Interviews

Expansion means better coverage from Rygor

January 17, 2013 Steve Hobson

Like hauliers, truck dealers are consolidating, getting bigger, and widening the range of services they offer. Dealers no longer just sell trucks; they are increasingly taking on the vehicle repair and maintenance as more operators close their fleet engineering departments and rely on dealers for their R&M and other technical support. Rygor Commercials is a good example of this trend. The UK’s largest Mercedes-Benz franchise following its takeover of Mudie-Bond last year, Rygor’s territory now covers much of central southern […]

Interviews

City Link boss confident in turnaround plan

November 26, 2012 Steve Hobson

In November, City Link’s parent Rentokil revealed the express parcels firm had recorded a loss for the first nine months of the year of £24m, albeit £1m less than that posted in the same period of 2011 on revenue up £7m to £225m. Nevertheless Rentokil chief executive  Alan Brown reaffirmed his faith in the management team City Link MD Dave Smith has assembled – largely from former colleagues from Royal Mail – and the latest three year recovery plan that […]

Interviews

APC Overnight relaxed about new hub delay

November 22, 2012 Steve Hobson

With annual volume growing at 15% to 18% in recent years, overnight parcels specialist APC Overnight has outgrown its national hub in Essington, West Midlands. The company is in the process of relocating to a purpose-built 120,000sq ft centre at Kingswood Lakeside just off the M6 Toll road, but due to the wet summer and longer-than-expected ground works the new hub will not be operational before spring next year. But recently appointed APC chief executive Syed Ziaullah is relaxed about […]

Interviews

FedEx Express sets itself tougher green goals

October 31, 2012 Steve Hobson

Global express carrier FedEx Express is well on its way to achieving its goal of increasing the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet by 20% on 2005 levels by 2020. Steve Hobson asks Will Martin, MD of the UK operation, how it is being achieved here. Back in 2008, FedEx Express set itself the goal of reducing fuel consumption of its worldwide ground vehicle fleet by 20% on 2005 levels by 2020. By the end of its 2011 financial year, […]

Interviews

Knights of Old – service is not just a slogan

October 12, 2012 Steve Hobson

Knights of Old (KOO) was founded in 1865 by William Knight with a single horse and cart, and has grown steadily and today runs 169 trucks and 185 trailers. The modern history of the company really starts in 2000, when it moved to its present base on a ten acre site in Kettering, which now includes 120,000sq ft of warehousing. In 2011 the company took another big step forward with the merger with Northampton-based Mainland Group, adding around £10m revenue […]

Interviews

The DSA’s Mark Magee answers questions on Driver CPC

September 17, 2012 Steve Hobson

Mark Magee, the Driving Standards Agency’s acting director for regulation, standards and development, answers MT’s questions on Driver CPC. Many operators and drivers are cynical about the Driver CPC, regarding it as an expensive waste of time. I believe that one reason for this is the perception – right or wrong – that some people are still getting away with delivering low quality, non-compliant training. What enforcement effort is the DSA now applying to Jaupt approved centres to ensure all […]

Awards

2012 Haulier of the Year CM Downton profiled

August 3, 2012 Steve Hobson

The 2012 Haulier of the Year, CM Downton, is a family-run firm based in Moreton Valence, Gloucestershire. Despite MD Andy Downton’s self-deprecatory comments about the family just being simple West Country folk, the company is highly respected for its professionalism and consistent strong performance. In an industry characterised by brutally low margins, where hauliers are often confronted with the unpalatable choice of buying unprofitable business or protecting profit at the expense of turnover, Downton has achieved the remarkable feat of […]

Interviews

Wm Armstrong – keeping it in the family

July 18, 2012 Steve Hobson

Haulier Wm Armstrong, based just on the English side of the Scottish border in Longtown near Carlisle, celebrates its 85th anniversary this year, and the third generation of the family running the business today are working hard to ensure the business is handed on to future generations. The famous green livery – which the firm has used ever since William Armstrong acquired his first Model T in 1927 – has long been associated with livestock wagons, but the foot and […]

Interviews

Widdowson builds on Waitrose success

June 15, 2012 Christopher Walton

In April, Leicester-based Widdowson achieved a significant milestone: it became the first third party selected by Waitrose to be the supermarket chain’s official logistics partner in the Midlands. Waitrose has previously nominated carriers only to assist with distribution in the North and South. The move demonstrates how far the operator has come since it started life as a coal merchant in the early 1900s – it is registered as AM Widdowson, which stands for Ada Mary, the wife of the […]

Interviews

Vosa chief prefers carrot to big stick

June 1, 2012 Steve Hobson

In his introduction to Vosa’s recently published 2012/13 business plan, chief executive Alastair Peoples promises the agency’s focus will be “on balancing ‘regulatory’ enforcement interventions with education initiatives to empower the industry to increasingly manage [its] own compliance”. To the glass half empty contingent, this could sound like an alarming budget-driven reduction in enforcement effort just at a time when wafer thin margins must be tempting some cash-strapped operators to cut maintenance budgets and put pressure on drivers to bend […]