Abbey Logistics Magazine Spring Edition 2021

Latest news and updates from Abbey Logistics Group.

Issue 09  Autumn 2021





03-04 Update from Steve Granite

12-13 Abbey Acquires Liquid Food Tanker Specialist Welch Hire

21 Depot Refurbishment Begins with Middlewich and Hull

05 Strategic Partnership with Cisternas Amarillo S.L.

14-15 HGV Driving: How Far Do Some of Abbey’s Drivers Travel?

22 Buxton Depot Achieves FORS Accreditation

06-07 Abbey Logistics Extends Collaboration with Viridor on New £250M Avonmouth Facility 08-09 Abbey Grows Bulk Liquid Operations with New Renewable Fuel Contract 10 An Update from Abbey’s MD, Dave Patten 11 Investment Continues with New Truck Order Including DAF’s New Generation XF

16 Abbey Shortlisted or Three Motor Transport Awards

23 It’s All in the Detail!

17 Abbey Recognised for Actions During Pandemic by the BVCA

24-25 Summer Interns Impress with Presentations Back to the Business

18-19 SHEQ Matters

26 Extra Mile Winners

20 First Graduates of Abbey’s Popular Class 2 – 1 Programme Begin Work as Class 1 Drivers

27 Win £500 in Amazon Vouchers in Our New Photo Competition



Steve Granite, Chief Executive Officer, Abbey Logistics Group

Dear Colleagues, Welcome to the latest edition of the Abbey Logistics Magazine!

I t’s been a strange few months since I last wrote in the magazine, as the UK driver shortage has hit the mainstream news and had a major impact on supply chains across the country. Although the UK has always been short of drivers, several factors such as COVID, Brexit & IR35 have worsened that situation. As a business we started to feel the pain in April (compared to general haulage who first felt it in January) and went out with an early pay offer.

We’re glad that a deal was agreed that satisfied the workforce, and our customers were willing to support the major increase because they recognised the importance of drivers to their supply chains.

I’ve done several media interviews to help continue raising the driver shortage in mainstream news as I believe in the short term, it’s painful for the country but in the long term it will lead to better pay and conditions, more recognition/respect for hauliers and their employees, and a more efficient supply chain because it will be better resourced. The problem we have in the short term is that government has not created enough capacity to test new drivers and therefore the recovery will be slow. This is why I believe access to the EU and non-EU driver market in the short term is vital. As a business we’re performing very well on recruitment with over 100 applications being received each week. This is testament to our marketing, training and recruitment teams who’ve done a sterling job. I also want to acknowledge the work of the drivers who are training the new starters: your efforts are hugely appreciated as we bring in an average of 10 new drivers each week.


Our friend and colleague Mark Leonard, 4th from left 

I want to thank all employees for going the extra mile and give a special thank you to the drivers who are working extra hard to cover the shortfall, and to our planning teams who are dealing with the shortage. You have all performed exceptionally well given the wider sector issues.

In the magazine, you will also be pleased to read that we have been successful with some new business in powders, warehouse and liquids.

We’re aiming to increase turnover to £70m this year but the most important thing is to retain our people and customers, with growth second on our list.

We’re due to take delivery of more than 50 new trucks between November ‘21 and February ‘22, which will be distributed across all divisions. This will give the fleet a great image lift and our drivers the best possible equipment with which to do their jobs.

Thank you once again for your continued efforts, this last six months has been tough, but we can see that we’re now getting back to normal levels of driver resource.

Finally, I want to pay respect to Mark Leonard, a long-serving driver from Hull who passed away recently. Mark was a valuable part of the team and someone who I personally had a lot of time for. Mark came on a charity ride with me and other members of the team a few years back when we cycled from Hull to Liverpool. He will be badly missed and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

Best regards,

Steve Granite CEO


Abbey has formed a new partnership with Cisternas Amarillo S.L. (Amarillo), a large bulk powder road tanker company based in Seville, Spain, and part of the full-service logistics company, Pantoja Grupo Logistico. STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH CISTERNAS AMARILLO S.L.

T he partnership is designed to provide continuous movement of customers’ products between the UK and Spain in road tankers, and provide customers with a faster, more reliable and cost- effective transport solution through a well-managed joined-up approach that optimises the reach of the two businesses. The partnership combines Abbey’s and Amarillo’s extensive knowledge and experience in bulk food road tanker transport and maximises their collective fleet capabilities to provide a reliable flow of feedstock ingredients between the two countries.

