Issue 08 Spring 2021
T H E A B B E Y L O G I S T I C S M A G A Z I N E
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
ABBEY LOGISTICS GROUP CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY
360 MONTHS 1,565 WEEKS 10,958 DAYS 262,992 HOURS 15,779,520 MINUTES
ISSUE EIGHT CONTENTS
03 Update from Steve Granite
10 Abbey & British Sugar Win Team of The Year at Motor Transport Awards 11 Abbey’s Training Team Win at Talent in Logistics Awards
20 Video Shoot at Our Bag-to- Bulk Facility on the Wirral
04 New Management Structure – A Platform for Growth
21 Abbey Adds 11 Latest Generation DAFs to British Sugar Fleet 22-23 Liam Murray Wins Abbey’s Apprentice of the Year Award
05 Nine New Road Tankers for British Sugar Fleet
12 Think Logistics Wins
Partnership of the Year at Motor Transport Awards
06-07 Abbey Extends Contract with British Sugar
13 Abbey’s Driver of the Year 2020
24-25 Maintenance Expertise
and Facilities Are Key to a First-Class Logistics Service
08 Abbey Invests £600k in New Trucks to Support Long-Term Customer Lhoist UK 09 Abbey Begins Recycled Polymer Logistics Contract with Viridor PLC
14-18 Abbey Logistics Group Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary 19 15 New Dual-Purpose Mercedes Actros for Liquid and Powder Fleets
26 Abbey Supports Local Food Banks with Collections Across Network
27 Extra Mile Winners
Steve Granite, Chief Executive Officer, Abbey Logistics Group
Dear Colleagues, Welcome to the latest edition of the Abbey Logistics Magazine!
U nfortunately, as I write to you, the world is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am delighted that our business has continued to perform above expectations. In the last magazine, I said we were expecting to return to profitability in the year ending July 2021 and we’re doing exactly that! The business is now performing much better both financially and in terms of service to our customers, which is great testament to everyone involved, especially considering this has been achieved during a global pandemic. Most of our customers are in the food sector and no matter
Abbey. Dave was previously the Director of our Bulk Liquid business and in his new role will take full day- to-day responsibility for the strategy, operation and strong performance of the liquids, powders and warehousing divisions. Peter Cunningham has also been promoted, to Head of Liquids to fill Dave’s previous role, and Rory Freek (Manchester Operations Manager) will now take responsibility for both Manchester and Liverpool operations. I hope you will all join me in wishing them well and supporting them in their new roles. This edition of the magazine is full of good-news stories including the renewal of our largest contract, British Sugar. We have also invested in new tankers and tractor units to support this contract and ensure we continue to provide outstanding levels of service.
It was nice to celebrate the renewal of this contract by winning the ‘Team of the Year’ award at this year’s virtual Motor Transport Awards! Finally, 2020 was officially our 30th year in business as Abbey and we’ve included a section in the magazine to remember the history of the business, which I hope new and old colleagues will find of interest! Due to COVID, we couldn’t celebrate properly but our HR team will be launching some initiatives over the next month or so to mark the occasion! Please continue to stay safe, take care and thank you for all your continued effort!
what global challenges we face, everyone still needs to eat and drink!
Steve Granite CEO
As a result of the business being in a solid place both financially and in terms of customer service, as announced in January I have promoted Dave Patten to be Managing Director of
Abbey’s new management structure, announced by our CEO Steve Granite in this magazine, marks a significant milestone. Through the restructuring of new and existing roles within our leadership team, Abbey is now perfectly positioned for continued success in the food, minerals and polymers sectors. NEW MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE – A PLATFORM FOR GROWTH
T hese changes recognise the strengths of individuals and the vital roles they have played over the past three years in bringing Abbey’s performance back to where it needs to be and greatly enhancing our ability to help and support our customers. The knowledge and sector experience we have in our management team is extensive and these changes reflect our commitment to ensuring we have the right people in the right roles to make sure we continue to provide our customers with the support they need. A message from Abbey’s new Managing Director, Dave Patten I am excited to take this new role at this incredible company and it’s a privilege to lead such a well-known and strong brand into the next financial year and beyond. I am fortunate to be surrounded by such a talented team as we look to the next phase of the company’s growth. Prior to joining Abbey, I oversaw logistics and supply chain at one of Abbey’s key customers, an international food products manufacturer. While in that role, I had first-hand experience of the dedication, expertise and commitment the
Abbey team provides to its customers to help support their businesses and the huge positive impact that has. Since joining Abbey, I have seen how that is achieved through such a deep pool of talent in every area of the company, and I can confidently say we really do have a sector-leading, world- class team at Abbey of which we can be very proud. As Managing Director, my day-to-day role will be to take responsibility for the success of the liquids, powders and warehousing divisions, where I will work with our CEO and our commercial and operational teams, building on our achievements to further increase our market share in the sectors in which we operate. My priority is to continue the sustainable and steady growth we have seen over the past 18 months and ensure that as we grow, with customer service as our foundation, we continue to outperform our competitors and reinforce our reputation as a customer-oriented, performance-driven business. Our ability and willingness to solve customers’ challenges and help them be more competitive is in our DNA
Abbey’s new Managing Director Dave Patten
and is a key differentiator, and I know the team we have in place is the right one to continue this philosophy. I look forward to being able to get out and around the business to meet as many of you as possible, once travel restrictions are eased. It has been a tough year for all of us but, despite this, Abbey has performed exceptionally, won new business, and demonstrated to our customers and competitors that we have a great team and a strong business with a very bright future ahead of us.
