Knowles Transport

Knowles Transport

Knowles Transport turned in a strong performance last year, with significant increases in revenue and profits – and its MD said he remains cautiously optimistic about the future.

The Cambridgeshire haulage and warehousing business reported a 12.7% increase in turnover for the year ending 31 December 2019, to £36.2m.

Pre-tax profit was £2m, a 34% increase on the previous year.

Turnover from its transport work increased by £3.6m to £26.4m and in warehousing by £781,000 to £9.8m.

Speaking to, MD Alex Knowles said the increases were down to new and existing contract wins across its transport and warehouse activities, with one significant groupage contract adding around £2.5m to its top line alone.

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“It was a good year on both fronts,” Knowles said. “A combination of growth in revenue and some efficiency savings.”

The company recently announced it was transitioning into e-commerce and Knowles said it was an area it had been monitoring but recent events had prompted the move: “It’s something we kept our eye on, but it hasn’t been a service we provided until Covid,” he said, echoing his recent comments that the coronavirus had changed people’s shopping habits forever.

The family-owned haulier, now on its third generation, said it had seen “unprecedented demand” from customers for deliveries during the pandemic and Knowles acknowledged it was fortunate to be operating in food and agricultural sectors: “Volumes have remained where we expected them to be,” he said. “However, there’s a note of caution: we are in a recession and obviously a pandemic; it’s still a very competitive market.

“But we are still looking at growth for next year, we are still optimistic, nine months in.

“We are cautiously optimistic.”