 new homes in the city by 2030.With £1 billion of development already underway or in the pipeline, the city is well on the way to achieving its goals. The awards ceremony, hosted by BBC radio and television presenter Jeremy Vine, attracted over 600 senior transport professionals including the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, who gave the keynote speech and presented an outstanding contribution award to former transport minister Norman Baker MP. Councillor Jacqui Rayment, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: "It is fantastic that Southampton has been recognised at a national level. We have been working very hard to improve transport networks in the city and deliver the brilliant My Journey campaign. “The award recognises all the efforts that the council has put in to make the city a better place for people to live and work. I am very excited about the future of the city and I am sure we will see more success stories as the work progresses.”

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Axle:feature 2 09/01/2014 11:22 Page 28

FORS: AXLE HAULAGE

A SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT EXPERIENCE Established in 1988, Axle Haulage operates a mixed range of general haulage vehicles from 6 strategically based operating centres throughout the United Kingdom providing both an effective and competitive service at national and regional levels aving a specific business model and sticking to it has served Axle Haulage well to the extent it’s operated profitably for every one of its 26 years. That model involves the provision of transport for anything from soil to finished products and machinery for the civil engineering, construction and railway industries. But, according to Managing Director Barry Jordan, the business model is based on much more than that: “We’ve always believed a solid financial base is essential and that’s the foundation on which we built the company. “We have built a very strong balance sheet and have a good profit and loss account. The margins aren’t great and it’s a tough business but we’ve stuck to a simple business model and it’s paid dividends. We have a successful company where we own outright most business assets and we have extremely good relationships with suppliers, many of which we have retained since we started the company.”

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FLEXIBLE APPROACH The firm has relatively little regular contract work but is employed by many blue chip clients on major projects such as Crossrail, the London Olympics and HS1. And because it operates from six strategically placed centres throughout the UK, it works for major nationwide contractors anywhere in the country. That’s something Axle facilitates through a mixed fleet and a flexible approach. “Every vehicle has a sleeper cab and our drivers are contracted to operate anywhere in the country because that’s the way we tend to work,” remarks Barry. “We are extremely mobile, very flexible and fast reacting. We can offer a service anywhere at short notice and at competitive rates due to our operating centres throughout the UK.” The flexibility doesn’t extend to taking on any work because there’s a strict credit control policy to prevent bad debts and ensure Axle’s financial situation is maintained. And that, as Barry explains, is just one attribute the company is keen

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to retain: “Our company is well established with a high reputation and high ethical standards. We have a solid financial base and we have managed to maintain that through careful and prudent management. “We are careful with the suppliers and customers we deal with and our financial base has allowed us to invest in equipment and provide security for our employees. It is important that customers look not only at the services their contractors provide but also at the sustainability of their supply chain. We can reassure them that, in terms of financial stability and other standards, we are up there and aim to remain there. We have no wild ambitions to be the largest in terms of volume but have realistic aims and objectives that can be met through our own abilities and the abilities of our suppliers.”

ASSET UTILISATION Striving for stability in the business and sticking with what it knows ensured Axle went through the recession relatively unscathed, which again was also partly due to a flexible approach that includes using a combination of its own equipment and that of partner companies to meet customer needs. The policy enables maximum utilisation of Axle’s assets at all times and that, combined with its current five star credit rating, means it runs a truly sustainable transport operation. Sustainability applies equally to care of the environment and that’s helped by the company’s membership of FORS. “That has allowed us to focus on environmental and health and safety improvements within the company,” states Barry. “We are going for our silver accreditation, which is important for us to prequalify for certain jobs.Without FORS accreditation, we are unable to provide transport for many customers, not only in London but throughout the UK. “One of the initial aims of FORS was to protect the environment and through its campaign we are looking at anti idling measures to reduce fuel consumption and unnecessary emissions. We have always supported investment in modern technology

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Axle:feature 2 09/01/2014 11:22 Page 29

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Axle:feature 2 09/01/2014 11:22 Page 30

FORS: AXLE HAULAGE such as Euro 5 and are already discussing Euro 6 engine technology. In addition to that, we look at other areas to make improvements, such as benchmarking for measuring our performance and our drivers’ performance.” Assessing drivers’ performance enables steps to be taken to improve it where necessary, which has included SAFED training to correct weaknesses and improve

THE EMPHASIS ON MAINTAINING GOOD, LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS HELPED THE COMPANY THROUGH THE RECESSION

72-76 Union Street Dunstable, Beds LU6 1EY www.axle-haulage.co.uk Tel: 01582 472777

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strengths. The aims are to save money combined with reduced environmental impact and safer operation, a policy that includes fitting vehicles with spill kits, recutting tyres to extend their life and using the best technology available. Barry says: “Every vehicle is tracked, all new vehicles are fitted with automated tachograph download equipment, we have 100% of our tachographs analysed for the protection of the operator licence and we intend to maintain green OCRS ratings across all operator licences. We adopt strong disciplines over inspec-

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tions; pre-use crane inspections are carried out along with daily walk round inspections of the vehicles. We’ve adopted various improvements that include side scanning equipment, turn left alarm systems and forward facing and reverse camera systems. We are investing in technology not only to save us money but also to improve safety and efficiency.” Customers can be allowed access to the technology so they can track their own loads. The intention is to increase communication and the information available, improving further the relationships that Axle works hard to build with customers, suppliers and various trade associations.

REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS The emphasis on maintaining good, long-term relationships helped the company through the recession and its overall business model founded on stability will now drive it during the recovery. “Transport is not a fashionable business and there should not be peaks and troughs but we try to align ourselves to our customers’ demands,” comments Barry. “We do not have unrealistic expectations of the ability of ourselves to grow or invest because we are a private limited company, an SME. We have work life balance we hope to retain for every employee but we maintain standards that we believe are realistic. That is fairly unique in as much as we don’t have incentives for people to work beyond their abilities and we are very realistic in our approach to what our employees and the company can achieve.”

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Axle:feature 2 09/01/2014 11:22 Page 31

FORS: AXLE HAULAGE

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tomato:feature 2 23/01/2014 10:48 Page 32

FORS: TOMATO PLANT

PUTIING FUN INTO HAULAGE Tomato Plant is a haulage services company specialising in the transport of construction plant, transformers, generators, portable/modular buildings, containers and other bulky or heavy loads

omato Plant is a haulage services company specialising in the transport of construction plant, transformers, generators, portable/modular buildings, containers and other bulky or heavy loads. As well as being a Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) Bronze member, it also holds membership to the Road Haulage Association and ALLMI, while it is working towards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation. Available on a 24/7 basis from its main depot in Iver, Buckinghamshire, the company operates low loaders up to 80 tonnes (GVW) and Beaver tail Hiab lorry loaders with 36T/M cranes and drawbar trailers. Tomato Plant can also provide escort vehicles, vans and 4x4 vehicles with trailers for smaller loads.

T The Tomato Plant Company Ltd Unit 25, Thorney Business Park Thorney Lane North Iver, Bucks SLO 9HE www.tomatoplant.co.uk Tel: 01753 651602

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The company was conceived in mid-2010 by Keith Williams. Keith is no stranger to successful business ventures, being the founder and former owner of Rickmansworth-based drainage services outfit Comet Tankers. With Keith at the helm, Comet grew to be a £6.5m turnover business in the 10 years before it was sold to PIMS Group in 2009. Keith has always been a big fan of large trucks so heavy haulage seemed a natural progression from tankers. He is a great believer in a high quality of customer service coupled with a strong company image; you only have to look at the Tomato Plant fleet to see the truth in that. "My philosophy has always been to buy the best equipment for the job and to treat my customers with the greatest care and respect,” says Keith. “I have

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tomato:feature 2 11/01/2014 12:48 Page 33

FORS: TOMATO PLANT

found that this approach attracts high calibre, loyal staff whilst also helping to build a first class client portfolio. “In my opinion, a smart image is a key ingredient for success. We have invested a lot in great design for our logos and livery, we keep our vehicles clean, tidy and in top condition. Why should customers trust us with their property if we can't look after our own equipment?” Keith believes that there is always room for a bit of fun in business. “Why would you want to get out of bed every morning if you don't enjoy your work? I believe the company name and graphics bring a bit of fun into the haulage business. People probably wouldn't notice lorries with K. Williams Transport written all over them but the Tomato trucks get smiles and waves wherever they go.” Crucial to Tomato Plant’s success is taking employee competence very seriously, especially where it may impact on health and safety issues. All operatives receive full training relevant to their role including IPAF, CSCS, CPCS, Loader Securer, HIAB Crane Operations as well as driving to reduce environmental impact and basic health and safety and environmental awareness training. All its vehicles are “Low Emission Zone” compliant being up to Euro 5 standard or above.