NINE NEW ROAD TANKERS FOR BRITISH SUGAR FLEET
The new tankers from Feldbinder form part of a long-term fleet replacement and refurbishment scheme, as Abbey Logistics and British Sugar modernise the fleet used to transport bulk home-grown sugar throughout the UK.
R unning more than 90 road tanker trailers and completing over 350 deliveries each week, Abbey’s transport operation on behalf of British Sugar is a major undertaking. To ensure reliability and security of service for British Sugar’s customers, Abbey Logistics has embarked on a substantial fleet upgrade programme that includes replacing a large number of tractor units and road tankers, and a tanker trailer refurbishment programme to completely overhaul older units in the fleet. The new FORS Silver- accredited road tankers feature several improvements relative to the units being replaced, including Feldbinder’s roll stability protection technology that helps maintain the stability of the tanker while on the road. An additional improvement that greatly improves usability for the driver and delivers further operational efficiencies is inbuilt on-board weighing,
which provides important information to the driver when discharging. The new tankers will all run on Goodyear FUELMAX-2 tyres, which improve fuel efficiency through lower rolling resistance and also provide enhanced mileage and traction and reduced noise emissions. Helping our drivers, the new tankers are all fitted with an improved product discharge valve that enables the driver to have much more control over the flow of product, making deliveries safer by giving greater control over the discharge process. Stewart Dickson, British Sugar’s Interim Head of Logistics, said: “Abbey Logistics’ team of fleet engineers have worked closely with British Sugar’s logistics and commercial teams to design road tankers tailored specifically for our business. As a result of this upgrade and refurbishment programme, our
entire Abbey fleet throughout the UK will carry the message of the benefits of home- grown sugar and provide our customers with the security of service they need.” Gary Lawson, Abbey Logistics’ National Fleet Manager, said: “These tanks are the first Abbey has been able to specify having inherited the fleet when we began working with British Sugar. We have looked closely at the good and bad points of the fleet to understand where changes can be made. “By identifying and understanding the weak points we have applied what we have learnt and engineered solutions and improvements to ensure the new tankers provide a reliable, robust and longer operational service life. We have also built as many of these engineering solutions as possible into the refurbishment programme, which is a major step forward in standardising and strengthening the fleet.”
ABBEY EXTENDS CONTRACT WITH BRITISH SUGAR
Abbey has renewed its long-term partnership with British Sugar, by extending its contract to provide bulk sugar transport across Great Britain, with a new multi-year agreement.
A bbey Logistics began in 2016. Since then, the two companies have adopted a ‘one team’ approach with Abbey becoming an extension of British Sugar’s logistics team. Together they have working with British Sugar
successfully delivered several high-profile projects that have focused on customer service, management information, reducing cost per tonne, safety and a significant reduction in empty miles. As a result of this close collaboration, British Sugar has improved its ability to provide sugar to its customers across the UK in a much more reliable, cost-effective and flexible way.
In addition to improved customer service, the
environmental impact of the operation has been reduced through improved and more dynamic real-time planning, significant fleet investment in newer, more efficient vehicles and trailers, and closer collaboration with customers to deliver the optimum service at times to suit them. British Sugar’s unique position of supplying the UK market without the need to import through deep-sea shipping is
more effective for many UK manufacturers, thanks to the shorter lead times and reduced carbon footprint that comes from sourcing raw materials from within the UK. As the sole processor of the UK’s beet sugar crop, British Sugar is the leading producer of sugar for the British and Irish food and beverage markets, processing around eight million tonnes of sugar beet, which produces around 1.4 million tonnes of sugar each year. This amounts to more than 350 bulk tanker deliveries per week for Abbey Logistics to manage, feeding the supply chains of major food and beverage manufacturers.
Mike Ellis, Abbey Logistics’ Business Development Director, said: “Abbey’s contract team, together with British Sugar’s logistics team, have worked shoulder to shoulder over the past four years and delivered every objective we set out to achieve.
“The success of the two teams working together
both ensure British Sugar’s customers can provide a stable and predictable service to their own customers. Stewart Dickson, Logistics Contracts Manager, British Sugar, said: “We knew from previous hauliers that the KPIs we set Abbey Logistics were challenging, but we also knew that by adopting the right approach and working closely with us, they were achievable. “Our business is unique and never predictable and for Abbey to succeed they needed to work alongside us to understand our customer profile and the characteristics of our sector. “It certainly paid off as their delivery on time performance demonstrates, and on top of that we have seen multiple projects and initiatives that ultimately make British Sugar more competitive and able to provide a better service to our customers.”
demonstrates the importance of a collaborative approach to transport operations of this scale and proves how effective working in partnership can be in delivering on objectives and providing the best possible service to customers. “We are delighted to be continuing this partnership with British Sugar and we look forward to many more successes in the future.”
