Maidens trucks

Haulage and distribution business Maidens of Telford is set to receive a £1m investment boost from parent company Kinaxia, as it celebrates its 90th anniversary.

The haulage firm, which was established by Arthur John Maiden in 1931, will use the investment to expand its premises into three acres of land behind its headquarters.

The land behind Maidens HQ is earmarked for development to create more vehicle parking space, a canopy and cross-docking area to facilitate further growth of the business, new driver restroom and canteen facilities and new offices.

The £10m-turnover company, which has 90 staff and a fleet of 60 vehicles, was purchased by Kinaxia Logistics in 2017 to strengthen the group’s presence in the Midlands and Wales. It was Kinaxia’s seventh acquisition.

Maidens, which provides general haulage services, including contract distribution and pallet distribution through Palletforce, is based at Donnington Wood, close to the M54. The business moved there in 2010 following a £2m investment in a 3.5-acre site where it has its offices, warehousing, garage and vehicle parking areas.

It is headed by Arthur Maiden, known as AJ, who joined the business in 2000 as a 16-year-old mechanic.

His great-grandfather, a tenant farmer, set up the business when he bought his first truck to work for British Sugar, which in 1927 had built a sugar beet plant in Telford.

John Maiden in 1984

The founder’s son Arthur Joseph took over the business in 1969 and, when he retired in 1987, his son, called Arthur John but known as John, pictured in 1984, took the helm.

By then Maidens had nine trucks and 12 trailers and was heavily reliant on seasonal agricultural products.

John steered it into transporting food, drink and other everyday items to grow the business, with contracts for clients such as Premier Foods, Dairy Crest, Tate & Lyle, Pura Foods and Texas Homecare.

AJ took over in 2019 when his father stood down. He has three daughters and a one-month-old son, who is also called Arthur Joseph.

AJ Maiden said joining Kinaxia offered the best of both worlds for the business, as it could retain its family ethos while enjoying backing from a large corporate.

He added: “We’re extremely proud that Maidens has been in business for 90 years, and we’re thankful to our loyal customers and staff throughout the years who have helped us achieve this.

“We’re also very proud that the Maidens name remains on the side of our vehicles and that we have retained our family values, but we are very much a Kinaxia business now,” he added.

Kinaxia chief executive Simon Hobbs said: “Maidens continues to be a strong business within the Kinaxia group.

“AJ manages and operates the business as if it were still family-owned, with a light supporting touch from the central team and access to further investment should he require it. Our intention is to soon commence a further £1m investment to help AJ and his team to continue growing the Maidens business.

“It reflects well the Kinaxia Logistics business model of retaining all the values that a local, family-owned business can offer with the back-office support, integration and national infrastructure of a top 15 UK logistics company.”