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Sussex:feature 2 23/01/2014 10:51 Page 34

FORS: SUSSEX TRANSPORT

DEDICATED TRANSPORT AND WAREHOUSING Sussex Transport supply a comprehensive range of road haulage, contract warehousing and logistics services aimed at removing your transport and logistics headaches ussex Transport, a bronze member of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), supplies a comprehensive range of dedicated road haulage, contract lift, warehousing and logistics services across the UK and into Europe. Established in 1990, the company remains a family run business that has developed an excellent reputation due to the quality of its fleet, highly maintained premises, the efficiency of its team and an ability to understand the needs of clients’ businesses through providing an exceptional customer service. Via its head office in Lancing, near Brighton, Sussex Transport operates a fleet of vehicles from vans through to Artics and more specialist HIAB crane vehicles working predominantly for customers in the construction, manufacturing and fabrication industries. In addition, its secure 50,000 sq ft warehouse in Lancing, together with other external overflow facilities enables Sussex Transport to offer a wide range of storage and distribution options. Complementing the service for some customers is the outsourced pick pack and dispatch fulfilment package, which capitalises

S Downsview House 91 Marlborough Road Lancing Business Park Lancing West Sussex BN15 8SU www.sussextransport.com Tel: 01903 751 100

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on the company’s resources and buying power to reduce client costs. Sussex Transport joined FORS to support and highlight its commitment to the highest standards and to help identify areas of improvement. “As a specialist haulage provider operating in the construction industry it is key for us to continue to adhere to the latest regulations, and to also continually better ourselves and invest in our fleet,” says Paul Froome, Business Development manager. He adds that FORS membership is “also a very good way to differentiate ourselves.” He explains that there are a number of benefits to being accredited and that achieving bronze status highlights the qualities inherent within the business. “FORS accreditation has obviously brought in business for us which cannot be provided by non-accredited hauliers. But more importantly FORS has helped us win new clients, confidently head towards further improvements and accreditations and also drive the whole business forward in terms of processes and delivery. “There are no real defined levels per say [in gaining the FORS Bronze level], more that you have to demon-

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Sussex:feature 2 14/01/2014 16:22 Page 35

FORS: SUSSEX TRANSPORT strate adequate competencies in many areas. These areas are training for staff and management, process improvements, health and safety training and awareness, fuel efficiency drives, and vulnerable road user knowledge. Then continued training for all staff members and drivers including CPC for management, ALLMI and CSCS for drivers to name a few.” Subsequently, the main improvements have been in the written recording of processes, as the company was already highly certified and trained. Now, Sussex Transport is looking ahead with a view to achieving the Silver level. “We are continually working to improve the fleet. Current investments include the increased use of retrofit close proximity equipment, cameras, sensors, and left turn monitors. We are also working on analysis of fines and transport charges, operating efficiencies and our overall environmental impact,” explains Paul, who believes the scheme’s grading of Bronze, Silver and Gold awards are an excellent incentive for the industry. He concludes: “We are working towards FORS Silver and FORS Gold along with becoming an approved Crossrail haulier. All these certifications are aimed at further differentiating ourselves and driving continued improvements through the business to benefit Sussex Transport, our staff and most importantly our customers.”

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Hackney Borough Council :feature 2 23/01/2014 11:04 Page 36

FORS: LONDON BOROUGH OF HACKNEY

WORKING FOR A CLEANER BOROUGH The problems of having a transport network that originated in the Victorian era are being addressed by The London Borough of Hackney with a Transport Strategy that forms part of the London Plan and the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy

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Hackney Borough Council :feature 2 23/01/2014 11:04 Page 37

FORS: LONDON BOROUGH OF HACKNEY

ackney is a small but densely populated inner London borough with a broad, multi-cultural population of just under 250,000. It’s also immediately adjacent to central London and so the transport network reflects the arterial demands for travel. That puts stress on a road, railway and tramline network that originated in the Victorian era, causing congestion, pollution, accidents and delay. The problems are being addressed by a Transport Strategy for Hackney (2014-2024) that is consistent with the London Plan and the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy (MTS). In common with all London local authorities, Hackney has to develop a Local Implementation Plan (LIP) that sets out how the MTS objectives are to be delivered. The first LIP covered the five-year period 2005-2010 and is followed by a second plan that runs to March 2014. The strategy plays an important part in regenerating the borough, focuses on promoting a sustainable transport system available to all and helps deliver national, regional and local transport objectives. Other aims are to help deliver air quality targets, reduce congestion,

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enhance public transport reliability and capacity, provide better facilities for walking and cycling, and improve levels of road safety. The Council shares responsibility for some of this with other organisations such as Transport for London and the HCT Group, which provides community transport and related services. Typical of all local authorities, it also provides various services to its local community and so has direct interest in the borough’s transport network since it’s used by its own fleet. “Many services are highly dependant on vehicles for their provision, such as waste collection, street cleansing, passenger transport, housing maintenance, parks and landscapes,” comments Corporate Fleet Manager Norman Harding. “I manage the fleet at corporate level, ensuring high standards are maintained, particularly in respect of compliance, safety and the environment, all with a sharp focus on cost-effectiveness.”

SPECIALIST VEHICLES The fleet currently comprises 488 vehicles that include 135 HGVs, mostly specialist vehicles such as Dennis Eagle refuse collection vehicles, Johnston sweepers, tippers, skips and hook load-

ers from Mercedes and DAF. The council also operates 39 accessible buses, approximately 270 LCVs, thirteen cars and several specialist plant items. Some vehicles are maintained externally, such as the few fleet cars through various suppliers, but most are maintained on-site in the council’s workshop facility by Riverside Truck Rentals. It is, confirms Norman, something that works well for both parties: “This partnership arrangement is a highly effective delivery model giving us the cost efficiencies of an external organisation but the response, flexibility and control of an in-house department.” Hackney’s contribution to the overall strategy is helped by its membership of FORS, which it joined as part of its quest to maintain high standards in everything it does. Being part of FORS means it has the recognition of a quality organisation and the benefit of regular audits that help identify areas where improvements need to be made. However, Norman insists Hackney’s initial acceptance as a bronze member didn’t require many changes. He says: “The FORS audit process is very robust covering management, vehicles, drivers and operations.

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FORS: LONDON BOROUGH OF HACKNEY

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Hackney Borough Council :feature 2 23/01/2014 11:04 Page 39

FORS: LONDON BOROUGH OF HACKNEY

Within each section, I had to demonstrate we have control systems in place, records retention, performance monitoring, staff training, review processes, etc. “Any fleet operator holding an Operators Licence will have most of these in place anyway but it encourages you to develop your structure and arrangements to a higher standard. We were largely where we needed to be to attain bronze accreditation. The only thing we needed to implement into our induction and ongoing driver assessment was a basic eyesight test. However, I like the format of the audit documentation and have now encompassed it for our internal audits.”

CYCLE SAFETY The borough is on track to move up to the silver rating and particularly conforms in terms of cycle safety where it has one of the highest levels of cyclists in London and has made a lot of progress in improving safety. “We do a lot of work with Transport for London and local Police delivering a driver exchange programme to help educate cyclists and drivers,” recounts Norman. “We were the first local authority in the country to train all our HGV and PCV drivers in the

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Hackney Borough Council :feature 2 23/01/2014 11:04 Page 40

FORS: LONDON BOROUGH OF HACKNEY

Hackney Service Centre 1 Hillman Street London E8 1DY www.hackney.gov.uk Tel: 020 8356 3000

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specific cycle safety driver CPC training module where drivers spend half the training day on cycles. “That’s to understand the dangers cyclists have to deal with everyday and why cyclists appear to take more of the road than necessary for their own safety. Knowing this means our drivers can make allowances when driving. We are currently offering this training course free to external freight operators in Hackney and also looking at road junctions, street furniture, etc to improve things. I am currently retro-fitting a small number of our older HGVs with cycle safety side guards before seeking silver accreditation.” Hackney benefits from FORS, including specialist consultancy advice and guidance plus a range of training workshops. Although Norman acknowledges the scheme is firmly aimed at fleet operators, he’s con-

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vinced any incentives leading to improvements in standards, whether safety, compliance or the environment, have to be good for all types of vehicle users including cyclists.

BEACON AUTHORITY The aim is to become accredited at silver level within the next twelve months and beyond that to be recognised as a beacon authority because it’s leading in all areas of service provision. “There has been some recent media coverage of operators pushing boundaries where alternative road fuels are concerned because they’re using a B20 blend of biodiesel,” remarks Norman. “However, we have been using high blend biodiesel for years and currently operate 38 trucks on B100 biodiesel produced from recycled waste vegetable oil. This fuel was certified by what was the Renewable Fuels Agency as being over 80% carbon efficient and these 38 trucks will collectively save over 650 tonnes of CO2 this financial year. We will continue to monitor and trial other forms of alternative technology and currently operate eight fully electric vehicles and twelve hybrids.”

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Hackney Borough Council :feature 2 23/01/2014 11:04 Page 41

FORS: LONDON BOROUGH OF HACKNEY

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wrjenkins:feature 2 11/01/2014 10:38 Page 42

FORS: W.J. JENKINS & SONS

OVER A 100 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE Pound Garage, Bridge Road Toll End, Tipton West Midlands DY4 OJW www.wjjenkinsandsons.co.uk Tel: 0121 557 6085

Established in the early 1900s and based in the Black Country, W.J.Jenkins & Sons can reliably deliver throughout nationwide

.J. Jenkins & Sons is a Midlandsbased haulage company which has achieved bronze-accredited membership in the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). Based in the Black Country, the company has in excess of 100 years of experience, providing a service that is both reliable and tailored to individual needs. Using mainly DAF and Scania vehicles, W.J Jenkins & Sons specialises in the nationwide delivery of structural fabricated steelwork up to 20 metres in length. The service is complemented by crane-mounted vehicles for the efficient and safe loading/unloading of goods. The company joined FORS to ensure that the standards and competencies in this long establish business were maintained. FORS provided W.J. Jenkins & Sons with a formal structure to work by, firstly helping it

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wrjenkins:feature 2 11/01/2014 10:38 Page 43

FORS: W.J. JENKINS & SONS down to his five sons: Des, Derek, Ian, Mick and Brian. Today the company remains in the Jenkins family, run by Brian's son, Nigel Jenkins. It remains one of the longest established businesses still operating in the Black Country. To achieve the bronze membership grade, the company had to exhibit a number of competencies. This included providing evidence of a current in-print management manual that covered all mandatory requirements for FORS. It also involved showing that the company had achieved industry-standard competencies in aspects such as regulatory licensing, maintenance plans and daily safety checks, loading and fuel usage, driver qualifications and health checks, and operations such as routing schedules and dealing with fines/charges/incidents and insurance claims. By concentrating efforts on achieving this level of competency on a daily basis, the company was better able to maintain standards, giving it the confidence to make further improvements. “FORS is a good incentive to improve our standards and show other companies that we aim to provide a competent safe service,” says Nigel, who looks to the future with confidence. “Our objectives are to achieve Silver Standard, continue to run a successful long standing company, and provide an excellent service to our customer base with a view to ultimately achieve Gold standard.” ensure standards didn’t drop, and furthering the potential for improvement. Nigel Jenkins, who runs the company, says, “Achieving FORS standard gives us access to sites requiring FORS accreditation therefore we can provide an improved service to our customers while attracting new ones. It also ensures our existing customers have confidence in our company to provide an excellent and safe service. In addition, it has given us some financial reward which is being reinvested into the company.” W.J. Jenkins & Sons was established by William Jenkins in the early 1900s. He started by transporting coal from South Wales, via the canal systems, to Ocker Hill Power Station in Tipton. He then moved into transporting steel from the West Midlands to various locations nationwide. His son, William Joseph Jenkins, continued the business which was eventually passed