Sugar demand from customers can often be unpredictable, so a flexible transport operation is vital in ensuring their manufacturing processes remain in operation. Abbey Logistics’ ability to provide a transport operation tailored to this market, combined with sugar that is produced in the UK and available quickly,
Abbey Logistics has invested £600k to add seven new trucks to its fleet in support of long-term customer Lhoist UK. ABBEY INVESTS £600K IN NEW TRUCKS TO SUPPORT LONG-TERM CUSTOMER LHOIST UK
L hoist UK is part of the global Lhoist group of companies and the largest producer of lime in the world. The UK business produces lime products at its quarries in Buxton and Kirkby Stephen, which are used for many applications, including cleaning emissions from waste incinerators, drinking- water treatment, and flue gas treatment in refuse-derived and other large combustion plants.
driving modes designed for maximum transport efficiency and minimum emissions. Emissions are also improved with modern aerodynamics that have the added benefit of giving the trucks a distinctive look when out on the road. The vehicles produce up to 20% less nitrogen oxides and fewer particulates than the previous generation of vehicles being replaced in the fleet, helping Lhoist minimise the environmental impact of its supply chain.
The lime is also used in diverse environmental, industrial, construction and agricultural sectors.
Dave Coulson, Abbey Logistics’ Commercial Director, said:
“We are committed to maintaining and building upon the strong relationship we have created with Lhoist over the last seven years. “To support the high levels of service Lhoist expects, it is hugely important that our fleet is as reliable and dependable as possible; our latest investment demonstrates Abbey’s clear intentions to support this important customer with the best equipment available.”
Abbey began working with Lhoist in 2013 and provides road tanker transport services for bulk hydrated lime throughout the UK. This latest investment is part of Abbey’s ongoing commitment to ensure Lhoist’s customers receive the highest standards of flexibility, reliability and service through a well-managed and modern transport fleet. The new FORS Silver- compliant DAF XF vehicles feature powerful multi- torque PACCAR engines and the highly efficient latest generation 16-speed TraXon gearboxes. Drivers are further assisted by dynamic intelligent
ABBEY BEGIN RECYCLED POLYMER LOGISTICS CONTRACT WITH VIRIDOR PLC Abbey Logistics has been awarded a recycled polymer and materials handling contract by Viridor, the UK’s biggest recycling company.
W orking in partnership with more than 150 local authority and major corporate clients across the UK, Viridor has the UK’s largest network of 300+ advanced recycling, energy recovery and landfill diversion facilities. These sites specialise in supporting manufacturers in reducing their reliance on virgin plastic and are some of the most sophisticated plastic recycling and reprocessing plants in the country. Abbey are partnering with Viridor through the logistics company’s bag-to-bulk facility on the Wirral, where Abbey take delivery and provide storage of recycled plastic flakes in one-tonne bags. The flakes are then decanted into bag- in-box shipping containers for onward distribution to Viridor’s customers throughout the UK. Abbey are handling recycled polymers from Viridor’s Polymer Recycling Facility in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, which processes plastic bottles, segregating and processing
the material further to produce deodorised HDPE compounds and clear PET flakes.
reformatting and transport to reduce costs and complexity in their supply chains. “We are delighted Viridor has chosen to partner with Abbey Logistics on this important contract and we look forward to supporting them and their customers throughout the country. “Reformatting from big bags to bulk containers has a significant impact on reducing road miles and provides Viridor’s customers with economies of scale and the ability to receive larger quantities of feedstock that enters their manufacturing processes more quickly and efficiently. “Used plastic is still a valuable resource. Viridor’s focus on recycling this material to use again in the manufacture of new plastic items keeps this resource in the economy and delivers environmental benefits by diverting products away from landfill and reducing the use of virgin plastics.”
The high quality of Viridor’s recycled polymer grades can be directly substituted for virgin material in the manufacturing of many new plastic products and packaging.
This significantly reduces waste to landfill and the
environmental impact of waste processing and manufacturing from virgin plastic. Mike Ellis, Abbey Logistics’ Business Development Director, said: “Since opening in 2018, our bag-to-bulk facility has attracted customers from across the polymers sector thanks to being close to Liverpool Port, our storage capacity and our UK- wide bulk tanker transport network. Customers are using us as a one-stop shop for
ABBEY & BRITISH SUGAR WIN TEAM OF THE YEAR AT MOTOR TRANSPORT AWARDS!
We’re absolutely thrilled to win Team of the Year at this year’s Motor Transport Awards for the team that works alongside our customer British Sugar to manage bulk sugar logistics throughout the UK.
F ormed in 2016, the Abbey Logistics and British Sugar team has developed into a fully integrated, cost- effective and high-performing unit, which practises, shares and promotes teamwork in every aspect of the British Sugar transport contract. The integration of our teams produces initiatives and development on a rolling
transport contract, a large- scale operation that sees 400,000 tonnes of bulk sugar delivered a year and over 300 UK deliveries each week. The joint Abbey Logistics and British Sugar team practises, shares and promotes teamwork in every aspect of the contract. This resulted in 99% on-time delivery in 2018/19, a reduction in transport cost per tonne of 13%, and an 80% reduction in personal injuries. Motor Transport Award judges were impressed with the seamless integration of the joint team from Abbey and British Sugar: “Abbey Logistics is completely embedded into
the team at British Sugar,” said one. “Abbey Logistics and British Sugar are a great example of mutually beneficial and successful open-book collaboration.” We have seen many successes through the Abbey Logistics and British Sugar team and we shall see many more from the plans we have in place for 20/21. The integration of our teams produces initiatives and development on a rolling basis with each side inspiring the other. This strong bond and elimination of bureaucracy mean our two teams can concentrate on their core skills and deliver a service that we are both extremely proud of.
basis, with each side inspiring the other.
