Paper manufacturer Saica has extended CM Downton’s contract for another year without reverting to a tender or benchmarking process.

CM Downton said this latest extension reflects the strength of the partnership between the two firms which began in 2012 when Saica opened its paper mill at Partington in Manchester.

Under the partnership, estimated to be worth £3m a year, Downton handles deliveries of baled recycled paper from sources across the UK into Partington and delivers finished paper reels to Saica’s customers in the UK packaging industry.

The logistics firm provides on-site shunting and management services.

As part of the contract terms Downton has developed high levels of load security by using specially designed trailers, installing non-slip floors, load bearing curtains, load security systems and through driver training.

CM Downton also provides transport services to sister businesses Saica Pack and Saica Natur under a separate contract.

Downton business development head David Hutchings said: “The strong relationship we have built with Saica over the past five years meant on this occasion we were able to extend the contract without the normal benchmarking or tender process.

“We know Saica, its market and its customers and this, together with our wide-ranging paper industry experience, allowed us to implement an efficient and flexible solution to its requirement.”

The latest deal follows a one year extension in April last year when Saica appointed CM Downton to manage distribution for its packaging plant in Thatcham.