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BAR:feature 2 09/01/2014 11:47 Page 44

REMOVALS: BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF REMOVERS

THE BEST BAR M NONE

For more than a century The British Association of Removers (BAR) has been promoting professional excellence in the removals industry. 44

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ost trade associations seek to raise industry standards and represent their members, the British Association of Removers (BAR) being no exception. Where perhaps it differs from other organisations is its level of commercial activity, the aim of which is to benefit members and increase their business. That activity largely developed five years ago due to the economic downturn that saw the housing market drop 55-60% and a significant fall in commercial activity. The response from BAR included a shift in focus. “We turned our website into one aimed specifically at customers,” recalls Director General Stephen Vickers. “We’ve developed satellite websites for specialist groups’ customer bases and become commercially much more aggressive in forming partnerships. We

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BAR:feature 2 09/01/2014 11:47 Page 45

REMOVALS: BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF REMOVERS

ABOVE AND BELOW: As part of their 2012 & 2013 Annual Conferences, BAR incorporated in the programmes a vintage removal vehicle exhibition and procession, where some of our Members showed off their vehicles (a collection of modern day vehicles alongside vintage historic commercial vans dating back to the Victorian era)

online estimating service and search directory for consumers on the association’s website. These measures have trebled visitor numbers to the site and provided substantial commercial benefits to members. Stephen says: “If we’re promoting the association to consumers, we need to make sure members deliver on service promises. So we have a high level of membership criteria and inspect every member.”

BENEFITS AND SERVICES New members must provide full information and undergo an inspection of premises, systems and processes. If accepted, they can join specialist commercial or overseas mover groups provided they meet additional criteria and are subjected to annual inspections to ensure standards are maintained. They’re eligible for all benefits and services including legal and financial help, preferential rates for products and services, assistance with attaining quality standards and removal-specific training that includes award-winning apprenticeships.

With the association’s assistance, members have come through the recession by reorganising and changing. They now face the recovery with reduced resources and the need to satisfy improving demand through a flexible approach until sustained growth gives confidence to resume investment fully. Given the measures put in place by the association, Stephen is confident members are equal to the challenge: “Standards are absolutely paramount because they underpin everything. If we don’t have that quality of members, we can’t do the other things. The code of practice, our criteria and everything around them are critical in driving up customer service, which is what it’s all about.”

The British Association of Removers Tangent House, 62 Exchange Road Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0TG www.bar.co.uk Tel: 01923 699 480

have a powerful industry brand and we’re looking for organisations to promote it to their users.” The specialist groups represent marketplaces in which members operate and each has different standards. Commercial moving group members must attain the BS 8522 standard, those in the overseas group need BS 8564 or an international equivalent and domestic movers are recommended to have BS EN 12522. For overseas and domestic moves where payment is made ahead of the work, there’s an advance payment guarantee where the association will arrange the move or a refund should the member go out of business. Movers are also governed by a code of practice approved by the Trading Standards Institute, with conciliation and arbitration services in case of problems. There’s promotion of BAR member services by organisations such as Rightmove and Zoopla plus an

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REMOVALS: QUICKSILVER MOVING & STORAGE

NEED A

HERO?

From being a family-run enterprise beginning its business life over 30 years ago, Quicksilver has grown to become an innovative, trusted and respected company in its field, by retaining its established values of service and combining them with 21st Century efficiency.

business started in 1978 by students to handle moves for other students has since changed beyond all recognition. Quicksilver Moving & Storage is a family run business where 80% of the work is commercial moves dealing with relocation and storage for blue chip clients. Domestic moves tend to be high end with specialist packing services and part or full loads delivered worldwide. Document management services is an integral part of the business with the capacity to store 250,000 archive boxes plus general storage across four warehouses and two dedicated secure archive stores. Like most in the removals business, Quicksilver experienced difficulties through the recession as large organisations reduced their spending and price became increasingly important in contract awards. However, the way it came through the economic

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REMOVALS: QUICKSILVER MOVING & STORAGE

Investment in technology has improved efficiency and enabled Quicksilver to undertake work it could not otherwise have handled. That’s included the use of RS-SQL from O’Neil Software to electronically track, monitor and manage stored items, enabling the company to genuinely operate as a document management business rather than simply a storage facility.The ability extends to scanning and sending documents through a secure customer web portal, enabling almost instant transmission anywhere. The removals side of the business uses the MoveMan Pro application that includes an appointment diary, quotations, job sheets and invoicing to enable fast and efficient administration of the operation. Efficiency is helped by a general move to Euro 5 engines, mainly Mercedes trucks with specialist bodies that incorporate large rear aperture tail lifts capable of lifting two tonnes and cabs that can accommodate two bunks

or a six-man crew. Regular fleet renewal makes vehicles more fuel-efficient and helps the environment, as does recycling 98% of waste, with wood cleaned and treated before recycling and the re-use of furniture through charitable donations. Investment in marketing has included a ‘Need a Hero’ campaign with the concept that Quicksilver can provide all necessary services and meet expectations. That’s reinforced by the excellent rapport the company has with customers, the emphasis on a personal touch and attention to detail, and the ability to perform at short notice anywhere in the country with no service failures.

Lily Estate, Ponteland Road, Throckley Newcastle Upon Tyne NE15 9EP www.quicksilverthemover.com Tel: 0500 600272

downturn typifies the way the business has developed. Chief among those has been an insistence on retaining high quality standards knowing that excellent service levels lead to repeat business. Although it has cut cost through increased efficiency, Quicksilver has also invested continuously in quality standards. That investment has resulted in the acquisition of ISO 9001 for quality management as well as ISO 14001 for environmental management, BS 8522 for commercial moving, ISO 15489 for records management and BS 5454 for archive storage systems to add to its membership of the specialist Commercial Moving Group of the British Association of Removers. It’s also resulted in a fully trained workforce whose performance is monitored constantly through customer feedback and crew reports that are logged, analysed and used to determine additional training needs.

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wardle:feature 2 11/01/2014 11:19 Page 48

REMOVALS: WARDLE & KEACH ardle & Keach has been in operation for over 120 years, beginning in 1890 as a small family firm. The business has developed over the years, extending its service through acquisition, most recently acquiring Pip Ewart Ltd in 2012 and Proctor Removals and Storage Ltd in 2013. Over the years, the firm has incorporated storage, selfstorage, local and international removals and packing materials/packing services. However, throughout that time Wardle & Keach has remained true to its commitment to provide a completely comprehensive service that offers good value for money. Today the company provides removals and storage for both international and domestic customers, as well as specialist services such as commercial archive storage and removals, fine art and antiques packing and removals, and industrial equipment removal. Full and part packing services are available as well as dismantling and/or disposal services, in addition to project management. Sue Henry, who took control of the company in 1986 alongside Paul Henry, says the company distinguishes itself for a number of reasons but foremost is its ability to be attentive to customer needs. “In common with our fellow members of the British Association of Removers we are highly professional and skilled in the removals trade. What sets us apart however is our customer service. Our staff, from first contact over the phone through to a visit from our

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CUSTOMER

FOCUSED For a specialist removals firm in the Northampton and Kettering area you need look no further than Wardle & Keach International

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wardle:feature 2 11/01/2014 11:19 Page 49

REMOVALS: WARDLE & KEACH skilled estimator, to the removals crew on the day itself, all aim to put the customer first and to remove the stresses of the process in a friendly relaxed manner.” She adds that maintaining such a high standard is reinforced by listening to the customer. “Customer feedback is our key measure. We send out detailed feedback forms to our customers after their removals and a significant proportion return them in a very positive fashion,” she explains. Furthermore, tachographs are extensively analysed in line with legal obligations, with driver reports produced and presented to crews by the operations manager James Henry. Certainly, investing in modern technology has helped improve processes. “Digital tachograph and driver cards have moved operations feedback forward. Satellite navigation systems and digital route planning ensure best use of driving hours for all including busy estimators. And, our back office system, the bespoke removals package Moveman, ensures all paperwork is produced and logged so that customers have complete track-ability. It also provides an excellent storage invoicing system.” It has been a difficult economic period but Wardle & Keach has been able to grow thanks in part to its long-established reputation. “As the housing market collapsed, our excellent reputation enabled us to take the lions share of what was available including some of the larger moves where people were financially insulated from the housing collapse. Our strong commercial background and excellent reputation in commer-

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cial moving also helped us to withstand the tough trading conditions. Our careful steering of the company throughout the previous decades allowed sufficient stability to increase our portfolio in a most cost effective manner during the downturn.” As the company looks to the future it wants to maintain its focus on attentive customer-focused service. “Our objective is to remain an efficiently run and

“OUR STAFF, FROM FIRST CONTACT OVER THE PHONE THROUGH TO A VISIT FROM OUR SKILLED ESTIMATOR, TO THE REMOVALS CREW ON THE DAY ITSELF, ALL AIM TO PUT THE CUSTOMER FIRST” financially stable enterprise. Our flexibility in devising solutions to meet customers’ removals and storage requirements has led us to the position we are in. We are very happy to remain customer focused and customer led in that respect. In the longer term as our business has always grown through acquisition, we will continue to take advantage of business opportunities as and when they arise.”

