Wincanton were the big winners at the 32nd annual Motor Transport Awards last night, taking home Haulier of the Year against some stiff competition in the shape of Elddis Transport and Abbey Logistics – both of which were looking to take the biggest prize in transport for a second and third time respectively.

As is now almost traditional at the MT Awards, DPD took home a handful of prizes; including awards for Innovation; Customer Care and Home Delivery Operator of the Year.

Northern Ireland’s McCulla were Temperature-Controlled Operator of the Year on a sweltering night at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane – hosted by John Bishop and Gabby Logan.

The Volvo FH was voted Fleet Truck of the Year, while the night concluded with retiring Daf Trucks MD Ray Ashworth taking home the Service to Industry Award.

If you missed a minute of the best night in the transport then check out our live blog, and be sure to watch our highlights video from the night.

Award winners in full

  1. Safety in Operation Awards, sponsored by CVL


Winner: Palletline

Also shortlisted: Cemex UK; Expect Distribution; NFT Distribution

Why they won: “The list of safety initiatives Palletline has introduced is impressive. It designed its central hub to ensure safe operation; was the first network to introduce a 750kg weight limit for tail-lift pallet deliveries; introduced a 30-minute daily site safety audit; and prioritised training to improve employee safety.”

  1. Innovation Award, sponsored by Goodyear


Winner: DPD

Also shortlisted: John Lewis Partnership; Road Haulage Association for ExtraClick+; Tiger Trailers

Why they won: “In 2016 DPD launched two major products – Precise and the DPD app. Precise enables online shoppers to select a one-hour delivery slot on the day of their choice, while the DPD app gives customers complete control over their parcel deliveries.”

  1. Fleet Truck of the Year, sponsored by Chevron Lubricants


CM 02.07.15
Volvo FH-based drawbar combination

Winner: Volvo FH

Also shortlisted: Daf XF; Scania R-Series

Why it won: “Volvo is celebrating 50 years in the UK, and what better way to mark its golden anniversary than the FH winning the Fleet Truck of the Year. Our judges said the I-Shift was "the best automatic transmission on the market" while another operator said the FH was quite capable of clocking up one million kilometres.


  1. Temperature Controlled Operator of the Year, sponsored by Enterprise Flex-E-Rent

Temperature Controlled OperatorMcCulla2

Winner: McCulla

Also shortlisted: McBurney Transport; NR Evans

Why they won: “McCulla prides itself on its innovative, comprehensive and flexible service to the frozen and chilled sector, offering services such as product collection, storage and picking to order as well as transport to and from Ireland, the UK and the continent. As well as offering RDC to store supermarket work it also delivers to restaurants and independent retailers in Northern Ireland.”

  1. Low Carbon Award, sponsored by KeyFuels

Waitrose Ultra low carbon trailer Gray Adams 1

Winner: John Lewis Partnership/ Waitrose

Also shortlisted: Arla Foods; Bright House; Fowler-Welch

Why they won: “A genuine investment in reducing C02 across the business. A good collaboration with universities to identify best fuel for fleet, followed by engagement with the National Grid to ensure biomethane supply would be met.”

  1. Training Award, sponsored by Fors


Winner: Samworth Brothers

Also shortlisted: Cemex UK; DPD UK; UK Mail

Why they won: “Samworth Brothers Supply Chain launched its Driver Academy with two aims: to ensure its driver workforce kept performing at a high level; and to tackle the shortage of qualified drivers across the industry with a number of routes into a driving career for new entrants. An 11-strong driver training team is now able to take a car driver successfully through to a category C+E licence, using four dedicated training vehicles.”

  1. Fleet Van Operator of the Year, sponsored by Renault Trucks UK

Winner: We Are Speedy

Also shortlisted: Gnewt Cargo; Sainsbury’s Online

Why they won: “Capably demonstrating a range of initiatives to improve the Speedy Services business as well as high levels of customer service really impressed the judges. Speedy was able to demonstrate regular driver training and increased productivity while maintaining a firm grip on its health and safety obligations and environmental impact.”

  1. Home Delivery Operator of the Year , sponsored by The Cartwright Group


Winner: DPD

Also shortlisted: Hermes; Panther Warehousing

Why they won: “DPD once again impressed judges with its strong business performance and industry-leading innovations. At the heart of DPD’s successes in the past year is its end-customer app Your DPD. The technology allows customers to personalise their delivery experience by changing their preferences in the application.”

  1. Team of the Year, sponsored by Hiab

pall ex

Winner: Pall-ex

Also shortlisted: Bibby Distribution; Hermes; WMB Logistics

Why they won: “Pall-Ex’s submission centred around a new operations team brought together to transform its hub operations and reduce any inefficiencies at the two decades-old business. Comprising day and night operations managers, the team identified areas that could be improved and redesigned Pall-Ex’s Leicestershire hub.”

10.Haulier of the Year, sponsored by Volvo Trucks

Wincanton new vehicle

Winner: Wincanton

Also shortlisted: Abbey Logistics; Elddis Transport

Why they won: “Wincanton, the UK’s largest listed logistics operator with more than 200 locations, 3,500 vehicles and 5,000 drivers, has seen a remarkable turnaround in its performance in recent years. The company has cut net debt from £65m to £40m in the past two years and reduced its pension deficit. It made a pre-tax profit of £65m on a turnover of £1.1bn last year and the share price rose from 148p in March 2016 to 282p in February 2017.”