Utilising multimodal transport links, the road tankers are reloaded for the return journeys, minimising empty miles and employing both companies’vehicles and drivers to ensure products move on a continuous basis.

products and we are delighted to begin working together as we maximise the vast experience our combined businesses have for the benefit of our customers.”

Lars Stendahl, Amarillo’s Operations Director said:

Paul Laverick, Head of Abbey’s Powder Division said:

“Abbey Logistics is well known to us and their reputation for customer service and flexibility, together with their specialist knowledge of the products we carry, made them a natural fit for our operations and customers. “We look forward to expanding our work together and building on the partnership we have formed.”

“This new partnership further demonstrates Abbey’s unique ability to support road tanker companies in Europe thanks to our scale and network capability in the UK. Amarillo is highly regarded for its skills and experience in bulk dry food-grade


Last year, our two firms began working together through Abbey’s bag to bulk facility where Abbey provided reformatting and bulk transport services for recycled polymers from Viridor’s Skelmersdale facility. ABBEY EXTENDS ITS PARTNERSHIP WITH VIRIDOR, ONE OF THE UK’S LEADING RECYCLING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANIES.

S ince then, the partnership has worked together to develop a transport and reformatting solution for Viridor’s new cutting-edge Resource Recovery Centre in Avonmouth, which once fully operational will become the UK’s largest multi-polymer facility.

Viridor’s Avonmouth site plays a key role in the company’s

Viridor’s new Avonmouth Resource Recovery Centre 


decarbonisation strategy, which will see the company reach net zero by 2040. The facility expects to produce c. 60,000 tonnes of recycled polymers per year using locally sourced, recyclable plastic, which will create high-quality recycled polymer granules that can be directly substituted for virgin material in the manufacturing of many new plastic products and packaging. Abbey’s role in the new site is to provide all transport services for the recycled polymers. This includes moving the products in bulk bags for storage and reformatting into road tankers at our warehousing facility on the Wirral, and loading dedicated road tankers at Viridor’s site in Avonmouth for onward delivery to customers throughout the UK and Europe. The volume of products to be transported, stored, and reformatted is a significant

increase on the previous volumes for Viridor and Abbey says it is “a fantastic endorsement for this technically challenging and niche service.” FRESH INVESTMENT To support the new contract, Abbey has invested in several new conveyor and debagging machines at its site on the Wirral to minimise manual handling during the decanting process and greatly reduce processing time. Thanks to the success and rapid growth of our bag to bulk service, we are also looking to increase capacity at the Wirral site with additional warehouse space that could double the amount of stock that can be held for customers.

demonstrated our ability to support them and their customers. “This latest contract signals our commitment to the recycled polymers market and supporting customers with bespoke design, build and operate contracts, constructed with pace and a deep knowledge of the products handled.” “The facilities we have on the Wirral, together with the expertise of our teams working in our bag to bulk operations, has enabled us to grow this area of the business very quickly. “Our customers enjoy the benefit of a UK based reformatting solution that seamlessly combines storage, reformatting and a reliable bulk transport solution as a single service, which enables them to serve their customers more effectively and at a lower cost” .

John Abbott, operations manager, abbey logistics said:

“Since we began working with Viridor, we have built a great working relationship and




Abbey has been awarded a large contract for the transport of Category 3 animal fats for use in renewable fuels, a rapidly growing sector which produces a renewable diesel alternative from vegetable oils, grease waste, or residues from the food industry and agriculture.

B ased at Seal Sands, Teesside, the contract has seen Abbey opening a new depot and recruiting drivers and a planning team in the area to support this new customer. Work began in early September and involves the collection of Category 3 animal fat oils in bulk liquid road tankers from across the UK for

delivery to Seal Sands prior to final delivery to a renewable fuels refinery in Europe. The contract will begin with 15 new vehicles that Abbey has commissioned specifically for the contract, which will all be fuelled by renewable fuels that can reduce CO 2 emissions by up to 90%, compared with conventional diesel.

“This latest contract signals our intent and commitment to growing our non-food- grade liquid operations. “Our new customer is a leading renewable and alternative fuels producer and we are delighted

to have been selected to support this new venture.

