MTA 2021 winner Haulier

Volvo Trucks MD Christian Coolsaet (yellow tie) hands over the trophy to Expect Distribution MD Neil Rushworth (holding trophy) and team with host Alexander Armstrong (far left)

This is the second year on the trot Expect Distribution has picked up the Haulier of the Year trophy, the first company to pull off this feat. It becomes only the second company, alongside Abbey Logistics, to win it three times since the awards launched in 1986.

Expect Distribution put in another outstanding financial performance last year and, although the events of 2020 slowed turnover growth, it still saw a 68% improvement in net profit to £3m as margins widened to an enviable 9.15%. Half of this was down to a 5% saving in running costs.

At the start of the pandemic the company says it decided not to change its commercial strategy, although it would need to adapt.

The entry explained: “We had a strong focus on employee well-being, introducing a new and improved employee benefit package. Communication with employees and customers was increased and we had a huge focus on health and safety, with a 25% reduction in accidents versus headcount.”

Expect stuck to its ethos that its people are the key to success. In 2020 it created a management development programme; took on eight apprentices in driving, warehouse, office and finance departments and four Novus student placements from Huddersfield University; and made full use of its Apprenticeship Levy to train long-standing employees.

One of our judges said Expect had “grown significantly as a business and recognised that people are at the heart of everything they do”, while another with a strong entrepreneurial streak said: “This company is fully engaged in all areas of its business. It knows what it is and where it wants to go. Profitability is exceptional and this is a business in which I’d be keen to be an investor.”

“We’re immensely proud to have won this award three times. We’re a family business and this is

the culmination of it”

Neil Rushworth, MD, Expect Distribution