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  • Writer's pictureFortec Distribution

West Yorkshire Logistics firm scoops top award

A family run logistics firm in West Yorkshire is celebrating after expanding, thriving during COVID, and becoming one of only 60 UK transport companies in the in the UK to be awarded Transport Association (TA) membership.

Dewsbury-based Brocklehurst Transport, a member of Fortec Distribution Network for more than 13years, was bought by its Managing Director Dave Webster last October and in May the company was awarded TA membership. Last month the company expanded, investing in a temporary building which includes 50m x 20m space for storage and a 18m x 20m open fronted canopy to safely load and unload vehicles against all elements.

Dave Webster, Owner and Managing Director, who joined Brocklehurst Transport at the age of 25, 32 years ago, said: “It’s been an exciting time. The Transport Association is an exclusive membership of family owned hauliers, so being awarded membership felt like a milestone and an illustration of my commitment to creating a company for the future generations of my family.

“The TA is an organisation of like-minded people – we share each other’s facilities, subcontract work to each other and often don’t charge to help out. This is incredibly similar to Fortec Distribution Network which is what I love the most.”

Talking about the future, Dave is committed to nurturing a company for his children, and potentially later, for his grandchildren.

“I know this business inside out,” said Dave, “so when the owners announced they wanted to sell I made the decision to buy the company an investment for my family. My wife is already involved in the business and the plan is that my son will join us in a couple of years. I hope my daughter, who is studying accountancy, will too. I also have two grandchildren, five-year-old Oliver and Lily-Mae who is 10. In 10-15 years, they too may want to join the business.”

COVID posed challenges to Dave and the team. Twelve staff were furloughed, while 17 were retained, full time. Working hard, the team managed to meet 50% of their usual turnover, with only 30% of the staff.

“We even made some profit during lockdown,” said Dave. “The reality was that when the pandemic struck, we were not too affected, we were still busy, working with lots of supermarkets and replenishing stock. When Boris announced the lockdown, once I had gathered my thoughts and stopped crying, we focused on developing a new strategy. I kept 17 vehicles running all the time, which is about 60% of the fleet, and the business stayed open. We kept delivering to our customers, something I am immensely proud of.”

Brocklehurst Transport now have 47 staff, 28 of whom are drivers and Fortec Distribution Network represents around 20% of its turnover.

David said: “I am proud of the relationship I have built up with fellow Fortec members. We are regularly approached by other pallet networks, but I am very loyal to Fortec and sit on the company’s board of voluntary members. Fortec is more than a network. We are a community of transport members, here to support each other and with a personalised approach that is unbeatable.

“The Fortec network enables me to distribute anything. They can handle almost any freight, which means I can reduce my own fleet, become more efficient, and have been able to expand our warehousing.”

Brocklehurst Transport won an award for Operational Excellence at the Fortec Distribution Network annual awards at the start of this year, commended by judges for the company’s steady growth, performance, and compliance.

Stuart White, General Manager Operations at Fortec, presented the award, saying: “This exceptional company consistently scores top marks on everything from POD compliance to delivery performance. Their team are customer focused, service driven and work hard to deliver steady growth.”

Brocklehurst Transport, which has a 4.3-acre site in Dewsbury, offers a huge range of transport services throughout the UK, including general haulage, pallet distribution, storage, warehousing and pick and pack.

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