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Port haulage operator set to expand after taking on container business

PUBLISHED: 14:02 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:28 08 October 2020

John Williams, owner Maritime Transport has expressed delight at buying up the logistics arm of Wincanton  Picture: CRAIG PUSEY

John Williams, owner Maritime Transport has expressed delight at buying up the logistics arm of Wincanton Picture: CRAIG PUSEY

Craig Pusey

A fast-growing logistics firm is poised to snap up the container transport arm of another supply chain giant.

Felixstowe-based transport and logistics company Maritime Transport is buying a Wincanton business  Picture: CRAIG PUSEYFelixstowe-based transport and logistics company Maritime Transport is buying a Wincanton business Picture: CRAIG PUSEY

Felixstowe-based Maritime Transport is set to acquire Wincanton Container Logistics, which also has a base in the port town.

Maritime – a leading transport and logistics operator – said it had agreed terms on the deal after Wincanton – which started out in milk haulage and has its head office in Chippenham in Wiltshire – carried out a strategic review of its business and decided to focus on its core activities.

The move will create a combined business with a road fleet of 2,300 – and a 3,000-strong workforce.

MORE – Port stalwart takes on key role with Port of Felixstowe owners

All employees and assets from the Wincanton business will be transferred to Maritime, which “will continue to work with Wincanton as a strategic partner supporting a number of Wincanton’s customers’ international supply chains”, it said.

Maritime Transport owner John Williams at its headquarters in Felixstowe  Picture: SIMON PARKERMaritime Transport owner John Williams at its headquarters in Felixstowe Picture: SIMON PARKER

John Williams, owner and chairman of Maritime, welcomed the deal.

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“We are delighted to have agreed terms with Wincanton to acquire its container transport business, Wincanton Container Logistics. We welcome the staff and drivers and look forward to building our capability in the container transport sector and relationships with its customers,” he said.

Maritime is described as “one of the largest independent transport and logistics companies in the UK” offering a comprehensive range of services to support international supply chains. These include intermodal services with nine daily trains from container ports such as Felixstowe to five strategic rail terminals, container storage and domestic distribution, as well as container transport. The company is also a major re-seller of used trucks in the UK.

Wincanton Container Logistics was formed in 2008 when Wincanton acquired Hanbury Davies and CEL Group. It provides container transport and ancillary services to shipping lines, freight forwarders and cargo owners, complementing Maritime’s services.

Maritime Transport was launched in 2001, when Mr Williams acquired a company called Maritime Haulage and re-branded it. At that point the £18m turnover business had 136 trucks and five depots. Over the years it added new facets to the business, including distribution and warehousing. In 2014, the company opened a new head office in Felixstowe. By 2018, the now £300m turnover business had 1,600 trucks and 27 depots. Last year, it opened a new five-acre depot next to London Gateway. This year it moved into a dedicated facility to run outbound operations for a “significant” customer in Ipswich.

The company’s staff numbers will increase from 2,700 to more than 3,000 and vehicle numbers will increase from 2,000 to 2,300 as a result of the acquisition, Maritime said.

Its UK sites will also rise from 33 to 37, with the number of trains operating increasing from seven to nine, it said.


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