This award is a wonderful acknowledgement from such a highly regarded event, and we are delighted to be recognised for the hard work and accomplishments our teams have achieved together. In 2016, Abbey Logistics took over the British Sugar
ABBEY’S TRAINING TEAM WIN AT TALENT IN LOGISTICS AWARDS
Abbey’s Driver Training Team win ‘Training Team of the Year’ at the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020!
O ur driver trainers have built an amazing division designed to support our team of drivers with induction and ongoing, tailored CPC and development training throughout their time with us at Abbey. Abbey’s driver training department has gone from being a functional part of the recruitment process to becoming a data-driven, evidence-based source of continuous improvement across the whole business – bringing costs down, improving driver retention, reducing incidents, creating greater interaction with our customers, and generating better engagement with our driver team. Our driver trainers are the vital link between our driver team and the wider business, offering guidance and support to our drivers in all aspects of their role, and a communication line for drivers on the road to Abbey’s Senior Management Team. LGV training doesn’t stop when
a driver gets their licence. Further training throughout a driver’s career is essential to ensure that the skills learned before they took their test stay up-to-date, and complacency and bad habits don’t creep in. “There are always new ways to develop and improve in any role and the structure we have in place at Abbey encourages our drivers to continuously learn and fine-tune their skills.” – Matthew Parry, Driver Training Manager, Abbey Logistics Group. Our business only operates because of our drivers. Skilled drivers are in short supply and their skill set and abilities are not easy to come by. Keeping them happy, engaged and supportive of the business is crucial to our success, and thanks to the Driver Training Team, we have implemented a number of key measures that go a long way to satisfying those requirements.
We haven’t stopped here either: in the next 12 months we will see even more developments, including a revamped Driver of the Year competition organised by the Driver Training Team, monthly competitions based on Microlise performance, and new CPC courses designed to support our driver team in their specialist roles, including building on the success we have seen in our online CPC training. It is one thing for Abbey to say we are committed to driver training, but unless our driver team see us consistently delivering on this message in everything we say and do, we cannot expect to be taken seriously.
We are happy that we have gone a long way to demonstrating our
commitment through what we have implemented and achieved in the last two years, and we now feel we have firmly established driver training as a core value of the business.
THINK LOGISTICS WINS PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR AT MOTOR TRANSPORT AWARDS
Think Logistics and social mobility charity Career Ready picked up the Partnership Award at our sector’s biggest awards event, the Motor Transport Awards.
T hink Logistics is no ordinary partnership; it is made up of over 40 logistics companies from across the UK, and our award submission was in celebration of all that this extraordinary partnership has achieved since it was started just 7 years ago. Think Logistics is now the UK’s largest talent development initiative in the logistics sector. This would not be possible without the commitment
and dedication of all the companies that donate their time and resources to create opportunities for young people in our amazing sector. Created by Abbey’s CEO Steve Granite after realising logistics was not on most school-leavers’ career radars, Think Logistics has since had a material impact on the way young people think about logistics.
Through the support of our partners providing placements, apprenticeships, internships and workshops, we will build on our success and demonstrate that with the right support and guidance, young people can develop long, interesting and rewarding careers in the logistics sector.
ABBEY’S DRIVER OF THE YEAR 2020
Our winner this year Roger Kretzschmar, a highly talented bulk liquid HGV driver
Last February, Abbey launched its 2020 HGV Driver of the Year competition. The award is designed to celebrate and recognise the skills and abilities of our HGV driver team and show our appreciation for the job they do.
D riving an HGV is challenging, and a career as a driver requires a specific mindset and unique abilities; it’s not your typical 9-to-5 and although most people take trucks on the road for granted, without the drivers the UK’s economy would grind to a halt. Class 1 drivers are the backbone of the supply chain. It would be impossible for the economy to grow or even to function without them. Almost every industry relies on Class 1 drivers at some stage of the supply chain; take a look around you, chances are that each product you see, from the furniture to the clothes you’re wearing to the food you eat, has been moved by an HGV at some point. It goes without saying that our drivers are vital to Abbey’s success and our Driver of the Year competition is intended to recognise the crucial role they play in our company and remind people of the importance of the work they do across all sectors.
