Hermes UK delivers over 400 million parcels a year and has experienced double-digit growth for the past seven years.

The company has invested over £100m in the UK since 2016 on projects such as its £30m Rugby super-hub. It is also planning to build an automated parcel distribution centre in Barnsley, due for completion in 2022. The £60m development will be the largest of its kind in Europe and create around 1,300 jobs.

Hermes is now looking at advances in 5G connectivity and believes an explosion of IoT devices over the next decade could provide the opportunity for fine grain tracking information. It has a large network of vehicles, trailers, hubs and depots that could take advantage of greater connectivity.

Sustainability is also a big focus – the company has achieved 10% CO2 savings since 2016 despite huge volume growth and operates 32 electric vans servicing the central London area.

“Excellent growth figures and confidence proven by investment in new hub and facilities,” said one of our judges. “It’s a well-run business with a clear strategy of continuous improvement."

O’Donovan Waste Disposal

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O’Donovan Waste Disposal boasts a turnover of £20m, a fleet of 100 HGVs and a workforce of 185.

Specialising in construction waste, the London-based company prides itself on safe, sustainable and efficient operations with excellent customer service.

Key to the business is education and training. Its ‘Training Plus’ strategy has seen it become an accredited centre offering approved Driver CPC courses.

It has also launched a ‘Safety Above and Beyond’ scheme to drive safer standards and a wellbeing strategy - the ‘Dynamo Welfare Project’.

O’Donovan regularly supplies trucks and drivers for ‘Exchanging Places’, a training session run by the City and Metropolitan Police which enables cyclists to see the road from an HGV cab.

Local schools are also given safety sessions and HGV drivers take part in Safer Urban Driving courses, which sees them out go out on bikes with an instructor.

“A strong family company with a great work ethic,” commented one our judges. “There’s a solid, sustainable growth pattern and a really credible social ethos.”



Palletforce boasts 19 years of profitable business, year-on-year growth and has a network of over 120 members.

Last year it delivered record turnover, profit and network volumes, pioneered AI technology and celebrated multiple staff and community achievements. Total pallet volume was 4.01m, an increase of 10% on the previous year.

Turnover was up 13.8% to £133m and EBITDA up 44% to £7.5m while its strategy of ‘creating capacity and enabling growth’ saw it invest £65m in infrastructure, new members and technology.

As part of EV Cargo, it also launched a new, in-house global freight forwarding service connecting members on a global scale with a focus on emerging economies across Asia.

Trucks in the network operate at over 85% full capacity – more than 10% above the pallet sector average. Last year it welcomed 10 new members.

Delivery performance is at an all-time high of 99.1% despite the record volumes, thanks to innovations like Alliance Sense - which predicts delivery issues before they happen - and Pallet Selfies, which photographs every pallet to reduce damages.

“Impressive volumes and growth pattern,” concluded one of our judges. “Great effort has been put into vehicle turnaround times and productivity.”

Wren Kitchens

Wren Kitchens celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2019 and reported an annual turnover of £643m – a 20% increase on the year before.

The company delivered over 91,000 kitchens using an in-house fleet of 214 commercial vehicles.

Recent highlights include £2.91m in efficiency savings including a 33% reduction in road miles following the launch of a new delivery strategy - ‘TripleTrunking’ - where demountable box bodies are transported on one 18-tonne truck rather than three separate vans.

Wren can also boast a 14% MPG improvement and 3,330kg less CO2 emissions since the introduction of a more efficient Mercedes-Benz truck range. Delivery times have been reduced by up to eight weeks.

Its training courses include the recent launch of a Drivers Apprenticeship Programme and the company has also introduced FlexiPod – a handheld tool providing single lines of communication between drivers and other team members.

“Triple-Trunking has cooked up impressive results for their Green credentials,” one of our judges concluded. “Wren appears to have set the benchmark in the challenging home delivery space."