Elddis Transport’s focus on fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) has helped the family firm weather the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and win new business, MD Nigel Cook told motortransport.co.uk this week.

The company, which is a founder member of the High Cube Network and a Palletforce member, has its headquarters in Consett in County Durham.

It specialises in high cube FMCG, general road haulage and warehousing and employs around 330 staff.

Speaking to motortransport.co.uk, Cook said: “We are fortunate that we are in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market. So although volumes have fallen to an extent with the impact of the pandemic we have managed to keep going reasonably well with some customers’ volumes actually rising – and we have managed to win some new business recently despite the difficulty of selling to potential new customers during the pandemic.”

Cook added that whilst a small number of employees were furloughed and a few trucks stood down during lockdown all staff are now back in work and all trucks back on the road.

He added: “The world is a very different place and we have no knowledge of what the “new normal” will hold but we are continuing to invest so that we will be able to respond to any changes.”

This year Elddis Transport is continuing to upgrade the fleet, taking delivery of 20 new tractor units and 29 new trailers through the year.

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Commenting on the firm’s recently published annual results for the year to 31 December 2019 Cook said the company’s investment last year in a new facility in Gamston in Nottinghamshire had impacted on pre-tax profits in the period.

Pre-tax profits fell to £440,633 (2018:£658,338) in the period, despite a 5% rise in turnover to £28.7m (2018:£27.4m).

The 15-acre facility at Gamston in Nottinghamshire - which includes 60,000sq ft of warehousing - is the firm’s largest ever property investment.

Other costs impacting on last year’s pre-tax profits included the cost of running two depots until the company was able to transfer operations from its Worksop depot to the new facility in Gamston and the cost of its ongoing fleet renewal programme.

Last year the programme saw the addition of 21 trailers, six 18-tonne rigid vehicles and 22 tractor units to the fleet including five Mercedes Benz Mirrorless vehicles.

Elddis Transport is also in the process of selling its site in Durham to a property developer, with the sale expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Cook said: “The site has served us well but unfortunately it has become the wrong site in the wrong place. It is an old building in need of a lot of refurbishment. Once the sale is completed the company may look for another site.

“We want to build the business and we are definitely looking for new opportunities,” he added.