A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLAN Drivers have been earning points in a variety of different ways, from driving style to customer feedback. The plan was for the highest-scoring driver from each depot to earn a place in the Grand Final, which was to be held at the stunning Oulton Park motor- racing circuit in Cheshire. Unfortunately, due to current restrictions, the Grand Final was not possible this year and, instead, the winner was decided on the basis of their points earned in the year. THE SCORING SYSTEM Using data recorded by Microlise, our trucks’ in-cab telematics system, we monitor driving style. Points are awarded each month based on Microlise’s own scoring systems. In addition to winning points for driving style, drivers can also pick up points by completing FORS training modules, for CPC course attendance, and for positive feedback from customers. Points are lost for infringements, blameworthy
THE SPONSORS We have been incredibly lucky to have had some very generous suppliers who kindly lent their support to our competition and donated prizes. Prizes were awarded to the top ten drivers and included trophies, £1,000 holiday vouchers, grandstand tickets to Truckfest, Amazon Echos, VIP tickets to a Superbike race of the drivers’ choice, Fitbit watches, goody bags from Mercedes Trucks, and driver jackets from DAF trucks. THE WINNERS Our overall winner this year was Roger Kretzschmar, a highly talented bulk liquid HGV driver from our Erith depot. Roger was presented with his trophy and prizes by Steve Granite at our head office. Second place went to Jerry Buckley, also a bulk liquid driver, who is based at our depot in Hull, and third went to Mark Lambert, one of the drivers working on our contract
with Hovis, transporting bulk flour across the UK.
accidents, fixed penalty notices and absences.
ABBEY LOGISTICS GROUP CELEBRATES 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY -
30 YEARS IN THE MAKING!
From a small road tanker business in Birkenhead, Merseyside to today, one of the largest bulk liquid and powder road tanker companies in the UK, Abbey has celebrated many milestones over the past three decades.
T hanks to Abbey’s unique personality of customer focus, a ‘can-do’ spirit, energy, and our positive attitude that operates throughout the business, we have been able to build fantastic long-term relationships with customers over the years, and have welcomed many new ones along the way, by helping them
in all sorts of ways and has achieved so much in a short space of time, of which we should be incredibly proud. “At our core, Abbey has always been about solving our customers’ most difficult problems. We thrive on challenges because they bring out the very best in us and give us the opportunity to demonstrate just how good we are. We add considerable value to our customers, take away their problems, and make them more competitive in their own markets. This was in our DNA 30 years ago and it is still our key strength and why our customers stay with us and new ones join us. “At this milestone, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of our employees. I have worked for Abbey for more than 25 years
and in that time met some fantastic and exceptionally talented people that have been instrumental in making Abbey what we are today. There’s no doubt we’ve come a long way and there are still many opportunities to think bigger going forward. I am excited about what the future holds for Abbey and I know that thanks to our teams we will continue to build on our successes and achieve even more.” 360 MONTHS 1,565 WEEKS 10,958 DAYS 262,992 HOURS 15,779,520 MINUTES 30 YEARS
overcome challenges and improve the service they provide in their markets.
Steve Granite, Abbey Logistics CEO, said: “Abbey started in a small depot in Birkenhead with 30 employees. Fast-forward thirty years and we have more than 600 employees, Abbey is a leading operator in our chosen markets, we can count well-known global manufacturers as loyal customers and we have a depot network across the UK. Abbey has grown and matured
Here we take a brief look at some of the key moments for Abbey from the past 30 years. 1990
new site gave us more room to park, larger offices, a two-bay food tank cleaning station and vehicle workshops. 1993
The Lucy family (predominantly, brothers Steve, Charlie and Mark) purchased a tanker business employing around 30 people. Our first depot was in Abbey Close,
Thanks to a new contract in Hull, Abbey opened a third depot at Littlefair Road, Hull, next to the port and giving Abbey an important foothold in the region to build from. 2000 A major company reorganisation resulted in the retirement of Charles Lucy Snr and a buyout of brother Charlie and sister Joanne by Steve and Mark Lucy, who became 50/50 shareholders of Abbey with Steve becoming Managing Director and Mark, Operations Director. We closed our Birkenhead depot and moved all operations to Bootle. A new era was upon us as we moved into the 2000s. 2002
The company rebranded and changed its traditional colours to offer a modern image (at the time!) with our now familiar green and white colours. 1994
Birkenhead, hence our original company name
Abbey Road Tanks, and not after the Beatles album as most people assume! The depot had a small yard, office, VMU and a tank wash station. 1991
In response to concerns in the food industry about animal rights protestors contaminating food tanks, Abbey designed the ‘ART2000 Tanker’, which introduced an enclosed back cabinet with a central locking system for the lids. This revolutionised food safety in the liquid transport market and in 1995 was awarded Commercial Motor Trailer of the Year. It was the first of many innovative solutions Abbey would bring to the sector over the years and an early demonstration of our approach to solving customer challenges by looking at new ways of working. 1995 Owners Steve and Mark Lucy visited their old school, All Saints in Kirkby, to recruit two apprentices... The two who joined were Steve Granite (aged 15), now CEO, and Paul Laverick (aged 16), now Head of Abbey’s Powders division.
