Container giant Maritime is confident that continuous investment during the recession has positioned the business for strong organic growth now the market is showing signs of recovery.

Speaking to MT following its acquisition of Roadways Container Logistics last month, MD John Williams said while the deal wasn’t about gaining market share – as Maritime was already the largest UK container transport operator before the purchase – it would provide greater economies of scale, flexibility and capability for the business as container volumes pick up.

He said: “The market was hit by a perfect storm in 2009 with the global financial crisis, UK recession and, unique to the container transport industry, a significant oversupply of vessels. We are now starting to see improvements in these areas and hope that by doing all of the groundwork, and with our determination to invest during the hard times over the past five years, we will be able to continue to grow.”

Williams told MT that no further acquisitions were planned in the foreseeable future and that Maritime’s strategy was to focus on integrating Roadways into the business and on “delivering for its customers”.

When asked if he believed further consolidation was likely in the container market, he said: “The market has been slowly consolidating for many years and it broadly reflects what has been happening in many other sectors. It is likely to continue, but it is not an easy marketplace to make a living and success is only for the brave-hearted.”

Felixstowe-based Maritime purchased the entire Roadways business on Friday 8 August for an undisclosed sum from the latter’s parent firm Aegus, including 374 employees, 241 vehicles, sites at Hainault, Felixstowe, Leeds, Manchester, Nursling in Southampton, and the firm’s Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIFT) at Birch Coppice in Tamworth.

Latest financial results for both firms, for the year ended December 2012, show Maritime recorded turnover of £131m and a pre-tax profit of £3.87m, with Roadways reporting turnover of £46.2m and a pre-tax profit of £570,000.

After the acquisition, Maritime will operate more than 1,300 vehicles and own a UK transport and storage network with railports at Tamworth and Tilbury and depots at all major gateways and consumer conurbations.