  1. Operational and Compliance Excellence Award, sponsored by the Freight Transport Association

hermes ryder

Winner: Hermes

Also shortlisted: Cemex UK; John Lewis Partnership

Why they won: “Hermes was praised for its very proactive approach to compliance whilst maintaining a remarkable 95% first time delivery rate, despite seeing parcel volumes grow to a record breaking 260m. The judges were impressed with the company’s ambitions to take part in the DVSA’s earned recognition scheme when it goes live, and said that this demonstrated its confidence in its compliance systems.”

  1. Livery of the Year, sponsored by SDC Trailers

Topps Tiles

Winner: Topps Tiles

Also shortlisted: Bibby Distribution; Brian Yeardley Continental; DPD Local; GBA Services

Why they won: “Topps Tiles has seen rapid business growth in the UK in the last three years, and had to modernise its fleet of 27 vehicles. The business needed something that could advertise the brand both on the road or parked up outside its stores. The livery depicts a person tiling the side of the vehicle, much to the judges’ amusement, on a full colour printed curtain.”

  1. Technical Excellence Award, sponsored by Hankook Tyre UK

Tesco longer semi trailer

Winner: Tesco Distribution

Also shortlisted: Cemex UK; The Cartwright Group

Why they won: “Tesco’s five-strong engineering team manages the specification, acquisition, repair and maintenance and disposal of 6,000 assets across 28 depots servicing 3,000 Tesco stores. The team has had a number of notable successes in 2016, including increasing first time test pass rates to 98%, with average vehicle availability rising to the same impressive 98%.”

14.Fleet Van of the Year, sponsored by Vision Track

Winner: Fiat Ducato

Also shortlisted: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter; Vauxhall Vivaro

Why it won: “Described by the judges as “one of the most flexible manufacturers to deal with”, Fiat and its large Ducato model has been making inroads in to the fleet market thanks to an ever-improving range of vehicles, expanding dealer network and greater dedication to supporting its commercial customers. Highly regarded in Europe as a chassis for motorhomes, the Ducato is now being recognised for its excellent payload capacity and much improved durability.”

  1. Customer Care, sponsored by Isuzu Truck UK

DPD Local Feb 2017

Winner: DPD

Also shortlisted: Expect Distribution; Panther Warehousing; Pladis

Why they won: “Over recent years DPD has increased first time deliveries through a combination of three technology-led customer-driven initiatives. These include the DPD App in which customers can create their own profile, set their delivery preferences and track deliveries. Meanwhile DPD’s Precise product allows customers to choose their own, exact one-hour delivery slot on the day of their choosing. With DPD Pickup, customers can choose, at the point of sale, to have their order delivered to the nearest DPD pick-up point. Since 2008, DPD’s calling card rate for failed deliveries has dropped from 12% to 2.8% and since 2011 it has captured 59% of all new revenue available in its market.”

  1. Best Use of Technology, sponsored by Bridgestone

Winner: Driver Exchange / Saint Gobain

Also shortlisted: McGee Group; Travis Perkins

Why they won: “Supporting over 1,100 branches across the UK is a real challenge for Saint Gobain, and it wanted to fix the problems such an operation can bring. Because Saint Gobain lacked a national view of agency driver requirements, it was wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds paying for expensive ad hoc drivers at one site, while another would have drivers standing idle. Saint Gobain selected Driver Exchange’s vendor management software to fix driver resource problems and deliver significant cost savings. It was rolled out in 2016 in the space of just three months and quickly reduced over-buying of agency drivers by £175,000.”

  1. Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Hireco

Expect Distribution

Winner: Expect Distribution

Also shortlisted: Malcolm Logistics; Palletforce

Why they won: “Bradford-based Expect Distribution is in the 29th year of operation and today employs 220 staff and operates from three sites running more than 90 vehicles. Annual turnover for the year to November 2016 was £22m while pre-tax profit was £785,096, 43% up on the previous year. The operator invested £1.75m in its headquarters last year, expanding its warehousing capacity by 20,000 square feet, typical of a long term approach to building the business that impressed our judges.”

  1. Apprenticeship of the Year, sponsored by Giti Tyre


Winner: Cemex

Also shortlisted: BT Fleet; Royal Mail Fleet

Why they won: “Cemex employs 350 drivers for its fleet of cement tankers and bulk tippers, and with the transport industry facing a shortfall of up to 100,000 drivers, it believes recruiting more driver apprentices is key to filling that void. In 2014 the company created a scheme to recruit and train new young drivers for its specialist construction fleet. It started with an intake of nine, in 2015 this was expanded to 15, and this year the company is recruiting a further 18 apprentices.”

  1. Partnership Award, sponsored by Wincanton


Winner: SP Transport / Meachers /RedFunnel

Also shortlisted: AllTruck and DX Group; Arla and Danone; CemexUK and Continental; DFDS and Magnavale and Palletforce and Screwfix

Whey they won: “Last-mile deliveries to the Isle of Wight are among the most challenging in the country, particularly for a 24/7 service. Steve Porter, the largest independent operator on the island, works with Southampton operator Meachers and ferry operator Red Funnel on the delivery of inbound and outbound freight. Meachers trunks Steve Porter overnight groupage loads from the Isle of Wight to DCs in Northampton and Coventry for onward distribution.”

  1. Service to Industry, sponsored by Ryder

Ray Ashworth. Managing Director DAF Trucks

Winner: Ray Ashworth 

Why he won: “After 48 years in the truck business, Daf Trucks’ MD Ray Ashworth retired in April 2017. He leaves behind a company in exceptionally good health; Daf Trucks topped 30% market share above 6t in 2016, but arguably Ashworth’s greatest legacy is his devotion to improving the industry’s image while promoting its many exciting career opportunities to young people. He sat on the FTA board for five years and today, under Ashworth’s instigation, Daf Trucks is a headline sponsor of the excellent Think Logistics initiative.”