Abbey Road Tanks purchased one of its first ‘Abbey’ trucks, which was painted in the original colour scheme. Our choice of truck back then was a Scania 112M with 360bhp, not much by today’s standards. It’s great to look back and see some of our early customers are still with us today! These included Lever Brothers (now Unilever), Trafford Edible Oils and Peerless Refinery (both now ADM) and BEOCO (now Cargill). Back then, we were dedicated to transporting bulk liquid products only. 1992 Our expansion started with the purchase of a second depot on Brasenose Road, Bootle. The company was operating around 25 trucks and employed 35 people. Our
Abbey enters the highly specialist liquid chocolate transport market. Stating intentions early on, Abbey builds a three-pot ‘Jumbo tank’ designed to enable the road networking of chocolate and oils/fats/syrup on the same tanker. Dave Coulson, Harry Conroy and Bernie Hollund are appointed alongside Steve and Mark Lucy. These were the first non-family Directors to be
appointed at Abbey. Fleet size at this point was around 120 trucks and 150 employees. 2004 Aged just 25, Steve Granite appointed Finance Director of Abbey after nine years with the business. 2005 Rapid growth in the chocolate market thanks to our fresh approach, customer focus and ability to challenge old ways of doing things expanded our bulk chocolate tanker fleet and saw Abbey quickly establishing itself as one of the leading liquid chocolate transport companies. 2009 Steve Lucy voluntarily steps down as Managing Director and appoints Steve Granite in his place aged just 29. Bernie Hollund (Technical Director) retires after 8 years with Abbey. Abbey drivers trained to NVQ Level 2 as part of the plan to further develop standards across the business, and Abbey achieves accreditation to the ISO14001 environmental standard. Fleet size now 130 trucks and 203 employees with a turnover of £18m. 2010
people at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. This was a huge milestone for the business and firmly established Abbey as one of the leading companies in UK transport. 2011
Abbey enters a trading partnership with Henry Diaper of Knowsley to enable us to offer warehousing. The palletised transport fleet continues to grow with the addition of new contracts, and the award-winning Abbey ‘Twin Cargo Trailer’ is launched for Cargill Manchester. This gave us the ability to transport liquids and palletised goods on the same trailer, helping reduce environmental impact and securing the Liverpool Daily Post ‘Green Business Award’ 2012. Turnover had grown to £28m with a fleet size of 220 trucks and 293 staff. 2013
Abbey enters the bulk powder transport market with the introduction of two powder tanks. This was a leap of faith for Abbey, entering a market that we had very little experience of. A number of our drivers offered their experience of powder tankers to help support this new direction and were instrumental in helping Abbey start up in this area. We changed our name from Abbey Road Tanks to Abbey Logistics Group. All equipment was rebranded with the new, more modern white and green colours and the slogan ‘On the road to a greener future!’ Harry Conroy, former Chairman, retires from Abbey. 2011
Our first major contract win for the powders division was with a leading minerals and lime producer to transport bulk lime-based products from Buxton and Hartley. This meant the purchase of an additional 15 trucks and 20 bulk powder tankers to support the contract. 2013
Further standards-based improvement with the addition of OHSAS 18001 Health & Safety certification. Abbey wins spot hire business to transport bulk liquids to and from Northern Europe, resulting in the company entering European transport for the first time. Abbey awarded the Haulier of the Year at the transport industry ‘Oscars’, the Motor Transport Awards, in front of 1,600
Also in 2011, Abbey acquired RH Stevens Transport of Macclesfield, a well-known name in the bulk powder transport market, giving Abbey the opportunity to enter the market more seriously. Abbey opened a new powder-focused depot on Cledford Lane, Middlewich.
Abbey founded ‘Think Logistics’, which is an award- winning industry-led initiative
to help attract more young people to the logistics industry and offer them opportunities when they leave school. This initiative has since become a well-known brand within the logistics industry, attracting
Excellence’ award, topping off a fantastic achievement for Abbey and its employees. Winning Haulier of the Year for a second time ensured that Abbey was now considered one of the most successful logistics companies in the UK. 2015
sugar distribution for British Sugar throughout the UK. 2017
support from more than 50 logistics companies and reaching up to 3,000 young people per year. 2014
Abbey acquires competitor Armet Logistics, a specialist liquid food bulk tanker company based in Liverpool. The acquisition makes Abbey the largest bulk liquid food road tanker company in the UK. 2017
Following a new warehousing contract award, Abbey opens its warehousing facility in Bromborough on the Wirral.
To give customers more flexibility, Abbey adds
Abbey acquires Seafield Logistics. The acquisition involves 47 trucks and 65
intermodal ISO tank containers to the fleet for the first time, allowing customers more flexibility when transporting products in and out of Europe. 2016
employees being added to the bulk powder division, making Abbey a key player in the powders market. As a result, Abbey sets about building the ‘Safest Powder Tanker’ on the market, which was revolutionary at the time and fitted with more cameras for the driver, ground- level operating equipment and vulnerable road user protection than any other tanker on the road. The tanker pushed other operators and manufacturers to look at what was possible in terms of safety equipment on tankers and the majority of its features are now standard equipment on most bulk powder tankers. Fleet size is now 304 trucks and over 400 people with a turnover of £36m. 2014
In September 2017, we bid a sad farewell to Mark Lucy, one of Abbey’s three founding brothers, who passed away. 2017
Management buyout, led by Steve Granite and supported by North Edge Capital. The buyout enabled the Lucy family to exit the business, realising their well-earned reward, and allowed Abbey to begin an exciting new chapter. 2016
Also in 2017, Professional Liverpool, the organisation which promotes professional excellence in the Liverpool City Region, recognised the Abbey Logistics management buyout, which was supported by NorthEdge Capital, as its Corporate Finance Deal of the Year.