“We are also particularly excited to be running the new fleet entirely with renewable fuels, which will dramatically reduce emissions and is a perfect test case for the fuel’s potential in our wider fleet.”

Dave Patten, Managing Director, Abbey Logistics said:


Dear Colleagues, As Autumn arrives, I am hoping this update note finds you and your families well and that you all managed to take some well-earned time off over the summer months. AN UPDATE FROM ABBEY’S MD, DAVE PATTEN

I t would be an understatement to say that the last few months have been a tough period for us all. Our industry has been hit by an unprecedented period of challenges, but it has been fantastic to see everyone at Abbey facing these head- on and contributing towards the continued success of the Group. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone right across the company for this and their commitment and continued hard work. Despite these challenges, we enjoyed several significant business wins over the summer, which reinforces what a great team we have here at Abbey: 1 We were delighted to learn in June that we were selected as finalists in several categories at this year’s Motor Transport Awards, held in London. We were shortlisted for ‘Haulier of the Year’, ‘Team of the Year’ and ‘Partnership of the Year’.

West of England and a larger customer footprint in Europe to better serve this region. 3 Our Liquids division started a new venture at the end of September thanks to a new contract with one of the world’s largest producers of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. This exciting new contract will operate from Middlesbrough and will add another depot to our network and grow the Liquids division with 17 additional tankers and 10 new vehicles. OUR STRATEGIC DIRECTION At this year’s annual Board Strategy day, we agreed to follow a simple 5-step approach that encourages and supports 5 key criteria: 1 Retain (our people) 2 Sustain (our customer base, profitability, & service levels) 3 Develop (our people, processes, systems and equipment) 4 Engage (our people and customers) 5 Grow (our business) Each division’s own objectives support this initiative and our SLT (Senior Leadership Team) have been tasked to engage more deeply with their teams across the business. Keep an eye out for some initiatives coming your way over the next couple of months.

It is our people that will make all the difference in the end, no matter what role they fulfil at Abbey. Our drivers, mechanics & fitters, and planners, and our teams in SHEQ, warehouse & washbay, admin, finance, commercial, IT and HR all play a crucial role in supporting our customers and ensuring the operation continues to run effectively and safely. Our continued strong operational performance is thanks to you all and puts us in a fantastic position to build on last year’s huge step forward. Again, a really big thank you from the Board of Directors for everything you do each day. With restrictions across the U.K. now being eased, I hope to get out and about to our sites and to our customers more, and I look forward to meeting you around the business very soon.

Unfortunately, we didn’t win this time but being

shortlisted is an achievement in itself and it is testament to all of your hard work that we should be recognised by our industry’s biggest awards event. 2 In July we acquired Welch Hire, a well-known operator in bulk liquid tanker transport. The deal gave us an operating site in the South

Best regards,



In early November we will take delivery of 30 new DAF trucks and we are particularly excited about this latest order as it includes the latest New Generation DAF XF. INVESTMENT CONTINUES WITH NEW TRUCK ORDER INCLUDING DAF’S NEW GENERATION XF

W e have used DAF’s excellent XF unit across our fleet since the model was first introduced by the Dutch manufacturer in 1997, and it has been a firm favourite of the business ever since. DAF’s New Generation XF, which was announced in June, is the culmination of DAF’s superior knowledge and experience in long-distance vehicles which DAF says is the new benchmark in safety, comfort and efficiency. The completely redesigned XF takes advantage of the latest European ‘masses and dimensions’ legislation, resulting in a new cab which offers unrivalled space and

larger, curved windscreen. The new legislation has also allowed DAF to focus on aerodynamics. Thanks to a redesigned cab shape combined with DAF’s new electronic wing mirrors, the manufacturer claims a potential fuel saving of 10% compared to the previous generation of XFs. Improved aero doesn’t stop at the cab: DAF has also adjusted engine compartment and under-cab airflows. These include closures around the charge air cooler and the radiator, flow guides and recirculation barriers, and closed wheel-bay covers. Further reducing its impact on the environment, the XF’s all-new diesel engine is ready for the latest

generations of biofuels and future e-fuels.

