Mike Thomas UKWA chair

Delamode International Logistics director Mike Thomas has been appointed the new chair of the UK Warehousing Association's (UKWA) management board whilst Gary Whittle, commercial director of Meachers Global, has been named as UKWA's vice chair.

Thomas (pictured), who has been a part of the UKWA membership for over 35 years, joined UKWA’s management board in 2017. A logistics graduate, he brings extensive industry knowledge, having developed warehousing businesses for P&O, Inchcape and Ocean Exel, both in the UK and in Europe.

He is a former partner director at Import Services. Following its expansion Thomas sold his shares to Xpediator Group, transferring to their divisional leadership team at Delamode International Logistics, where he holds the post of client services director.

Thomas said he is "honoured and delighted" to be appointed to the post of UKWA chair, as the association approaches its 80th birthday.

He added: "We are a dynamic organisation with strong growth, representing around 1,000 companies, operating between them over 100 million sqft, across the UK.

"Our highly motivated and professional leadership team is focused on promoting and protecting our membership’s interests, with our widely recognised conditions of contract, commitment to raising industry standards and representing our members’ views to government.

Thomas said he and Gary Whittle, the newly appointed vice chair, were looking forward to supporting UKWA chief executive Clare Bottle and her team in their campaign for the roll out of solar PV on UK warehouse rooftops, as well as on the development of an integrated IT data platform, which he said will "propel continued growth and success of UKWA within our sector and the wider marketplace.”

UKWA vice chair Gary Whittle has worked for nearly 40 years in warehousing and logistics, joining Meachers Logistics in 2000, where he took responsibility for growth through sales and marketing.

In 2010 he was appointed to the Meachers Global board in 2010, expanding his role to overseeing the commercial and operations side of the business.

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Meachers Global has been a member of UKWA for over 30 years and Whittle has been on the UKWA management board since 2015.

Whittle said, "As the new vice chair of UKWA, I welcome the opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the warehousing sector in the UK.

"Skills attraction, retention and development are at the heart of progress, and I am committed to fostering an environment where every individual can thrive and contribute their unique talents to our extraordinary sector.

"Together, we will build a future-proof industry, driven by skilled professionals ready to tackle any challenge, and a workforce equipped with the tools they need to succeed in a rapidly evolving industry."

Commenting on the new appointments, Neil Bowker, outgoing UKWA Chair and commercial director of Bowker Group, saud: "These are exciting times for UKWA. Warehousing is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK, with a higher profile than ever before and widespread recognition of the importance of our role to the UK economy.

"As we look towards the 80th anniversary of the inception of our association, there are major projects planned, along with well-deserved celebrations. I’ve enjoyed my time as UKWA chair and know that the association is in safe hands going forward.

"Mike and Gary have many years of experience between them, and both are actively engaged with UKWA, bringing fresh ideas, energy and passion.

"They will make a great leadership team – I wish them every success and, of course, my continued support as a member of the UKWA management board.”