Abbey joins an elite group of just three hauliers in winning the Motor Transport ‘Haulier of the Year’ for a second time. We also won the ‘Business
Also in 2016, Abbey began operations for British Sugar in Abbey’s largest contract to date. Abbey took control of
a third party, and create a new service offering that has gone from strength to strength since launch. We now provide this service to several customers in the polymers sector. 2019
Thank you to our driver teams for helping to keep the UK fed! Coronavirus spreads around the world and the UK is put into lockdown. Our drivers, planners, workshop, tank wash and warehouse teams continue to work on the frontline as normal to ensure vital deliveries of food and pharmaceutical ingredients to maintain our customers’ supply chains and allow manufacturing to continue. 2020
Abbey awarded a regional distribution bulk cement transport contract by Tarmac in Scotland. The contract win is significant because it gives Abbey its first depot in Scotland and a base to grow and develop the business north of the border. 2018
Abbey was awarded the Microlise Driver Excellence Award at Microlise’s 2019 Driver of the Year Awards. The Awards are an annual industry event that recognises the most talented HGV drivers working in the UK transport industry and acknowledges the vital work they do. 2020
Abbey and British Sugar win Team of the Year at the Motor Transport Awards. The Abbey Logistics and British Sugar team has developed into a fully integrated, cost-effective and high-performing unit, which practices, shares and promotes teamwork in every aspect of the British Sugar transport contract. The Award was a wonderful acknowledgement from such a highly regarded event, and we were delighted to be recognised for the hard work and accomplishments our teams have achieved together. Our Driver Training Team
Baking company Hovis awarded Abbey a contract to provide bulk flour distribution to its bakeries in the Midlands and the South. Abbey invested significantly in new equipment to bolster Hovis’ existing fleet. 2018
Abbey was named an accredited Social Mobility
Employer, as part of a nation- wide drive to improve social mobility in the UK. Abbey signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge, which encourages businesses to play their crucial role in boosting social mobility by providing training and employment opportunities to local people from disadvantaged communities. 2020
picked up the Training Team of the Year Award at the annual Talent in Logistics Awards against some tough competition.
That brings us to the current day. Looking back, it doesn’t seem like 30 years. Abbey now employs over 600 people in the UK with revenues of £70m. It is thanks to our dedicated and committed employees that we have been able to achieve all we have during the last three decades, and hopefully
New bag-to-bulk materials handling service launched. Abbey was asked to design and build a reformatting facility to transfer one-tonne bags of plastic granules into bulk tankers. Through this new facility, we were able to eliminate a stage in our customer’s supply chain, reduce mileage and reliance on
this will continue for many years to come .
15 new dual-purpose trucks go into service in Abbey’s bulk liquid and powder tanker fleets. 15 NEW DUAL-PURPOSE MERCEDES ACTROS TRUCKS FOR LIQUID AND POWDER FLEETS
T he new trucks from Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK feature both a hydraulic pump for discharging liquid products and a high-capacity blower for discharging powder products. By having equipment suitable for both classes of products, the trucks will be much more usable in the fleet, further enhancing the flexibility Abbey can provide to its customers. David Patten, Abbey Logistics’
Business Unit Director Liquids, said: “Providing customers flexibility and the ability to call on us at short notice is a core strength at Abbey. “The fact that we can operate these vehicles across both our liquid and powder fleets enhances that strength and enables us to react quickly to changes in customers’ requirements.”
To better explain our bag-to-bulk services, we recently created a short film to demonstrate our bag-to-bulk materials handling service. VIDEO SHOOT AT OUR BAG-TO- BULK FACILITY ON THE WIRRAL
O n a crisp day in early Autumn, we filmed the entire process, from end to end, to show exactly what is involved in this increasingly popular service. Fortunately, the weather was very kind to us and thanks to one of the drones we were using as part of the filming, we were able to show in a single shot just how close we are to Liverpool port,
a major benefit for customers importing bulk product. Our bag-to-bulk service gives customers flexibility and a cost-effective solution for reformatting bulk bags
and reformat most low- hazard free-flowing products under one roof quickly and safely before delivering to the end-user through our nationwide tanker fleet. The bag-to-bulk service gives customers more options in how they distribute their products and a simpler, more efficient supply chain.
of various sizes into bulk road tankers, ISO tanks and silo containers.
On the Wirral, we store products, manage inventory,
To see the video, please visit www.abbeylogisticsgroup.com/our-services/warehousing/bag-to-bulk-handling
ABBEY ADDS 11 LATEST GENERATION DAFS TO BRITISH SUGAR FLEET
Abbey has taken delivery of 11 new latest generation trucks that will go into Abbey’s core British Sugar fleet, providing bulk sugar transport movements throughout the UK and Ireland.
