Three operators are shortlisted for Temperature Controlled Operator of the Year, sponsored by Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, at the Motor Transport Awards 2018: McBurney Transport Group, Moran Logistics and NFT Distribution. The winner will be revealed on 4 July.

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McBurney Transport Group

In 1965 current MD Norman McBurney OBE set up McBurney Transport with one lorry. Since then it has remained a family-owned and managed business and the McBurney Transport Group has a solid record in providing a first-class service to all its temperature-controlled customers throughout the UK and Ireland.

With three depots in Northern Ireland, one in the Republic, one in Scotland and three in England, the McBurney Transport Group consistently achieves high KPIs exceeding customers’ expectations. Its enviable customer base includes blue-chip names from retail and food manufacture – some of which have been customers for 40 years.

The group prides itself on its value-added services and its ability to expand and adapt with its customers’ requirements and challenges. It has an annual turnover of approximately £100m, 900 staff and a strong capital base, which has secured its position as a leading player in the industry.

The judges praised the group as a “good, commercially strong, business that invests in its people today and tomorrow by developing the next generation”. They were impressed with an entry containing multiple customer testimonials affirming its ability to get the job done well, especially during times of inclement weather, ferry disruption or seasonal peaks. “Clearly from the comments it is a respected partner in a difficult and diverse market,” said one judge.


Moran Logistics

From its headquarters in Castle Donington, Moran Logistics operates 285 tractors and 379 trailers across three UK DCs. Its network of chilled and ambient transport consists of 44ft artic trailers, urban trailers and single deck/double-deck curtain-sided trailers. Over the past seven years, profit and assets have increased year-on-year, which has been achieved through a combination of cold chain management; effective hygiene control and a focus on pushing operational standards even higher.

Moran reviews its fleet assets every two years, as it looks to remain at the leading edge when it comes to energy efficiency, performance and environmental impact. Moran also has a keen focus on the environment and works closely with all business partners to develop more sustainable solutions. It has a target of a 30% reduction in carbon footprint emissions by 2020 and its warehouse waste recycling programme is targeted to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2016. Moran also uses telematics systems to increase fuel efficiency and reduce engine idling. It uses Microlise to monitor and develop its driving team to reduce carbon emissions, reduce fuel use and provide an economical and environmentally viable solution to customers’ commercial requirements. Its Tachomaster systems allow quick analysis and easy-to-read information to curtail infringements and produce a well-managed and legal driving team.

The judges said that Moran displayed strong cold-chain management and hygiene control and was “clearly good at what it does”.

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NFT Distribution

NFT Distribution was acquired by investor EmergeVest in 2014, and in 2016 it acquired Welsh temperature-controlled specialist NR Evans. Since then it has looked to stay ahead of the game with an agile approach and flexible resources.

In 2018 it enhanced its NFX service by rolling out a mobile app across its 400-strong partner network to enable real-time order tracking. At a time when volumes can vary significantly, this ability to meet sudden demand has seen it win significant contracts to distribute fresh meat and produce. Over the past year, NFT has pioneered a national distribution service for food wholesalers, convenience store groups and online retailers. Operating on a day-one-for-day-three basis, this dedicated transport network offers on-time reliability to more than 400 locations. An added benefit is that it gives customers easier access to new markets. Also, with convenience packaging in demand, the NFT team developed a range of reworking options in its warehouse facilities, which gives customers the option to create new, smaller or mixed pack variants so they can support new product launches while capturing consumer demand.

In January 2018, NFT entered an international partnership to distribute pineapples from Costa Rica to all major retailers via its Port of Tilbury facility. Moving the shipping line from Dover to Tilbury cut inbound logistics costs.

The judges said that its long-standing agreement with two major supermarkets “demonstrates the quality that NFT must adhere to exceed customer expectations”. They praised its “good use of technology and collaboration” that allows it to provide a flexible, year-round service that supports its customers’ peaks in business.