Stobart Group to purchase Autologic

Stobart Group in for Autologic with £12.4m cash offer

June 19, 2012 Christopher Walton

Stobart Group has made its expected formal offer for car-transporter firm Autologic, which values the company at £12.4m. The deal would in effect see Stobart become the largest car-transporter haulier in the UK. Both parties have been in talks since Thursday 24 May and Stobart has made the offer in cash through Stobart Holdings Limited. Autologic is recommending the deal, which is the equivalent of 20p per share, to  its shareholders. Avril Palmer-Baunack, chief executive of Autologic, says: “The combination […]


Lenham Storage turnover up 17.6%

June 15, 2012 Christopher Walton

Kent-based haulage group Lenham Storage saw only a modest increase in its profit last year due to the soaring price of fuel, despite a 17.6% rise in turnover across the group. Combined results for Lenham Storage Company and smaller sister-company Lenham Storage (Southern), which are published separately, show that turnover rose from £24m to £28.2m for the year-ending 31 August 2011. However, pre-tax profit only rose from £562,174 in 2010 to £591,263 (5.2%) in the period. A spokesman for the […]


Wincanton on track to return to profit in the coming year

June 15, 2012 Chris Druce

Wincanton will be back in the black this financial year as the group’s extensive restructuring and disposals programme bears fruit. Wincanton chief executive Eric Born tells MT: “When [we] started this programme we said it would take two years to arrest the decline. We are bang on track. It’s absolutely what I’m expecting.” A year of restructuring and disposals saw it sell its European operations to focus on the UK and Ireland, dispose of its 20% shareholding in Culina Logistics […]


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 […]

MT Awards 2012

Industry confident about prospects for remainder of 2012

June 14, 2012 Chris Druce

Senior figures in the road transport industry are more confident about their businesses’ prospects during the remainder of the year, than they were at the start of 2012. A vox-pop of senior managers and executives at last night’s Motor Transport Awards revealed a sector confident in its abilities to ride out the economic storm. “Yes [we’re optimistic], as people always want to eat and drink no matter how tough it gets, as they want the feel-good factor,” says Mike Reid, […]


MT Awards 2012 winners revealed

June 14, 2012 Steve Hobson

CM Downton walked away with the big prize of the night – the Haulier of the Year trophy – in front of a sell-out audience of 1,500 at last night’s Motor Transport Awards (13 June). Delighted directors of the family firm Andrew, Richard and John Downton, collected the trophy from co-host Sean Lock. The Moreton Valance, Gloucestershire-based firm has achieved the remarkable feat of boosting turnover and doubling operating profit since the credit crunch struck in 2008 – a performance […]


Hoyer profit falls as it warns of “challenging” future

June 13, 2012 Laura Hailstone

Hoyer says 2012, and the medium term future, will be a “challenging period” as the bulk liquid giant reported a 6.8% fall in pre-tax profit to £3.5m for the year ending 31 December 2011 (2010: £3.8m). Turnover for the period also fell, by 3% to £133m (2010: £137.7m) according to results filed at Companies House. In its air gas business, Hoyer saw turnover reduce by some £3m following the loss of the Air Liquide contract at the end of August […]

Industry News

London Lorry Control Scheme route-planner updated for Olympics

June 13, 2012 Chris Druce

The London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS) route planner has been updated to include Olympic and Paralympics road restrictions. The approval service, run by consultancy Pie on behalf of scheme administrators London Councils, allows operators, for a fee, to have a compliant route generated online. Following the update this will now take into account Olympic and Paralympic Route Network restrictions such as temporary banned turns, road closures and changes to direction of flow. Despite opposition from freight operators, the LLCs which […]

Industry News

Focus on performance not cost of agency drivers

June 12, 2012 Steve Hobson

Too many operators are trying to shave the hourly rate they pay for agency drivers rather than using technology such as telematics to improve  the performance of temporary staff, according to fast-growing driver agency Milestone. Milestone director Adam Thompson says: “Too many operators look to save 20p on the hourly rate and don’t care about the driver’s performance. Instead we are using technology to reward our drivers for good behaviour, including green band driving, avoiding accident damage and complying with […]

Industry News

News Extra: Ticking timebomb of driver shortages

June 12, 2012 Chris Druce

The UK’s continuing economic anaemia has forced the road transport industry to cut its cloth in a bid to stay in business. Profits have in many cases come under unsustainable pressure as fuel prices surge, forcing operators to the wall.  The current situation has also served to mask a looming driver shortage, according to Skills for Logistics (SfL). This, the sector skills council warns, presents a very real threat to operators’ ability to bounce back when the eventual upswing comes. […]