Wardle & Keach Clifford Hill, Little Houghton Northampton NN7 1AL www.wardleandkeach.co.uk Tel: 0800 998 1051

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PALLET NETWORK: PALLET-TRACK

10 YEARS AND STILL GROWING PALLET-TRACK CELEBRATES A DECADE OF EXPANSION

Titan Distribution Centre, Millfields Road, Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV4 6JH www.pallet-track.co.uk

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pallettrack:feature 2 13/01/2014 16:52 Page 51

PALLET-TRACK

espite recessionary times, the UK’s domestic pallet network is booming. This is in part due to the cost-effective hub and spoke operations across the UK that are reducing fuel costs and ‘empty running’ while at the same time creating a buoyant market for the local haulier shareholder members as well as giving them a national voice and footprint. Pallet-Track a founder member of the Association of Pallet Networks (APN), opened its doors for business on 30th January 2004 and today celebrates a combined group turnover of £80 million, handles an average of 8,000 pallets per night and in less than a decade has delivered a staggering 10 million pallets with an astounding zero lost pallet record unequalled in the freight industry. This is a long way away from the 852 pallets distributed on the first night of trading – but year on year, the company has expanded in terms of turnover and staff development. Even during the height of the recent recession expansion was only stunted to single digit growth, but the company operating out of its 267,000 sq ft Central hub in Millfield Road, Wolverhampton in now back in double digit ascendancy.

D

DEMAND FOR NEXT DAY DELIVERY The current market is buoyed by the increasing customer demand for next day delivery – more than two-thirds of its business is for overnight fulfilment, a market transposition in recent years. “The whole world has changed. We have had to become more competitive and leaner in the new markets where just in time and ‘next day’ delivery is now the norm – the model has shifted to 80% next day,” said managing director Nigel Parkes who started to build Pallet-Track with long-term business partner Carl Jones. “Although the market has changed, which has meant adjusting our business, we have fundamentally maintained our core values and strength as a company and we do things in a socially responsible manner whilst ensuring the profitability of the business – this is core to the DNA of the company,” he said. This trend is driven by a dramatic increase in online purchasing, an austerity-driven value for money culture and demand for greater convenience which all of the pallet networks and 3PLs have had to respond to. A decade on, the Black Country-based company is now a million miles away from its more humble beginnings in Woden Road West in Wednesbury, although rooted to the same ethos of enterprise, innovation and hard work. “It took two long years of ‘hard graft’ before it was up and running, but I now look back with a sense of pride and achievement, although even as we celebrate our first 10 years, there is little time for reflection as there is so much to do.” Now working smarter as well as harder, is the order of the day as technology and innovation bring increasing value to the Pallet-Track network. “The network is a partnership – what Pallet-Track can do for its shareholder members in terms of a value proposition and, in return, what they do for the greater network in terms of collaboration and giving the business the geographic reach to compete nationally,” said Parkes. “I would say that the number of pallet networks is at market capacity, but the levels of investment in those networks will be the new competitive frontiers. From our point of view, this involves continual investment in Pallet-Track and its share-

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holder members, whether it be in IT, new business support or training – this is the way to deliver true innovation and differentiation. We may not be the cheapest solution, but our record over the last decade speaks volume and volumes.” In 2012 Pallet-Track broke through the 9000 pallets in a single evening barrier and it has more recently achieved the industry first of handling 10 million pallets in less than 10 years, without a single loss. In terms of investment in growth, Pallet-Track also acquired a depot in Brighton to service the South-East region. “The bigger you get, the harder it is to maintain the figures, but we are once again back in double-digit growth,” Parkes commented. Since the early days, the company which works with a broad range of manufacturers, producers, retailers, suppliers and stockists – supplying many household names across all sectors including consumer, business and industrial brands, has trebled in size. Pallet-Track and its 70+ shareholder members transport anything from building and construction materials, through to sporting goods, clothing and accessories, a service that has put the Black Country well on the road to recovery. In short, it has helped the UK economy become more cost and fuel efficient during the well-documented economic downturn that this country is just emerging from. At a time of sky-high fuel costs its national hub and spoke operation reduces haulier’s costs and their impact upon the environment by cutting delivery distances and making sure that no trucks run empty on any leg of their journeys. The network currently boasts 75 depots across the country and employs 1,800 staff that are directly involved in Pallet-Track freight operations. Parkes models his business success upon the Cadbury family; the Birmingham based chocolate pioneers whose corporate ethos was as much about social philanthropy towards its workforce as it was about making profits. “To me the business is more than just making money. I always wanted to be a good boss and we have a great track record of 90% retention. It is about making a difference to industry and doing things right and working closely to bring your people on,” he said.

EUROPEAN MARKET Although a national company, Parkes and his management team have one eye on the future of the European market – but this is not an immediate priority. “Other pallet networks do operate in Europe but with limitations as I believe generally across the continent the palletised freight industry is not as sophisticated in terms of the technology and control that we offer here in the UK. I would say they are several years behind us, which is why I am keeping a watching brief and only launching there when I know there is a sustainable model Pallet-Track can work with. We bucked the trend in the UK during the recession and from 2008 to 2009 we grew by 6.4 per cent. I know we could do the same in Europe once the conditions are right for entry into that market,” he said. Pallet-Track is a classic example of continuous, year-on-year UK growth – a booming sector in an economy that has at best flat-lined since the 2008. Enterprise and innovation – empowering staff to achieve more with less – has underpinned this expansion success strategy and kept the wheels on industry running when UK plc appeared to be putting the brakes on.

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palletways:feature 2 09/01/2014 13:14 Page 52

PALLET NETWORK: PALLETWAYS

CONNECTING TO

EUROPE PALLETWAYS IS EUROPE’S LARGEST PROVIDER OF EXPRESS PALLETISED DISTRIBUTION SERVICES. WITH THEIR STRATEGICALLY POSITIONED NETWORK OF DEPOTS AND HUB OPERATIONS, THEY’RE UNRIVALLED IN THEIR ABILITY TO CONNECT YOUR BUSINESS TO THE WHOLE OF EUROPE ith around 25% of the UK market, Palletways is the leading pallet network operator in its twentieth year. The business operates on a hub and spoke structure with some 300 members and up to 30,000 pallets daily being moved across Europe. The success, believes Managing Director Martyn Young, is partly attributed to innovation: “We’re often the first to do something and we are very proactive commercially, continuing to drive volume and investing in the network. We opened a northern hub a year ago and launched a service in Germany when others felt it couldn’t be achieved.” This pursuit of innovation is typified by the comprehensive IT system supporting the operation, the latest addition being the Palletways Archway Scanning System, which automatically captures a high definition image of every pallet arriving at the hub. The system, a £1 million investment that won the Global Freight Innovation Award for New Processes and a BCS UK IT Industry Award, has immense benefits for security and quality assurance. “We move a huge amount of pallets and it gives us visibility on every one,” comments Martyn. “Freight comes through the network more efficiently, with fewer claims and losses.”

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It’s the latest in a long line of developments that include a portal system for members to track consignments at every point as well as accessing service performance and other data. Martyn says: “We invest to help members and give them greater efficiency. There aren’t huge margins in distribution so any advantage through IT certainly has a benefit.” Those benefits have resulted in volumes continuing to grow, necessitating a constant restructuring of

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palletways:feature 2 09/01/2014 13:14 Page 53

PALLET NETWORK: PALLETWAYS

“WHEN WE STARTED THE EUROPEAN SERVICE, ONLY 10-20% OF MEMBERS HAD EVER SENT CONSIGNMENTS TO EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, WHEREAS LAST MONTH THAT FIGURE WAS 95%. SO IT’S A HUGE ADDITION TO THEIR PRODUCT LINES AND THEY HAVE THE CONFIDENCE OF KNOWING THERE ARE THE SAME SERVICE LEVELS AND VISIBILITY ACROSS THE NETWORK.”

areas to correct trunking imbalances and ensure members handle consignments efficiently. That process generates new member opportunities and Palletways takes care to recruit only quality members. “We constantly review and adapt to changes, ensuring new opportunities are profitable and genuine,” explains Martyn. “We check potential members’ financial position, their trading history and reputation to make sure we sign the right people. Through

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our network they can access the European market, plug into our award winning IT systems and receive business support. We expect them to use all those opportunities because they need to evolve and adapt to make it successful.” The success of the Palletways model has transferred increasingly across Europe, with identical models now operating in thirteen countries across the continent, including Italy, Spain, the Benelux countries and Germany plus recent moves into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. All countries have the same rules, terms, codes of practice and type of member which, as Martyn outlines, creates significant benefits for members:

“When we started the European service, only 10-20% of members had ever sent consignments to European countries, whereas last month that figure was 95%. So it’s a huge addition to their product lines and they have the confidence of knowing there are the same service levels and visibility across the network.” Expansion will continue further into Europe, with a particular focus on Eastern Europe. There’s also the challenge of home deliveries and other opportunities, enabling Palletways to maintain its market-leading position. Fradley Distribution Park Wood End Lane Fradley Park Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 8NE www.palletways.com Tel: 01543 418000

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palletline:feature 2 09/01/2014 14:44 Page 54

PALLET NETWORK: PALLETLINE

SETTING THE STANDARDS

Back in 1992, the launch of the Palletline system represented one of the biggest fundamental changes in UK based haulage for decades. Palletline effectively revolutionised the market for palletised freight distribution by creating an innovative and highly efficient hub and spoke based operation.