New safety features have been added too, which include brake assist, lane departure warning and emergency brake lights. The latest version of DAF’s Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS-3) can provide autonomous emergency braking to assist with collision avoidance of both stationary and moving vehicles from a speed of up to 80 km/h, and DAF’s City Turn Assist system further supports the driver as it detects other road users or objects at the co-driver side. As you can probably tell, we’re very excited to get our hands on these new units. More details and pictures will be shared as soon as they arrive.

comfort, plus improved visibility provided by a


Increased flexibility and reliability for our customers as Abbey acquires liquid food tanker specialist Welch Hire. ABBEY ACQUIRES LIQUID FOOD TANKER SPECIALIST WELCH HIRE

T he transaction extends Abbey’s network coverage with the addition of 48 bulk liquid road tankers and 13 tractor units. The deal also gives Abbey an operating site in the South West of England and a larger customer footprint in Europe, which will open further commercial opportunities for the business. Welch is well known in the bulk liquid food and animal feed markets in both the UK and Europe, and the company shares several customers with

Abbey. Together, the combined business will further strengthen Abbey’s position as the UK’s leading tanker company in bulk liquid food as the deal adds further scale, capability, and flexibility into its operations. Founded in 1998, Welch Hire has a large and modern liquid bulk road tanker fleet and, in addition to their tank hire business, the company provides both fully managed logistics solutions and single ‘spot’ product movements of bulk liquid food-grade

products throughout the UK and Europe.

Welch’s employees will transfer to Abbey under the deal and the company will be integrated into the Abbey brand following a period of familiarisation.

Steve Granite, Abbey Logistics CEO said:

“This acquisition is a natural step for us as we further enhance our market-leading position in bulk liquid food and boost the support we

L to R: Toni Petrou, Nick Wheller, Mel Davies


provide to customers in the UK and Europe.

deliver outstanding service in terms of dependability, flexibility and scale. “Through this deal, we are acquiring some great people and a strong tanker fleet, and we are looking forward to welcoming the Welch Hire team into our business.”

perfectly aligned in our approach to a customer service focused operation. “We know our team will make a valuable contribution to the future growth of Abbey Logistics and together we will create an unbeatable service for our bulk liquid food customers through our dedication to our customers and an unrivalled knowledge of this specialist market.”

“Through strategic acquisitions like this, we are unlocking opportunities in new geographies and accelerating the growth we have seen in the business in the last two years. “We are fully committed to supporting our liquid food- grade customers and this acquisition is a demonstration of that commitment, and our willingness to invest significantly to ensure we

Nick Wheller and Melissa Davies of Welch Hire said:

“The decision to join Abbey Logistics was a natural one as our two companies are


Not many careers enable you to wake up in one country and end your day in another. Or clock up over 5.5k miles in a month! HGV DRIVING: HOW FAR DO SOME OF ABBEY’S DRIVERS TRAVEL?

T hanks to Terry Jenner, who sent us some of his pictures for Abbey’s latest photo competition, which show the variety of places he travels to and the huge distances he covers. Terry works in our Liquids division and is based in London. He supports our customers throughout the UK and Northern Europe and his average week sees him visit sites in the UK, Holland, France and Belgium. To put this into

numbers, Terry’s been to four countries, and 53 cities in the last month alone! To give this total and many of our other drivers’ monthly mileage some context, if you were to travel Terry’s average monthly mileage from London as the crow flies, you’d reach Hong Kong, New Delhi, South Africa or even Bangladesh, to name a few!

to see so many different places. Admittedly it’s not sightseeing, and our drivers have an important job to do for our customers, but we often hear that the travel element is a big benefit of HGV driving as a career. For some people, a desk-based job just doesn’t appeal. An HGV driver enjoys the freedom of the open road, which can be an attractive alternative to a traditional 9-to-5 job. When speaking to our team about

One of the great things about a driving career is the freedom


the benefits of being an HGV driver, this often comes up and is a huge draw for some people who enjoy the sense of working more independently while still being part of a supportive team. Being away from home for all or part of the week is not for everyone. So as well as long-distance overnight work, Abbey has several day-shift- only opportunities for qualified

Class 1 drivers from our depots across the UK, as well as many other shift patterns designed to provide the right work-life balance, depending on what a driver is looking for. The recent driver shortage has brought much-needed attention to HGV driving as a profession and highlighted the essential role HGV drivers play in enabling the UK’s prosperity, growth and standard of living.

