MTA 2022-526

The Mike Watson Transport and Real English Drinks Distillery teams collect their awards from John Marks, client partner at Partners& (third right)


Spirits business Real English Drinks Distillery (REDD) and logistics leader Mike Watson Transport (MWT) boast a shared operation that has allowed symbiotic growth.

As one scaled up, the other adapted to maximise opportunities through sharing data and communicating freely to ensure flexibility and cost savings.

REDD builds gin and vodka brands by producing premium products, both in-house and for third parties. The company has grown steadily thanks to its reputation for excellence and reliability.

Established more than 30 years ago, MWT has strengthened its position in the transport sector since being acquired by Palletline Logistics in September 2016. After a cold call approach in 2019, REDD began working with MWT with just a few pallets per week. The following three years saw dramatic growth for both organisations, with MWT increasing its year-on-year revenue by 193% in 2021.

The two firms say they enjoy an excellent reputation among clients and have worked in tandem to create a unique partnership.

This has not only fuelled MWT’s growth but also increased REDD’s brand presence within the sector.

The judges declared themselves impressed by “amazing increases in revenue and production”, with both parties utilising each other’s expertise to manage storage, transport and pallet handling. “From a very small start this partnership has grown and developed into a mutually beneficial relationship,” one judge said. “There is a clear collaborative approach to solving challenges with trust on both sides. This has enabled both businesses to grow substantially over recent years. It is evident both businesses have shared in the success of the growth in business.”

Another commented: “I enjoyed this submission which was full of information and success. The increases in revenue and production were remarkable. Both parties utilised each other’s expertise to manage storage, transportation and pallet handling.”

“A partnership like this doesn’t come easily – it’s about communication. We’re proud of this accolade and we’re planning to grow further together”

Neil Patterson, chairman, REDD