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allet networks have grown considerably to the point where there may be too many. Palletline was the original one and, although it may not have the biggest volume, it’s generally considered the market leader for service quality. Palletline started when a group of hauliers met at a central point to swap pallets for distribution. That’s evolved to something altogether bigger but, insists Managing Director Kevin Buchanan, the original ethos remains: “The founding principle of hauliers supporting each other to benefit them and customers is fundamentally what we’re about. The model is more sophisticated, very technology driven and we lead in that as we led in establishing the sector. We do things properly in provid-

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PALLET NETWORK: PALLETLINE

ing quality services, being robust, reliable and having a sustainable model to share fairly and equally the income generated.” Members being shareholders is unique to Palletline and means it’s careful about who joins. Prospective members must meet its high standards operationally, financially and culturally, buy shares and sign a members’ agreement. “Being a member of Palletline has to matter and you must be committed,” stresses Kevin. “You have to be a good partner for others because our ethos about collaboration and sustained co-operation enables a much better collective organisation than individually.” Members are continually evaluated by assessing over fifty KPIs to ensure high standards are met. In return for that, Palletline manages the network across four hubs using technology that includes tracking every pallet over nine points from members’ depots to the point of delivery using GPS digital sensor capture. Palletline’s methods have driven growth of 20% over two years and a further 25% this August. That level of expansion requires a constant remodelling of delivery areas because higher volumes often lead to members requiring smaller areas to retain balanced trunking. The outcome is members delivering more pallets over a smaller area with the benefit of less mileage for greater volumes.

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The growth, in Kevin’s view, is solidly based: “People need a robust and reliable solution. Companies are nervous about losing customers so place their distribution solutions with a provider they can rely on. Although we may not be the cheapest, it's recognised there’s reliability and the added value in what we do.” Exisiting added value is constantly increased, with a recently introduced direct exchange facility enabling movement of larger consignments between members rather than via the hubs, reducing costs while retaining full track and trace. Various other actual or planned developments are aimed at supporting members through central purchasing for increased buying power, health and safety, and sales and marketing. A European service is already well established but there are plans to further develop this plus introduce a consolidation product for large organisations and evening deliveries to homes. These seem certain to build on Palletline’s reputation and drive growth higher. “We’re a unique co-operative with industry leading innovation and technology,” remarks Kevin. “We have the most efficient operating model, enabling us to check pallets more than others for the lowest damage and claims ratios in the sector. We are reliable, sustainable and deliver quality, which is what customers want.”

Palletline Plc The Palletline Centre Starley Way Birmingham B37 7HB www.palletline.com +44 (0) 121 7676870

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PALLET NETWORKS: PALL-EX

ith the aim of being the first full Pan-European pallet network, Pall-Ex has appointed a director of strategic development to drive that vision forward. Rapid expansion into Europe has seen the company open Pall-Ex Polska, its fifth continental network and the second in Eastern Europe, where palletised freight is a rapidly emerging industry. Whilst expansion marks exciting times for Pall-Ex, as CEO Hilary Devey explains, it poses challenges: “In Eastern Europe, the palletised freight network concept is underdeveloped and the hub-and-spoke logistics model almost unheard of. Pall-Ex has to not only grow the network but pioneer the concept to a market not fully aware of its benefits. This means Pall-Ex Romania will always grow slower than Pall-Ex France, for example, but the foundations we have built in the country are producing very promising results. We have an exciting future in the region.” The expansion has seen a rise in membership, with nineteen members in the newly-launched Pall-Ex Polska and forty in Pall-Ex France, which started operations in May 2013. Other new members reflect the recovering global economy and demonstrate the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of the business model for small palletised consignments, enabling the organisation to suffer less than most through the recession. New members benefit from that cost-effective structure, helping them develop new business themselves. “Pall-Ex has always been ambitious and we offer logistics firms the opportunity to be part of something big,” recounts Hilary. “We haven’t been quiet about wanting to become the first Pan-European palletised freight network, a fact not lost on haulage firms. We can offer a seamless coverage of palletised logistics from the top of Scotland to the heel of Italy and the Canary Islands. This translates into more business and growth for members, several of whom have been with us for many years.”

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BUILDING ON A SOLID START

WE INTERVIEW HILARY DEVEY ABOUT PALL-EX’S FURTHER EXPANSION INTO EUROPE

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PALLET NETWORKS: PALL-EX

Pall-Ex Pall-Ex House, Victoria Road Ellistown Leicestershire, LE67 1FH www.pallex.co.uk Tel: 0808 1442808

A prime feature of Pall-Ex is its innovative nature, seen in the way it is introducing the hub-and-spoke pallet model across Europe and its bespoke, fully integrated TWINE technology system that alone is responsible for securing contracts worth more than £1 million. Besides being cost-effective, the model has environmental benefits. It is based on moving the maximum amount of freight, using the fewest lorries, covering the least distance. Pall-Ex adds to those benefits through other measures, including the acquisition of thirty forklift trucks powered by compressed natural gas, producing even lower emissions than LPG. Its campaign to persuade drivers to clear up their litter in lay-bys and service areas won a Keep Britain Tidy award and it also has a strict policy to reduce waste. Part of that is its EcoDrive solution within the Retail Plus+ service, where members take away waste packaging for recycling. As Hilary stresses, however, the main goal is unchanged: “Our Pan-European expansion will continue to be high on our priorities. To achieve a fully linked service across the continent is no mean feat but, with such a promising response for our operations so far, I see no reason why we cannot achieve it.”

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mini clipper:feature 2 09/01/2014 15:01 Page 58

PALLET NETWORK: MINICLIPPER LOGISTICS

DELIVERING TRANSPORT SOLUTIONS Miniclipper Logistics is a successful, established logistics company with a fleet of state of the art trucks

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mini clipper:feature 2 09/01/2014 15:01 Page 59

PALLET NETWORK: MINICLIPPER LOGISTICS Miniclipper Logistics Clipper House, Billington Road Leighton Buzzard, Beds LU7 4AJ www.miniclipper.co.uk Tel: 01525 244700

have raised the bar in terms of our efficiency and reputation amongst our peers.” The partnership approach is now firmly established, with membership of two key networks, Palletline and the Hazchem Network, enabling the company to keep clients’ costs to a minimum whilst optimising service. It is also loyal to its suppliers of international and overnight parcel services, having established good relationships with companies that can fulfil its requirement of following clients’ instructions to the letter. That leaves Miniclipper Logistics’ fleet of 35 vehicles to transport large or sensitive loads on a direct basis, handle trunking to and from Palletline and Hazchem hubs and collect and deliver consignments for those networks. The fleet is worked hard, needs to be both diverse and in some cases built to a client’s specification (such as extended internal height for transporting computer equipment) and ranges from artics and triple deck trailers to rigids with tail lifts that are the standard workhorse for pallet collection and delivery.There are also truck mounted forklifts to satisfy requests for mechanical offload where no forklift is available, drastically reducing costs where a hiab would previously have been used. A third of Miniclipper’s revenue is derived from warehousing activities. Resourced with

150,000 square feet of high bay warehouse in Leighton Buzzard (LU7) and a team of thirty pickers dedicated to this operation, it receives containers daily for a full receipt, storage, handling and picking one stop shop service. Many customers have totally outsourced their container receipt and despatching, having realised the economies of scale that can be achieved by such a warehouse. The partnership approach and close working relationship with customers, combined with a constant search for new business, allowed Miniclipper Logistics to grow 10-15% annually through the recession of the past three years. Peter says: “Through constantly striving to control costs for our customers, we prove to them that we have earned their loyalty and client turnover is negligible. As the recovery gathers pace, the company’s volumes are increasing (pallet volumes through the networks increased by 17% in November/ December alone), and with a new field salesperson in place, we are fighting our corner!” “We are looking at some additional professional accreditations, specialist storage business and branching into new delivery markets. We always have an eye for an opportunity and, if one turns up in a different logistics sector, we will seriously consider it. Watch this space!”

oining a pallet network, according to Managing Director Peter Masters, was a revelation that catapulted Miniclipper Logistics into significant growth: “In the pre-network days, we were very insular and wouldn’t trust our freight with other hauliers. With strong links in all geographical areas now forged and the best pallet network, Palletline, in place as our key supplier, there is no logistics conundrum that we can’t solve. It opened our eyes and gave us the ability to grow significantly without adding to the vehicle fleet to the same degree. We can now concentrate on honing operational efficiency in our core area, the Midlands and southeast. The recent legislative and economic challenges of fuel prices, working time directives, tachograph rules and health and safety certifications

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chiltern:feature 2 12/01/2014 11:08 Page 60

BUS AND COACH: CHILTERN TRAVEL

A COMPANY THAT CARES

Chiltern Travel is more that just a transport company. It’s a family run business who genuinely care about their customers and offer a first class service hiltern Travel is just over 30 years old having been established in 1982. It was a family run business dealing mainly in small school runs and coach tours of Britain. The company gradually grew into a busy coach touring company covering Britain, Ireland and Europe. Chiltern also offers a number of ski trips during the winter to top skiing resorts via Interski, Ski Meribel and Ski4Less. Three years ago Chiltern Travel was bought by Enfield Coaches, a large Irish coach touring company. From that day onward Chiltern Travel has expanded rapidly in terms of the amount of coach touring it does and the number of coaches in the fleet. It is now the largest private coach touring company in the area with an impressive fleet of new and relatively new coaches.