Without drivers, there is no logistics, and without logistics, nothing moves. So thank you to Terry and everybody else who has sent in pictures over the last few weeks; it certainly highlights some of what your role involves and reminds us just how important the skills of our HGV drivers are.


ABBEY SHORTLISTED FOR THREE MOTOR TRANSPORT AWARDS The biggest and best awards show in our industry is back! The famous Motor Transport Awards was held in early September as the industry came together to celebrate its collective achievements over the past year.

THE PARTNERSHIP AWARD Our work with Tarmac in Scotland was shortlisted for an award due to the way in which both companies’ teams have worked in partnership to deliver excellent service and safety levels and overcome

being a finalist at the MotorTransport Awards is an achievement in itself. We are still keen to celebrate this and acknowledge that it is thanks to the dedication and skill of our teams across the business that our peers recognised our work and selected us as finalists amongst some very strong competition. The role logistics and transport play in keeping our economy moving, innovating and raising standards is rightly celebrated and rewarded at the Motor Transport Awards and we are delighted that the work our teams do across the group was recognised once again at the show.

T he event was celebrating its 35th year as the benchmark for excellence among UK road transport fleet operators, vehicle manufacturers and other sector specialists, and was once again back as a huge live event at Grosvenor House in London. Everyone at Abbey was thrilled to hear that we were shortlisted for three awards this year, and we were especially proud that two of these nominations are for collaborative work with our customers. The third nomination was forthe biggest award of the event, Haulier of the Year. Unfortunately, this year, we were pipped at the post and didn’t collect the winning trophy, but despite this,

challenges together on this important contract.

TEAM OF THE YEAR This nomination relates to the way in which the Abbey and ADM teams have worked together in London to help improve service levels and collaboration. ADM is a long- standing customer of Abbey’s but this year’s performance raised the game due to the excellent teamwork which has seen the two companies come together as one collaborative unit for the benefit of ADM’s customers. We have so many success stories across the group that are worthy of celebrating and we will be back next year to show the industry what we have achieved and hopefully go one better.

The awards we were shortlisted for were:

HAULIER OF THE YEAR Due to our outstanding performance during the pandemic, Abbey was shortlisted for the most

coveted award of them all and the ultimate mark of excellence in road freight transport.


Thank you to the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) for recognising Abbey Logistics’ efforts in responding to the challenges of the pandemic last year, and the steps we took to support our teams and our customers. ABBEY RECOGNISED FOR ACTIONS DURING PANDEMIC BY THE BVCA

P roduced in collaboration with Grant Thornton UK, the BVCA’s “Adapting With Purpose” report highlights several short case studies of private equity and venture capital backed businesses, showcasing some of the unique and innovative ways these companies quickly adapted to the challenges and protected their employees and customers last year.


It certainly does! And because of this we will be updating you in each magazine with a short overview of what the SHEQ department has been working on to support the business and provide a safe environment for us all to work in. SHEQ MATTERS

LIFTED RESTRICTIONS Now that business travel is permitted, SHEQ will be attending all of our sites much more frequently and SHEQ forums, safety conversations and observations will become regular features, along with site inspections, which will all contribute to maintaining high welfare and safety standards. All of the SHEQ team at Abbey are driven by the desire to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone at Abbey, our customers and the general public we come into contact with. We take any incident or injury extremely seriously and strive to learn each time, to ensure it does not happen again.

you can incorporate this simple concept into your day-to-day roles to improve safety.

risk, we are unconsciously assessing the risks and acting accordingly. For a business, adopting a dynamic approach to risk assessments is crucial because our drivers and other teams all experience working environments that are constantly changing. What was safe one day may not be the next. Training around this will be rolled out and while not revolutionary, it is a highly effective approach to understanding hazards and risks and how to remove them. BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY Traditionally, safety focuses on things like systems, training and procedures. This is all important work but without anything else, safety performance can plateau and

DYNAMIC RISK ASSESSMENTS This may sound like something you need training for, but we all carry out dynamic risk assessments every day. When we cross the road, drive our car and do any other activity where there is a potential


We have three initiatives planned for the next year.

