AK Worthington’s fledgling international division is rapidly gaining momentum, with turnover expected to rise by 50% in the next 12 months, from about £1.2m to £1.8m.

The Trafford Park, Manchester-based logistics firm entered the international domain two years ago, MD Julian Richards told MT.

Richards said the initial strategy was to create a robust operation by recruiting a core staff of industry professionals, which stands at 10 employees, and spending time in Europe meeting the new business’s logistics partners.

“It was unknown territory for us, and you don’t want to risk your number one customer by taking its pallet to Madrid and it goes wrong,” he said. However, in the past 12 months, AK Worthington has been pushing for growth in its international and freight forwarding arm as it believes it is a good fit with its UK road freight operation.

“This is a natural extension to our UK services and one that is relatively asset-light compared with our UK operations. We are confident that our international growth strategy will produce good results,” said Carl Murray, group commercial director.

AK Worthington Group comprises a road transport operation, which provides more than 60% of the com-pany’s £20m turnover, running a fleet of 65 trucks and 50 trailers. It also operates a £7m turnover warehousing division at its 500,000ft2 World Freight Centre, storing about 60,000 pallets across two sites for customers such as L’Oréal, Westmill, SRG and Swizzels.

Richards said the company is starting to feel the effects of economic recovery across all areas of the business, particularly in the past six months. It has invested £300,000 in its warehousing management systems to streamline the operation as demand increases for services such as picking, packing and seasonal repackaging of stored goods.

The company is a member of Partnerlink and is also a shareholder member of Palletforce.