C Barford Road, Blunham, Bedfordshire MK44 3NA www.chilterntravel.com Tel: 01767 641400

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“We provide coach touring for several top touring companies such as Trafalgar, Leger Holidays, Shaerings, Just Go and others. We have a fleet of over 25 coaches with four new Man Neoplans just added to our ever expanding fleet. We also have Setras and Plaxtons and are continually upgrading our fleet to a level now where it is one of the best in the area,” explains general manager Derek Lynam. The company employs over 50 staff including office staff, drivers and mechanics who are all directly employed by the company. “All our drivers have many years of experience in the touring industry and their expertise has led to our rapid expansion and return custom year on year.We provide constant driver training on all aspects of legal driving hours and they are also trained in the best ways to drive the coaches to

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BUS AND COACH: CHILTERN TRAVEL

minimise fuel consumption and therefore create less carbon emissions,” remarks Derek. “We have greatly decreased idling which led to a lot of wasted fuel and high emissions. We as a company are very aware of our carbon footprint and do all in our power to minimise our impact on the environment.” To maintain vehicle reliability, Chiltern employs two full-time in-house mechanics who ensure coaches are working to the highest standard and fully compliant to VOSA regulations. “We also employ subcontractors to monitor all electrical and computer issues with the coaches as a lot of our modern coaches are brand new and require dedicated attention to ensure these very complex machines run smoothly. This ensures that we have a very high standard of coaches and the health and safety of our passengers is of paramount importance.” It is an exciting time for Chiltern. “We are experiencing very rapid growth. We have acquired various new contracts, and are delighted to be expanding in the way we are. This year alone we have expanded greatly the number of European ski trips we do. This helps greatly in the overall financial health of the company as out of season times can be lean but with innovation and invention we have sourced new ski contracts and increased our private hire work in the local area and in London. “2014 will prove to be a very busy, challenging and rewarding year for us. This will be the biggest year so far for Chiltern Travel in terms of passengers carried and the newest and largest fleet we have ever had.”

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maynes:feature 2 12/01/2014 09:26 Page 62

BUS AND COACH: MAYNES COACHES aynes Coaches is one of the most distinctive and long-running family-owned coach service providers in the UK. In 2013, its ability to offer a first-rate service and commitment to high standards was again highlighted when it won the UK Coach Operator of the Year (Large Fleet) award for the third time at the UK Coach Rally and Awards. Director Kevin Mayne was understandably delighted. “We have won many awards over the years, but to be named as UK Coach Operator of the Year for a third time, is truly a great honour and one which everyone at Maynes can take great pride in.” Kevin was quick to praise the work of the entire team. “We are immensely proud of our whole team who have all worked hard to deliver consistently high standards since my Great Grandfather Jimmy Mayne started the company in 1947. The fact that these awards are nominated and voted on by our customers makes it feel all the more special.” The outstanding success of the company, operating in a highly competitive market, is founded on providing a high quality and high value service. Maynes is also committed to the continued investment in high quality rolling stock, year on year, to fund business growth, and careful, imaginative management to identify new and growing markets.

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COMFORT ON THE MOVE Formed in 1947, Maynes Coaches success is founded on quality, and value

BUCKIE DEPOT Cluny Garage March Road Industrial Estate Buckie AB56 4BU Tel. 01542 831219 ELGIN DEPOT Maynes Coaches Linkwood Way Elgin IV30 1X5 Tel. 01343 555227 ORKNEY DEPOT Cluny Garage Industrial Estate St Margarets Hope Orkney KW17 2TG Tel. 01856 831333 www.maynes.co.uk

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BUS AND COACH: MAYNES COACHES RAC

The company is also focused on attaining customer satisfaction and quality to ensure repeat business. Investing in the latest Navman technology highlights the company’s commitment to consistent high standards as well as improvement. Maynes recently chose Navman Wireless to be its real time vehicle tracking and telematics partner over the next five years. This partnership will not only benefit the Maynes team, but will see the company gain the option to allow its customers to view the location of vehicles in real time, when on specific journeys. Navman Wireless Fleet Tracking capabilities currently track over 175,000 vehicles and assets owned by over 14,000 different companies all over the world. The wireless technology will make it possible to view a coach’s location in addition to controlling costs such as fuel and operation. Communication directly between the driver and operations team is also possible allowing routing to a specific address, featuring turn-by-turn instructions.There may be detours or delays which the driver may not be aware. Any obstacle, accident or change in weather conditions can be relayed to the driver in advance so they can take corrective actions. Maynes vehicles are some of the most distinctive coaches in the UK. The company believes in “Comfort On The Move” and this ethos has seen it develop an enviable reputation. With regular new additions to the fleet and loyal trained drivers who take pride in both their work and their vehicles, the company will undoubtedly continue to prosper and has every reason to look forward to the future.

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company:feature 2 14/01/2014 15:47 Page 64

BUS AND COACHES: COMPANY COACHES

MODERN, FRIENDLY AND RELIABLE Company Coaches operate a modern fleet of standard and executive coaches, which include wheelchair accessible options

ompany Coaches, which was originally established by Nigel Walton, and Tim and Jonathan Slatter, has continued to go from strength to strength. Prior to 1996 the origins of the business can be charted to a large private hire taxi service, which gradually grew to incorporate a minibus fleet. In 1996, its ambitious owners franchised the taxi services to maintain the customer base and provide room for developing a minibus airport transfer service. Success bred a natural progression into larger minibuses and coaches, concentrating efforts on coach and private hire work as well as partnering alongside other companies. Today, Nigel Walton runs the private hire side of the business. IGC Travel Limited,

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Company Coaches’ sister company, deals with all its holiday bookings. Jonathan Slatter deals with corporate groups, educational tours, both home and abroad, and successfully operates in excess of 250 tours per year. Tim Slatter operates and manages the commercial arm of the workshop maintenance, Affordable Autos Specialist, which service and maintain the company’s fleet as well as commercial fleets for other customers. The mixed fleet of all sizes ranges from 8-seat VW and 16-seat Mercedes minibuses up to 24seat Mercedes minibuses and a 32-seat Mercedes with wheelchair access accommodating up to 10 wheelchairs. Six full-sized coaches (four Mercedes, one Marco Polo, one Scania) accommodating up to 55 passengers are also

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present in the fleet. These have wheelchair access and operate in both the UK and abroad through IGC travel tours. The company’s coach tourism business is ATOL protected and a member of IPP. This year, Company Coaches began to operate its own in-house training school called Slatter Training. Complementing the skills of its own drivers, the school, which is approved by the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training (JAUPT), is also available for external customers, providing industry-recognised certificates of professional competence. Tim Slatter, partner and transport manager, says Company Coaches is proud of its high standards, and through Slatter Training, can enhance the service it provides. “Our drivers are fully

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BUS AND COACHES: COMPANY COACHES

THIS YEAR, COMPANY COACHES BEGAN TO OPERATE ITS OWN IN-HOUSE TRAINING SCHOOL CALLED SLATTER TRAINING Kirkhaw Lane, Ferrybridge, Knottingley, West Yorkshire WF11 8RD www.companycoaches.co.uk Tel: 01977 670422

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BUS AND COACHES: COMPANY COACHES

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company:feature 2 14/01/2014 15:47 Page 67

BUS AND COACHES: COMPANY COACHES uniformed, with good communication skills but through Slatter Training, we can improve quality and skills in other areas such as health and safety, first aid, customer care and advanced driver skills.” Slatter Training is one way the company has looked to improve in recent years but it isn’t the only area of progress. Company Coaches acquired two new 49-seat Mercedes Tourismo coaches from EVO Bus UK.“We intended to purchase just one coach, but after the first acquisition, top sales man from EVO bus Philip Cowdry quickly convinced us to purchase a second coach due to the quality build of the vehicle and his very good sales skills,” says Tim. “Both coaches have two years bumper to bumper warranty which gives our customers peace of mind on our longer European holidays.” Tim acknowledges the economic climate hasn’t made business easy in recent years so the company has looked to develop in line with ever-changing market conditions. “A few years ago we changed our aspect of work from long European holidays and trips to now working for Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University where we are one of three service providers. We have concentrated on building our own holiday package tours, first with the elder generation supported by an annual glossy brochure and webpage, and secondly, by doing tailor made tours for schools and higher educational holidays. “The company has also diversified into garage services, which initially just serviced and maintained our own vehicles, but now has three full time mechanics and one apprentice, servic-

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ing and maintaining commercial vehicles for external clients.” Being a member of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has helped. “We can call upon the CPT for their expertise in all aspects of the coaching trade, parking permits abroad and any information, including technical or legal,” explains Tim. Evidently, Company Coaches has every reason to look forward to the future. Aside from having a very well maintained fleet of coaches, highly skilled drivers, and pride in its customer service, the business is committed to going fur-

ther, offering a flexible service that is tailored to the demands of each client. “Always meeting the customer's needs is something we pride ourselves on. We provide customers with questionnaires on all tours to offer advice on how to keep improving our service. As long as we continue to meet the customer's needs, we shall continue to go from strength to strength.” Tim would like to thank those key partners who have sponsored this article. They are Glasweld UK, Microtech Support, Master Part Truck and Bus, and Northside Truck and Van.

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chalkwell:feature 2 12/01/2014 11:06 Page 68

BUS AND COACH: CHALKWELL COACH HIRE

CONNECTING

PEOPLE AND PLACES riven by the ethos — “connecting people and places” — Chalkwell is a well established family business, providing commercial bus routes into London from Sittingbourne, Medway, Maidstone and Kings Hill, as well as private hire services for both national and international travel. Over the last few years it has enjoyed significant growth and now provides 12 departures per day on the commuter services it runs, while its 80-strong fleet of vehicles can accommodate a range of customer requirements whether that be school trips, corporate away days or international excursions. The business was originally set up in 1931 by Harry Eglinton and has remained in the Eglinton family ever since. Andy Bates, operations manager, believes the family values inherent within the business have played a big part in its success. “As a family business everyone pulls together when the need arises,” he says. “Even the senior managers will do school runs, private hires or even the odd bus duty to cover sickness so that the customer is never delayed more than is necessary.”