6S 6S builds on the highly

influential 5S system that was made famous by Toyota at its factories. 5S is a system for organising spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. The system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which makes it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury. 6S simply adds safety into the mix. We will communicate more about 6S in the coming months and demonstrate how

Dynamic Risk Assessment Flow


champions at each of our sites and I strongly encourage you to get involved. With our SHEQ teams now being a more visible presence at your site, please do speak to them about our plans, how it will help you and your colleagues, but also please tell us about your experiences, and the safety risks you have identified. Your ideas and feedback in this process are vital as we want safety to be a two-way communication process where you can see us acting on your concerns and ideas, all in an effort to make working at Abbey as safe as it can possibly be.

doesn’t improve beyond a certain point.

A good metaphor for behavioural safety is to think of a situation like an iceberg. In front of you you can see immediate risks, and you can adjust your behaviour to reduce the risks. However, under the surface there are a greater number of risks, and some that are not too obvious. This is where a safety culture helps us. By always dynamically risk-assessing every situation as part of our normal day-to- day activities, identifying and eliminating risks becomes part of our everyday behaviour and incidents are naturally reduced as unsafe behaviour is removed from the situation. To promote behavioural safety as well as our other initiatives, we are looking to involve local

Kenny McCallum Group SHEQ Manager

The SHEQ team and I, supported by the Group Board, aspire to ‘zero harm’. This means that in addition to our processes and procedures we must tackle behaviour, so that we are all thinking about safety when we approach any task we need to complete, and it becomes embedded in the Abbey culture and how we work. It is estimated that 95% of workplace injuries are due to behaviour – the things we do or don’t do that contribute to an incident. By introducing behavioural safety as a key component in creating a safety culture at Abbey, we can eliminate most if not all of the incidents we see.

Kenny McCallum Group SHEQ Manager


To support drivers looking to make the transition from Class 2 to Class 1 driving, road tanker company Abbey Logistics launched an earn-while- you-learn training programme earlier this year to make obtaining a Class 1 licence easier and more convenient for drivers. FIRST GRADUATES OF ABBEY’S POPULAR CLASS 2 – 1 PROGRAMME BEGIN WORK AS CLASS 1 DRIVERS

A chieving a Class 1 licence can be a costly and time- consuming endeavour, so the training programme Abbey delivers offers drivers a salaried position throughout the training and guarantees a Class 1 driving role with Abbey, on successful completion of the course. From Abbey’s first round of trainees, three new drivers joined the business after successfully passing the course and getting their Class 1 licence: Russell Hall and Suzanne Chisnall have both started work at Abbey’s Manchester depot in the Liquids division, and Bradley Neild now works in the Powders division from its depot in Middlewich. Commenting on his new role, Russell Hall said: “I was a little apprehensive at first to leave a secure well-paid job for a new position which depended on me passing my Class 1. “Thankfully I passed my Class 1 and completed all the training with ease and really enjoyed my time on the course and learning new skills from Abbey’s Driver Training Team.

4 off and I’m absolutely loving it. I definitely made the correct decision, and I’m now earning a good wage with a company that respects and looks after its employees. Living the dream!” The training course is led by Abbey’s own JAUPT-accredited training team and supported by one of the company’s training providers. It is a mix of classroom-based theory and practical, on-the-road learning. Once qualified, drivers are supported by an experienced driver mentor for several months and they receive further in-cab and loading/ unloading procedures training, gaining valuable experience in the specialised products Abbey carries. Abbey says that since the course was launched, it has received a great deal of interest from Class 2 drivers keen to obtain their Class 1 licence, and thanks to the demand the course has generated, the company has increased the number of drivers it can train on each intake, with courses planned well into 2022. Matthew Parry, Abbey Logistics Driver Training Manager said: “The shortage of qualified HGV drivers in the UK is a challenge

every company in the industry faces.

“Traditionally, obtaining a Class 1 licence is costly, takes time and there is no guarantee of a driver passing their test after their considerable investment. “Our course acknowledges this and is designed to take away some of the barriers that prevent highly skilled drivers from ever taking their Class 1 test. “We are delighted that the course has proved so popular and the feedback we have had from drivers has been fantastic. We now have a pipeline of highly talented Class 2 drivers either in training or booked on one of our courses and we will support as many drivers as we can to achieve their Class 1 licence.”

