Container haulier James Kemball saw income rocket from a £1m loss in 2020 to a £42m pre-tax profit in 2021, aided by a major increase in container movements and the expansion of its off-dock storage solutions.

The Felixstowe-based firm has depots across the UK, including at Felixstowe, Southampton and Tilbury ports and operates a fleet of over 300 trucks and 400 trailers.

The company, which employs over 120 staff including more than 70 HGV drivers, specialises in providing container transport to shipping companies and freight forwarders and serves all of the UK’s deep sea container ports, rail terminals and inland hubs.

It also offers full load container storage at its customs bonded sites across the UK which all provide collection and delivery of containers in the UK and across Europe.

In its recently published financial results, the company revealed soaring revenue, up from £18m in the 15 months to 30 June 2020 to £127m in the 18-month period to 31 December 2021. In the same 18-month period the company went from a loss of £1m to a pre-tax profit of £42m.

In its strategic report to the results the company attributed its turnaround to being well prepared and recognised for providing “exceptional and unique solutions” to the challenges arising from the supply chain disruption created by the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.

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The report added: “There has been a major change in cost and revenue in UK transport, this has seen significant increase in revenue and profit.

“There is a national shortage of drivers and equipment, and this has made UK transport extremely difficult and increased the value of established and efficient transport operators.

“There has been significant disruption at all UK and European ports, as well as a major increase of containers arriving into Europe putting pressure on importers to take containers off quay as soon as possible, which has resulted in large quantities of container movements.”

During the period the company increased its off-dock storage facilities with the opening of the Felixstowe Mega Distribution Centre and four other additional sites around the UK, which allowed James Kemball to offer increased full and empty containers storage for shipping lines, large forwarding and retail clients.

The report added: “We are providing container rental, transhipment and value-added service to the shipping industry which has provided a number of new revenue streams. We have taken on dedicate contracts for shipping lines as sole provider of UK-based services.

“Overall the speed the business has been able to adjust to the changing demands created by the pandemic and subsequent global supply chain disruptions and capacity issues has made our services even more attractive to our customers.”

The company was approached for comment and has yet to respond.