T he new CF trucks from DAF feature latest generation aerodynamics, engines and gearboxes, together with dynamic intelligent driving modes designed for maximum transport efficiency and minimum emissions. The vehicles will produce up to 20% less nitrogen oxides and fewer particulates than previous generation vehicles being replaced in the fleet, as British Sugar maximises the environmental benefits of home-grown sugar. As the sole processor of the UK’s beet sugar crop, British Sugar are the leading producer of sugar for the British and Irish food and beverage markets, processing around eight million tonnes of sugar beet that produces around 1.4 million tonnes of sugar each year. British-grown beet sugar fulfils 50% of the UK’s sugar demand and the industry supports up to 9,500 jobs, with sugar
going into food processing and onto supermarket shelves under the Silver Spoon brand. British Sugar has made significant pledges to achieve environmental and efficiency goals in its 2030 Sustainability commitments, and its supply chains will play a crucial role in achieving these. Stewart Dickson, British Sugar’s Logistics Contracts Manager, said: “We want to reduce the impact on the environment across all our supply chains and transport our home- grown sugar as efficiently as possible. We are delighted that Abbey Logistics understands and shares our commitment
Logistics’ engineers and our own sustainability experts have procured the very best and most appropriate vehicles for our operation, which will help achieve our sustainability goals, support our customers and the long-term competitiveness of home-grown British sugar.” Matthew Parsons, Abbey Logistics’ General Manager for the British Sugar contract, said: “Continued investment in our fleet is essential to ensure all operations under our control are efficient and have the lowest impact on the environment. “This most recent investment will remove less efficient vehicles from the bulk sugar transport fleet and further
to ensuring our transport fleet continues to reduce
reduces the emissions generated from home- grown sugar transport.”
emissions through intelligent management of deliveries and having the latest generation of vehicles in operation. Working side by side, Abbey
LIAM MURRAY WINS ABBEY’S APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Fleet apprentice Liam Murray (right) has been made Abbey Logistics’ annual Apprentice of the Year for 2020.
S ince joining Abbey in 2018, Liam has gone above and beyond what was expected of him. He has quickly become an established member of his team and has already contributed several new initiatives to the business that benefit both his colleagues and our customers.
Apprentices are fully supported during their course, with a nominated mentor and regular appraisals with their Line Manager to ensure they are enjoying their time with Abbey and maximising their on-the- job knowledge and experience
a series of interviews with Abbey, Liam joined us as a fleet apprentice, supporting our busy workshop teams in Liverpool and Middlewich. Liam quickly established himself as a key member of the team, confidently fulfilling his own role while proactively taking on additional responsibility where he could to gain as much knowledge and experience about Abbey and the sectors we support as possible. Feedback from Liam’s colleagues has been fantastic, with many highlighting Liam’s enthusiasm, work ethic, problem-solving abilities and positive attitude. Abbey’s Apprentice of the Year is decided via the manager of each apprentice and their teammates writing a detailed submission for consideration. These are reviewed by Abbey Logistics CEO Steve Granite and Head of HR Marcia Findlay.
while studying towards a nationally recognised qualification.
ABBEY’S LOGISTICS APPRENTICESHIPS
We offer different apprenticeship levels based on an individual’s experience in several areas of the business including finance, transport planning, health & safety, fleet administration and customer service. LIAM’S STORY Liam joined Abbey following a Think Logistics presentation at his school in Liverpool, which introduced him to the opportunities available in the logistics sector. Following
As a business, Abbey is well aware of the benefits young people can bring to the organisation, from fresh ideas to renewed energy. This year, apprentices joined us in fleet, workshop, finance, health and safety, and planning. The Abbey apprenticeship scheme is a structured programme managed centrally through our HR team with additional training delivered by specialised external training providers.
Steve and Marcia evaluate each submission and speak to colleagues of the apprentices to get a true and accurate picture of their performance and contribution to the Group. A winner is then decided on the basis of performance, attitude, achievements and potential development. LIAM SAID: “I have been at Abbey for over two years and my role is Fleet Administrator within the Workshop team. “I have enjoyed my time at Abbey every step of the way and I am now completing my second apprenticeship course after passing my Customer Service Practitioner Level 2 last year. This year I am working towards Team Leader for Transport Manager Level 3. “Leaving sixth form straight into an apprenticeship at Abbey is definitely the best
decision I have made as it has given me the skills and knowledge I need so I can progress within the business. “I am very proud and grateful to win Apprentice of the Year as it’s great to know my hard work has been recognised by my colleagues. I am eager to continue working hard every day and learning more skills and I am excited to see what the future holds.”
bright future ahead of him at Abbey.
“We have a long and established apprenticeship programme, supported through our involvement in Think Logistics which works with schools and colleges to highlight the opportunities available in the logistics sector. “Liam’s success and the success of all of our apprentices further demonstrates the positive impact of a well-managed and structured apprenticeship scheme and how effective it can be in transitioning young people into the world of work, giving them the skills, experience and knowledge needed to start long and rewarding careers.
STEVE GRANITE, ABBEY LOGISTICS CEO, SAID:
“All of our apprentices have demonstrated amazing ability this year; they have contributed significantly to the success of the business and helped support our customers. “Liam is totally committed to his role and helping others in his team. He works very hard and always has a positive attitude towards his work and colleagues. He has a very
“Congratulations Liam, a well-deserved winner of this year’s award.”
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