“Six weeks on, I now have my own Volvo, I work 4 days on &


Over the last 12 months we have been busy refurbishing our depots and speaking to you all to try and understand how we can make our sites more comfortable and usable. DEPOT REFURBISHMENT BEGINS WITH MIDDLEWICH AND HULL

T his has included driver facilities improvements in Middlewich and updating offices for planners and depot teams to provide more space and a more pleasant environment in which to work. Branding our offices has played a large part in the work we have done and is the most visible, creating a clear Abbey identity for the sites and giving visitors a memorable first impression of the company. In Hull, we have had major renovation work that has seen offices extended and moved, a large new meeting space created, and extensive improvements to the reception

area. In Middlewich, we have improved driver facilities and created more space for planners and our other teams on site. The process of improving our sites is an ongoing task and we recognise the importance of comfortable and practical facilities for all our teams. Our Heads of Departments are all supportive of investment to create the right environment for our teams to work in, so if you have any suggestions of how we can make your office or depot work better for you then please speak to your supervisor.



Congratulations to the team at our Buxton depot for achieving FORS accreditation at the site.

F ORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme)is the highest industry standard that acknowledges the importance of the quality of our operations in terms of safety, efficiency and environmental protection. Our Buxton depot joins our Middlewich and Dunbar sites, which both achieved FORS accreditation earlier this year. The three depots play an important role in supporting our customers in the cement and construction materials sectors and this latest award further demonstrates our commitment to these markets and Abbey’s wider bulk food-grade and non- food powder operations.

Achieving a FORS accreditation requires us to demonstrate industry-leading processes, procedures and compliance. The FORS organisation completes very strict and meticulous audits of our vehicles, our safety and environmental performance, and our management processes before they are satisfied our operations are deserving of this accreditation.

most important operational consideration for our business.

“Achieving FORS accreditation and working to the guidance standards it sets means we know we are operating in line with the most advanced and effective procedures available. “As a result, our customers, drivers and on-site staff have confidence that we are managing and minimising work-related risk and are committed to exceeding industry standards in terms of safety, efficiency and environmental protection.”

Kenny McCallum, Abbey Logistics’ Group SHEQ Manager said:

“Minimising risk across our fleet and our depots is clearly the


Having your truck washed while it’s in for service is always nice, but our VMU team in Liverpool wants to do better than that for our drivers. IT’S ALL IN THE DETAIL!

O pened last month, and a big hit with everyone who’s had their truck detailed so far, is our new valeting offer for all trucks going in for service at our Liverpool VMU. The valet includes a full wash and dry of the truck and wheels using premium products and a complete (Covid-19 safe) vacuum and upholstery clean and detail of the inside of the cab, including mats, dash, door shuts and windows. Operated by Jamie Patten, this new service is designed to keep our trucks looking great and support our busy drivers by giving them their trucks back after service looking as good as they did the day they left the factory.

Jamie said:

The feedback we’ve had from the drivers has been fantastic and it’s been great to see the positive reaction when they realise their trucks are going to be given a full detail as part of the routine truck service . “The plan for now is to fine-tune the process here in Liverpool, identify the best products in terms of environmental impact, durability and effectiveness, and understand from our drivers how we can improve further for the business.”

Top Image:Jamie Patten at our Liverpool depot



In August, Abbey welcomed Kelve and Jemima, two logistics interns that joined the business as part of the Career Ready, Think Logistics internship programme.

O ur internship programme is led by Emma Bamin from the HR team and is designed to showcase the variety of careers available in the logistics sector and give young people experience and insight into the world of logistics as they consider their career options. Our interns spend time with teams in HR, IT, marketing, finance and commercial, as well as learning about the wider group, what we do and the vital role that logistics plays in the UK economy. At the end of their internships, both Jemima and Kelve delivered fantastic presentations back to the business and representatives from Career Ready and Think Logistics about their internship, reflecting on what they have done, learnt and what they will take from the logistics internship experience. It was wonderful to hear that both interns are now considering careers in areas where they worked during their time with Abbey. For Jemima, she is now considering HR as a future career and Kelve says he would like to pursue a career in marketing.

Jemima 

THE BENEFITS OF A LOGISTICS INTERNSHIP TO ABBEY We’re delighted that Jemima and Kelve both got a lot of value out of their internships but this isn’t all one-way traffic. Hosting an intern has many benefits for an organisation, and through our work with Think Logistics and networking with many other companies in our sector that also support the Career Ready Think Logistics internship programme, we know our

peers see many benefits from this scheme too.