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Chalkwell Garage & Coach Hire Ltd 195 Chalkwell Road Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 1BJ www.chalkwell.co.uk Tel: 01795 423982

This resonates with the driving staff, he explains. “If I am out driving a bus or coach for instance, then they all know something has gone wrong. But it also helps with morale, as they know I would never ask them to do something I wouldn’t do myself, so it works both ways.” Chalkwell’s 80 vehicles vary in model, manufacturer and specification to cater for a range of services. The bus fleet, for example, comprises Volvo Olympian double-deckers, single deck Dennis Darts, Super Pointer Darts and Optare Solos. Private hire and luxury travel is provided by 70-seat Dennis Javelins which are used on school services, while 49 and 53-seat Scania and Volvo coaches are used on the commuter and private hire service. Chalkwell also has a number of 49-seat executive Scania PB coaches with toilet, video and food facilities which are used on its daybreak and holiday programme. The company has recently acquired a 42-foot B12R Volvo Panther for use on private hires, while it also has mini-coaches seating between 27 and 33 people. Complementing the service is the fact the majority of vehicles are DDA compliant with wheelchair ramps

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chalkwell:feature 2 14/01/2014 10:06 Page 69

BUS AND COACH: CHALKWELL COACH HIRE and destination equipment. The fleet also contains a number of 16-seat Mercedes Sprinter and Renault minibuses with low-floor wheelchair accessibility meaning all passengers, regardless of mobility, can make use of the transport services. Andy acknowledges that the company is committed to safety, high standards of service and travel comfort. “All vehicles are inspected in-line with VOSA/DfT guidelines every four weeks. Additionally we are independently audited by the Freight Transport Association to ensure compliance.We also have a team of in-house vehicle cleaning and valeting staff to ensure that our vehicles, regardless of size, are always presented to the highest standard possible.” Chalkwell has also enhanced the service by providing wi-fi on several vehicles to allow passengers to access the internet while travelling. This is complemented by a text message service being available to notify customers of any delays while the company uses social media to provide updates, news and special offers. Chalkwell’s new website will also provide live updates to services made possible by GPS trackers on all vehicles. CCTV is also present to give passengers further peace of mind and to aid investigation of any incidents on board. Andy says the company’s strongest asset is that is cares about its customers. “Being a family business with a view on the local economy and people, and being aware of the benefits that public services bring to all customers, it allows us to focus more on ensuring that the customer gets reliable and dependable services so that we can follow our long term view of ‘connecting people and places’.

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RFBellis:feature 2 09/01/2014 11:54 Page 70

FLEET REVIEW: R.F. BELLIS HAULAGE LTD

HAULAGE AND DISTRIBUTION SPECIALISTS North Wales based road haulage contractor R.F Bellis Haulage operates rigid body vehicles and articulated tractor/trailer units to handle road haulage and distribution needs across the UK

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FLEET REVIEW: R.F. BELLIS HAULAGE LTD

.F. Bellis Haulage Ltd is a North Wales based road haulage contractor operating both rigid body vehicles and articulated tractor/ trailer units. The company provides a comprehensive service incorporating road haulage and distribution needs across the UK for a multitude of clients. Daily operations include full and part loads as well as time critical consignments. The company was founded by James Bellis’ father in 1969 as a general haulage contractor. This all-encompassing service incorporates the needs of a variety of clients and has continued to this day. With a fleet of nineteen tractor units, plus six rigids, flatbed transits, a group of smaller vehicles as well as curtain sided and flatbed trailers, the company is well positioned to offer a first-rate service for a variety of requirements. James explains that the company prides itself of providing the highest standards year on year. This is exampled by its thirty-plus year relationship with JCB, where R.F. Bellis is a haulage contractor on JCB’s movement of

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vehicle components, such as transmissions, axles and gear boxes, from its Wrexham base. The company also works extensively with Tenax UK, which supplies garden products to Homebase and other independent garden centres. Its association with JCB has been particularly important in this time of economic uncertainty. James says the company is extremely busy with work from the construction equipment manufacturer as its export markets remain strong despite the recession. Another major client of R.F. Bellis is Wockhardt Pharmaceuticals. James says, “They’ve got a factory on the Wrexham industrial site and we do quite a bit of work for them – probably four or five loads a day for them – which is mainly the movement of medical supplies. Wockhardt ship supplies from India in containers into their warehouse at Wrexham. They’re picked and packed and distributed from there.” Certainly, the company distinguishes itself because it continues to provide an extensive service using flatbed trailers. While other companies ignore “flats”, R.F. Bellis continues to embrace

them, forging a niche market for itself and providing a unique service other competitors can’t match. The flatbed trailers have become vital to the company as it maintains relationships with steel manufacturers, for example, where the flat trailer is particularly useful. It has also completed work for Marlin Industries where it moves cable drums which are used for electric cable lines both above and below ground. The flatbed trailers have also come in handy for the movement of straw for the agriculture industry. James highlights a changing industry where British manufacturing has streamlined to such a degree that much of the haulage required in today’s market involves components manufactured overseas. “A few years ago for JCB we used to do a lot of the gears. The castings came from the Midlands, but there’s none of that now, it all comes in mainly from abroad. A lot of our work, although remaining very similar, derives from different parts of the world now,” explains James. Yet, despite an evolving market, and several tough economic periods throughout the last

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FLEET REVIEW: R.F. BELLIS HAULAGE LTD

R.F.Bellis Haulage Limited Unit 4 Clywedog Road South Wrexham Industrial Estate Wrexham LL13 9XS www.rfbellis.co.uk Tel: 01978 664 970

forty years, R.F. Bellis has continued to deliver its service to the high levels of quality customers have come to expect. James says a large part of that success is down to the personal service. He explains that whenever a customer calls they always speak to either himself or transport manager Paul Williams and therefore receive an answer to their query promptly. The service is aided by the company’s use of its own vehicles, which ensures that all work is kept in-house. Operating modern, centrally-owned vehicles, has further benefits. R.F. Bellis has a maintenance crew overseeing performance which reduces problems arising from mechanical failure and also ensures the vehicles are running as efficiently as possible.

Of course, efficiency and fuel economy is crucial in this time of high diesel cost and increased awareness for carbon reduction. The company addresses these issues in a number of ways including in-cab vehicle tracking to optimise routes and monitor deliveries, and providing backloads on certain routes to minimise empty running. ALL FUEL IS MONITORED CLOSELY The company also utilises bunkered fuel at its own depot to help alleviate the pressures placed on pricing, while fuel cards are used when required. However, all fuel is monitored closely, as is routing, and avoiding empty loads to minimise wastage and operate more efficiently is high on the agenda. Crucially, the majority of the company’s drivers are very experienced, many with ten years service with R.F. Bellis, meaning they are well aware of the need to drive economically. In addition, thanks to the company’s CPC training, the drivers are also equipped with the knowledge of how to operate their vehicles in the most environmentally efficient way. Indeed, thanks to the low turnover of staff, R.F Bellis has a good understanding of how its drivers operate vehicles in terms of fuel usage, tire and brake wear, which it monitors to aid continual improvement and maintain high standards. CONSOLIDATION Looking forward, James says the emphasis is on consolidation. Supporting its current customers with the best possible service is key to the company’s growth as it looks to the future. He says, “We’ve got no dynamic plans, we just want to grow organically with the customers we have.” It is a method that has worked for many years. Long may it continue.”

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FLEET REVIEW: R.F. BELLIS HAULAGE LTD

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CARBON EMISSIONS: MARSTONS PLC

THE

PERFECT BLEND

Marston's Beer Company is the brewing division of Marston's PLC, operating the perfect blend of traditional heritage & contemporary breweries eading independent brewing and pub retailing business, Marston’s PLC, recently took delivery of two of the UK’s first Euro 6 Renault trucks. Supplied by Allports Truck Centre, the two Range T 440.26 6x2 TML E6 tractor units are additions to the Marston’s 23-strong primary fleet based in Burton-on-Trent, reflecting growth in the brewery’s off-trade business. The Range Ts, which went on the road in early December, operate 24/7, transporting Marston’s full

L Marston’s PLC, Marston's House, Brewery Road, Wolverhampton WV1 4JT www.marstons.co.uk Tel: 01902 711811

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range of premium cask and bottled ales to its depots and to supermarkets across the UK, pulling one of the company’s five bulk tankers, five double deck trailers or 60 curtainside trailers. As well as Marston’s own unrivalled portfolio of beer brands, the Burton-on-Trent brewery also undertakes contract packaging and distribution for other breweries and the primary fleet carries out consolidated deliveries to supermarkets. For Chris Evans, Head of Group Logistics, Marston’s, productivity and reliability are key criteria for vehicle selection. He says: “Historically we have run Scania and Volvo, but took the decision to purchase a couple of Renault Premiums in 2011, and they have proved a success compared to our other brands, not just in terms of mpg, but crucially, for our round the clock operation, they are reliable on the road with very little downtime. The consistent performance of the Premiums gave us the confidence to make our first Euro 6 purchases the Renault Range Ts.”

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CARBON EMISSIONS: MARSTONS PLC Driver acceptance is an important factor for Marston’s and the Range T trucks are equipped with the latest features to give drivers the highest level of comfort, safety and wellbeing on board. Chris Evans continues: “Positive feedback from our driver who attended the Renault ride and drive event in October 2013, plus the good relationship we have with our local dealer, Allports, also helped our purchase decision.”

EXCITING MOMENT Gino Costa, Managing Director, Renault Trucks UK, says: “This is an exciting moment for Renault Trucks and we are delighted to see some of the UK’s first Range Ts in Marston’s striking livery. Our new Euro 6 trucks are designed to be a profit centre that should never let you down, delivering efficiency, reliability and performance and I am sure that the Range Ts will meet Marston’s highest expectations.” Commenting on the significance of the deal for Allports Group, Managing Director, Mark Sanders says: “We are proud to have supplied the UK’s first Range Ts to such a prestigious fleet as Marston’s. For Allports Group, the new Renault Trucks range offers a really exciting opportunity for us to develop our business with existing and new customers in Staffordshire. We have recently purchased the freehold at our Stoke site in Fenton and are currently making a significant investment in redeveloping the site and facilities to meet growing demand.”