Firstly, we have been consistently impressed by the quality of the interns and their maturity and

enthusiastic approach to the internship opportunity. All of our interns have contributed new and fresh ideas in the departments they have worked in, giving us a changed perspective on things that only someone from outside the business can do.



additional responsibility. There are many other benefits and each intern provides their own unique contribution

to the company, so we are delighted to

continue to support this important programme.

THE SECTOR NEEDS MORE SUPPORT FROM WITHIN If there’s one message that comes through loud and clear from our interns it’s that they didn’t know much about the sector before their internship and were surprised at the variety of different roles and professions available in our industry. The work of Career Ready and Think Logistics is vital if we are going to address the skills shortfall, and no one is going to wave a magic wand and make the skills gap go away. So schemes like this which raise awareness about the opportunities our sector has are vital for bringing the next generation into our sector. It is up to us as an industry to proactively get out and tell young people that there are exciting and fulfilling opportunities available in logistics, and we know that through the right support and guidance, young people can and do thrive in the industry and achieve great things.

Kelve 

The process of hiring an intern involves an interview process which is supported by Career Ready; this finds people best suited to their host company, and companies like Abbey know they will have someone joining them that will contribute during their time with the business. This means that once onboard, our interns are an additional resource that can and do provide support,

helping in busy departments within the business.

During their time with a host company, an intern will need the support of a manager; this is a fantastic opportunity to give existing employees people-management experience in real-world situations and, from our own experience, we know that our managers have learnt a great deal from the internship programme and gained new skills as a result of the



Nominations and stories about how our teams across the UK are going “above and beyond” continue to flood in and we have had great pleasure in rewarding the following people with vouchers and recognition for their hard work over the past couple of months.

• Keith Robson • David May • Lloyd Mitchell • Tim Limm • Calvin Higginson • Kimroy Brown • Dave Melville • Jackson Joseph • Marc Smith • Graham Wright

• Michelle Holland • Matthew Parry • Vidas Sedys • Amy Denton • Anthony Hallwood • Alan Sutton • Patrick Conway • Jemima Chapman

• Kelve Oshodin • Jasime Blacoe • Colin Fulton • Tom Ward • Eve Palmer • Mihail Toma • Mark McGrann

• Steve Perkins • Mark Pawley

• Stephen Holmes • Nigel Armitage • Andrew Gallimore

Please continue to send your nominations in recognition of your colleagues’ achievements to your line manager, who will pass them on to the Group HR team for final approval.



Do you have an eye for a great photo? If so, we need your help. Abbey is putting together a 2022 calendar for our customers and to use at our depots to showcase all the great work our teams do across the business. T o do this we need great images of our teams at work. We’re not going to The calendars will be sent to customers in December and be on display in our

background do not distract from your subject. Check the lighting: if you’re taking a shot outside, is it raining? Is it too dark? Maybe try another time as your shot will look much better on a bright day. Please send images in high-resolution because low-resolution pictures cannot be used in printing. Please also send a short description of the shot telling us where and when it was taken, and if someone is in the picture, please tell us their name and role. We hope to showcase some of the photos on our depot screens and social media in the run-up to the close of the competition: so best of luck and we look forward to seeing your shots.

suggest what you photograph, but we’d like them to include shots that show our vehicles, properties, equipment, or

offices and depots next year with your name credited to your photograph. HOW TO ENTER Just email your picture or pictures to photocomp@ . The closing date for the competition is Friday 26th November . In addition to using these images for the calendar, we would like to use them on promotional material on an ongoing basis so please state whether you are happy for us to do this on your email. TIPS FOR SUCCESS If you are taking a picture of equipment, try and ensure it is clean and any items in the

people, supporting our customers through their roles at Abbey Logistics.

It’s true, we love to see pictures sent in by our drivers of some of the spectacular places they travel through while delivering products for customers and we hope to get lots of those, but we would also love to see the warehouse, our workshops, offices and wash bays and all of the professional and dedicated teams we have and the roles that they do. All areas of the business are essential to serving our customers and it’s important we represent our whole business.


Abbey Head Office Stone Cross Place, Stone Cross Business Park Golborne WA3 2SH

+44 (0)3300 552 855








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