INDEPENDENT Established in 1834, Marston’s PLC is an independent brewing and pub retailing business operating a vertically integrated business model.The company operates around 2,100 pubs and bars situated across Great Britain, comprising of tenanted, leased, franchise and managed pubs. From pubs passionate about cask beers, to family restaurants and town centre venues – Marston’s has all types of establishments set at the heart of thriving local communities. As the UK’s market leading brewer of premium cask and bottled ales, Marston’s has an unrivalled portfolio of beer brands, producing over 60 permanent and guest ales from five regional breweries across the UK.

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Pets at Home :feature 2 15/01/2014 12:28 Page 76

CARBON EMISSIONS: PETS AT HOME

A WHERE

PETS COME FIRST

Pets at Home plan to open a further 150 stores over the next three years. Terry Siddle, Head of distribution, explains how their distributions will deal with the pressure

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plan to open a further 150 stores over the next three years is likely to put additional pressure on the distribution network of Pets at Home. However, it’s part of an ongoing expansion programme to which Head of Distribution Terry Siddle is fully accustomed and there’s a tried and tested system to handle the increasing load. He says: “My job is to get the product from the supplier to the store and to do that we have two distribution centres, one in Stoke and another in Northampton. We have our own in-house dedicated fleet and we use a network of third party hauliers.” Pets at Home started 22 years ago and now has more than 6,000 employees and 363 stores across the UK. It is the UK’s largest pet shop chain, selling a wide variety of pets and all the accessories and food they’re likely to need as well as a range of services.

ALTERED DISTRIBUTION To cover the growing demands of an expanding store network, the distribution operation has had to adapt. That’s included the opening of a second distribution centre in Northampton to add to the existing one in Stoke. It’s also, as Terry recounts, led to an alteration to the way distribution is run: “The last big change was that we took the dedicated operations in Stoke and Northampton in-house. Previously, that was managed by CM Downton and we’ve taken that in-house in the last twelve months.

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Pets at Home :feature 2 09/01/2014 12:10 Page 77

CARBON EMISSIONS: PETS AT HOME “We originally only had one distribution centre in Stoke but the store growth got such that we got the second distribution centre in Northampton, which is now two years old. We also have a procurement office in Hong Kong that does a lot of consolidation of the containers into the distribution centre that is run directly from the factory in the Far East, which has reduced our import bills significantly.” The outcome of that is the company has a fleet of 35 tractor units and about seventy trailers, which are mainly used to deliver to stores that are within two to three hours drive of the two distribution centres. Beyond that, the company carries products to third party bases, from where they’re delivered onwards to the stores. “We pick and load the trailer, then it goes to the out-base, they swap the tractor units and the haulage company’s tractor units takes it on to store,” explains Terry. “We use the Downton outlet in Gloucester for South Wales and the South West, the Downton outbase in Leeds to deliver to the North East and Yorkshire, a Downton out-base in Luton for the South Coast, and we use TP Niven for Scotland. We have a store in Wick for which we use a Highland haulage company, one in Aberystwyth where we use DHL and we have specialist people that go over to the Isle of Wight.” The arrangement results in an efficient distribution operation that’s currently limited to moving products

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CARBON EMISSIONS: PETS AT HOME

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CARBON EMISSIONS: PETS AT HOME

to stores. The main priority when transporting pets is the welfare of the animals and so that’s currently left to the breeders who can provide the specialist conditions they need. However, there is a trial underway with a Scottish breeder where vehicles from the Pets at Home fleet are being used to test the practicability of delivering the animals. Terry says: “We are driven by animal welfare more than any other consideration. For the rest of the products that we handle through our network, we’re more concerned with efficiency generally and, if we can get efficiency by consolidating supplier loads or store deliveries, that’s what we do.” Part of the reason for the trial is to make the most effective use of the fleet. And although the bulk of the work is distributing products out to the stores, the vehicles are

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also employed in other ways to avoid empty running, such as transporting goods form suppliers into the distribution centres. “About half the products are imported so they come in on containers, mainly from the Far East but also from Eastern Europe or America,” remarks Terry. “We also have to balance stock availability between the two distribution centres so we do some interdepot trunking and move back loads around. We will move products in the South East that need to be delivered to the Stoke distribution centre and distribution into the North of England and Scotland. That gives us trunking close to towns as well as store deliveries.” That all helps with fuel efficiency and continues the work of Downton, which had managed the fleet effectively in terms of

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CARBON EMISSIONS: PETS AT HOME driver training and efficiency prior to the main part of the work being brought in-house. The introduction of the second distribution centre significantly helped matters by reducing the number of miles the tractor units cover each year. A typical truck now does the same number of miles in five years as it previously did in three and that, combined with improved utilisation, has enabled the life of these units to be extended from three to five years.

CHANGING SPECIFICATIONS “We are currently running all Renaults but we evaluate several marques when we come to replace the next batch,” comments Terry. “We have also made some changes to the specification of the trailers and we pretty much run a fleet of double deck trailers. We have gone for a curved roof, lightweight body and we normally have trailer mounted forklift trucks rather than tail lifts. We are looking at standardised units of delivery and everything is palletised for delivery into stores where possible because it gives us better load efficiency. Over the last three to four years, we have significantly reduced our kilometres per case delivered by in the region of 20-30%.” Overall efficiency is helped by the use of technology that is currently being upgraded. The company presently uses Pendragon to generate and manage schedules, a warehousing system from JDA Software and is going through the process of replacing the vehicle tracking and management system it inherited from Downton with Microlise to run the transport. Terry says: “The Microlise package gives us all the engine management information we need so we can manage driver performance down to a very fine level.We can even manage our maintenance programme so it will give us data on how the engine

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is performing, what the oil levels are and other details. There’s also GPS-type information for vehicle tracking that gives alerts when arriving at certain points on the route.” That all contributes to the attainment of the company’s environmental targets, with a green car policy promoting low carbon vehicles including hybrids in the car fleet and a Green Paws Plan that targets every part of the business with reducing Pets at Home’s carbon footprint. For the distribution, that focuses mainly on fuel usage by the fleet and electricity use in the distribution centres. “We are quite a big user of electricity with 24/7 lighting,” states Terry.“That usage will be reduced by upgrading and replacing distribution centre lighting plus other things we have done on fuel efficiency.

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CARBON EMISSIONS: PETS AT HOME

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CARBON EMISSIONS: PETS AT HOME

“We have made some significant progress over the last two to three years. For the vehicles, that’s resulted from the improved specification of the tractor units, the designs of the trailers and driver management, which will be helped further by the introduction of Microlise. For the electricity, the big initiatives have been around improved lighting with dimmers, activity sensors and a gradual switch to LED lighting.”

UPGRADING FEATURES Although the Northampton distribution centre is relatively new, it was a speculative build with standard features. Some of these were upgraded when Pets at Home moved in, including the use of LED replacement lighting to give better energy efficiency and longer life for the bulbs. The pressure on the distribution system is unlikely to lessen in the foreseeable future, with a recently announced plan to float the privately owned company on the Stock Exchange and the continuance of the store opening programme that still has several years to run. The latest is an 8,643 square foot store in

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WE ARE CONSTANTLY LOOKING AT THE RANGE AND RESOURCES, AND THEY DETERMINE REQUIRED CHANGES. IT’S REALLY AN ONGOING DRIVE FOR IMPROVED EFFICIENCY.” Hertford where £350,000 has been invested. Terry says: “The expansion drives the volumes in distribution. We are constantly looking at the range and resources, and they determine required changes. It’s really an ongoing drive for improved efficiency.” It is all covered by an overall plan whereby the two distribution centres have some inbuilt capacity to handle the growth plan. The latest centre at Northampton had an estimated five to six years headroom for growth when it opened and still has remaining capacity, with further needs being handled by incremental additions to the storage space and fleet. In essence, each new store, as Terry attests, means a reconfiguring of the routes and schedules: “It’s a process of breaking the schedules and starting again every time one opens, which gets increasingly difficult because the pressure keeps coming on to add a new store without adding any costs.”

Pets at Home Ltd Epsom Ave, Stanley Green Handforth, Cheshire SK9 3RN www.petsathome.com Tel: 0800 3284204

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Looking back at...

BURT MUNRO In our regular column we take a brief look at some of the great pioneers, innovators and technology that has helped shape Britain’s transport system erbert James “Burt” Munro, a New Zealand motorcycle racer, set the under-1,000cc world landspeed record on 26th August 1967. His official recorded speed, on a motorcycle manufactured to travel no faster than 55mph, was 183.5mph. The record has never been beaten. He achieved the feat on a 47-year-old 1920’s Indian Scout motorcycle that he himself modified in his workshop in Invercargill, New Zealand. Despite the odds being against him, and in the face of scepticism from fellow land-speed record makers, Munro first set the record in 1962. He beat it two times to achieve the current world record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah at the tender age of 68 years old. It took Munro many years to develop modifications to the Indian Scout motorcycle, which was built in America, to make it a record breaker. Indeed, it was 18 years after he purchased the

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bike in 1920 that the Indian Scout was ready to ride at excessive speed.That same year he broke the New Zealand speed record for this type of motorcycle and broke it again seven times.

DREAM His dream was to break the world record though. However, to do so he needed a clear, flat mile-long open space with plenty of room to slow down afterwards. That opportunity came with Speed Week in America. On the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, world renowned for many miles of flat, compacted salt – the perfect testing ground for land-speed record-breaking vehicles – Munro took his old Indian Scout motorcycle and began trying to qualify for the big event. His age, and the age of his vehicle, caused many fellow drivers and judges to think Munro was more likely to kill himself than set a speed record. But he proved everyone wrong; first in 1962, then again in 1966, before breaking the record one final time in 1967. His achievement remains immortalised principally because it has never been broken. Indeed, the official record clocked at 183.5mph was beaten by Munro during an unofficial practice run when he managed to get the Indian Scout to exceed 200mph.

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Transport & Logistics Issue 142